Army's Kelsey Minato becomes first active cadet to have jersey retired
WEST POINT, N.Y. -- The Army West Point women's basketball team earned its 14th straight win with a 72-38 victory over Boston University during Senior Night on Wednesday evening at Christl Arena.
Army extends its program record winning streak and improves to 24-2 overall and 15-1 in the Patriot League. The Black Knights' 15 league wins are the most in program history. Boston University slips to 3-24 and 3-13 after the setback.
Senior Kelsey Minato finished the night with a game-high 30 points on 11-of-18 shooting and 6-of-10 three-point shooting, while adding seven rebounds and three assists. ClassmateAimee Oertner finished in double figures for the seventh straight game, with 14 points to go along with seven boards, six blocks and three assists.
Senior Jean Parker tallied nine points, making, 3-of-5 from deep, and sophomore Janae McNeal registered seven points to lead an Army bench that outscored its counterpart, 15-8. Senior Brianna Johnson totaled career highs of nine rebounds and six assists.
Minato, who became the first active player in team history to have her jersey retired following the game, raised her career scoring total to 2,422 points and moves within 41 points of passing 2003 Bucknell graduate Molly Creamer's Patriot League record of 2,462.
"There have been great teams that I've had, but I'm pretty comfortable saying this is the most special group I've ever been around," said head coach Dave Magarity. "What makes them special is the journey they've been on. If you go through this class, we have kids that didn't have many Division I offers. We have unbelievable chemistry and a lot of great teammates in this group."
Corrine Williams led the way with 11 points for Boston University, while Meghan Doogan notched eight points.
Boston University got out to a quick 5-0 lead early, but Army answered with an 11-2 run that included nine points from Minato, who went 3-of-3 from deep during the scoring run to give the hosts an 11-7 advantage 3:56 into the opening period.
Minato scored all five of her team's points during the next 2:22 and Parker knocked down back-to-back triples to put the Black Knights up, 22-11, by the conclusion of the first quarter.
Five players scored for Army during the first 5:15 of the second frame, as the Black Knights used an 11-2 run to boost the margin to 20 points, 33-13.
The Terriers scored 11 of the next 17 points to close out the half, including three-pointers from Doogan and Clodagh Scannell, as the Black Knights held a 39-24 lead at the break.
After finishing with two points in the first half, Oertner made her mark in the third quarter, scoring 10 of Army's 19 points in the period. The senior forward shot 5-of-7 from the floor during the frame and registered two blocks. Oertner contributed eight points to a 9-2 Black Knights' run that spanned from the period's 7:03 mark until the 4:11 point and left the hosts with a 52-28 advantage.
Minato tallied Army's final four points of the quarter, while Williams and Kara Sheftic each added a pair for Boston University, to bring the score to 58-32 at the end of three.
The Black Knights used a 12-4 run to open the final quarter and extend the lead to 34, 70-36, with 4:12 to play. Four players recorded points during the run, including Minato and Parker, who each buried a three-pointer. Both teams scored two points in the final 1:26, as Army extended its team-record to 14 straight wins.
"We played well in the first half at times, but we were a little inconsistent," added Magarity. "I didn't think we ended the first half on a positive note, but our depth was the difference for us. That's the reason why we're in the position we are and that's something we need to continue."