Quite simply, Jalen Rucker wasn’t ready to stop playing basketball this season.
Boy was Army’s first-team Patriot League guard ever.
Not only did Rucker hit the game-tying, 3-pointer with 25 seconds left in regulation, the junior scored all 12 of Army’s points in overtime.
The Black Knights (17-15) survived and advanced with a 71-69 victory over Boston University in the Patriot League quarterfinal at West Point. Army earns its third shot at top-seeded Colgate at 2 p.m. Sunday. Colgate (24-8) has won the first two meetings 77-75 and 93-86.
“I told the guys in the huddle (before overtime) that we have five more minutes together, let’s make it count,” Rucker said. “I was just excited to get back out there, keep competing and try to bring it home.”
Coach (Jimmy) Allen and coach (Doug) Novak trying to up the right plays and I’m playing with a lot of good players as well. So, I wanted to take my chance, take the advantage and try to finish.”
There’s something about playing Boston University for Rucker this season. He had 29 points in the teams’ first meeting in January and 24 points against the Terriers in a six-point loss last week. Rucker’s 32 points Thursday were three off his career high. He scored the Black Knights last 15 points.
Freshman Coleton Benson had all 16 of his points in the first half including 7-of-7 shooting from the foul line.
Here’s Rucker’s postgame press conference. Also, photographer Lynn Fern captured the action with some great photos.