Dave Palmer is a retired lieutenant general and still follows his Army Black Knights in any sport every chance he gets.
Sunday was no different as the Lady Black Knights’ basketball team opened the NCAA tournament against heavily favored Maryland.
Only part of the game was televised, but you can bet Palmer was watching.
And while his team took one on the chin, losing 90-52, Palmer was still happy to watch his team in the Big Dance.
“Maryland clearly had the better team,” Palmer said. “Army was outmanned, and they played them pretty tough.”
Army actually held an 18-15 lead with 9:10 to play in the first half after a Kelsey Minato 3-pointer.
But the host Terrapins responded with a 29-2 run to end the half and the game was never close again.
“To beat a team like that, to upset a team, you’ve got to really have a hot streak,” Palmer said. “And Army didn’t have it and Maryland did.
“They hit just a whole bunch of 3-point shots in a row and got out to what amounted to an insurmountable lead.”
Yet despite the loss, Palmer was happy he got to see the Lady Black Knights for multiple reasons.
The first was a chance to watch electric sophomore guard Kelsey Minato, who scored a game-high 27 points against Maryland and had 31 in the Patriot League championship game against Holy Cross, after which she was named tournament MVP.
Palmer also said the loss didn’t overshadow a spectacular season by Army in which the Lady Black Knights finished second in the Patriot League in the regular season before winning the conference tournament.
And Palmer, who still vividly remembers the formation of the selective conference in 1986, said any season that ends with a Patriot League championship is one to remember.
“It’s very competitive,” Palmer said. “And for our women to have won that league, it’s a big feather in their cap.”