WEST POINT, N.Y. B — WEST POINT, N.Y. -- Army used a stifling man-to-man defense to limit Navy to its lowest point total of the season, enabling the Cadets to earn a 64-56 Patriot League victory before 3,286 at Christl Arena yesterday.
The win, only Army's third in 17 games, ended a school-record-tying losing string of 13 games.
Army's Spencer Staggs, a freshman guard, matched his career-high with 19 points. Sophomore David Ardayfio followed with 17, making 13 of 19 free throws to go with two baskets. He was 9-for-12 at the line in the second half, when the Cadets thwarted their archrivals by making 21 of 30 attempts.
Navy, which had come into the game averaging nearly 76 points, was harassed into 17-for-46 shooting from the field. The 46 marked the second-lowest total of the season, and the 56 were the fewest points scored since an 80-54 loss to James Madison two years ago, a stretch of 49 games.
"Army did what it wanted to do in most areas," said Navy coach Pete Herrmann, who is 4-2 against the Cadets. "Our press didn't hurt them as badly as it had in the past. They went to the free-throw line consistently and made them [in the second half]. Basically, their style dictated the game."
The Midshipmen, losers of four straight and who have not won a Patriot League game in five tries, had their season's scoring leaders held in check. John Haase, a 14.9 scorer, and Nick Marusich, at 13.9, each managed 10 points on a combined 7-for-17 shooting from the floor. Freshman guard Mark Majick, who had hit 47 three-point goals, and had an 11.2 average, made just one basket, a three-pointer with one second left.
It took the teams nearly five minutes to get the first points, and neither team shot as well as 30 percent from the field in the first half. Army opened an 11-point margin in the first seven minutes, 20 seconds of the second half, but Navy closed to 40-38 with 8:45 remaining. It got no closer the rest of the way.
The victory was only the second by Army in the series' past 13 meetings, but the Cadets' second in the past three years after the Midshipmen had won 10 straight.