Jan. 2, 2007
NEWARK, N.J. --- Freshman Trey Stanton blocked a potential game-winning shot with no time remaining in regulation, then connected on a pair of three-pointers in overtime to lead Navy to a 52-50 overtime victory over NJIT on Tuesday night. The win moves Navy's record to 10-5 overall, matching last year's win total entering Patriot League play.
The Navy defense was once again the story, limiting the Highlanders to just 18 second-half points as the Mids fell behind, 26-19, at halftime. Navy shot just 7-of-24 (.292) from the field in the first half, including 2-of-14 (.143) from long distance. Navy trailed by as many as 11 at 24-13 in the opening 20 minutes, but got three-pointers from T.J. Topercer and Chris Harris to cut the margin to seven at halftime.
The Mids started to chip away at the lead in the second half with outstanding defense, and taking its first lead (38-37) since early in the first half on a Bryce Brigham free throw with 8:07 to play. However, NJIT then went on a quick 7-2 run to take a 44-40 lead with 5:37 to play. Navy's defense then held the Highlanders scoreless for the last 5:37 of regulation, tying the game on a Greg Sprink tip-in with 1:15 to play.
With just five seconds to play, NJIT's Kraig Peters drove the baseline, but Stanton left his man in the middle of the lane, blocking the shot, sending the game into overtime.
Stanton then opened the overtime with a three-pointer two minutes in, but the Highlanders' Clayton Barker, who scored a game-high 19 points, connected on a pair of layups to give NJIT a 48-47 lead with 1:30 to play. With a minute left, Stanton drilled his second three-pointer of the overtime session to give Navy a 50-48 advantage. However, Nesho Milosevic scored on a jumphook after a scramble in the lane to knot the score at 50.
After a Navy timeout, head coach Billy Lange
drew up a play for Sprink, who drove the lane and was fouled. Sprink, a .885 free-throw shooter, calmly drilled both attempts, and the Highlanders failed to get off a shot before the horn, allowing Navy to escape, 52-50.
Sprink led the Mids with 16 points, while Adam Teague and Stanton each had eight. Sprink added a season-high nine rebounds and five assists.
Navy shot .357 as a team, including .207 (6-of-29) from three-point range. The Mids committed just 13 turnovers. NJIT shot .347 from the field and just .524 (11-of-21) from the free throw line. NJIT had just six assists and 20 turnovers.
The Mids will now begin Patriot League play on Saturday with a 7:00 pm tilt at two-time defending league champion Bucknell in Lewisburg, Pa.
# GO NAVY #