Dulin's 23 Points Help Navy Hold off American, 70-64
Jan. 5, 2018
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Senior guard Bryce Dulin scored a game-high 23 points as the Navy men's basketball team (11-5, 2-1 PL) held off American (3-11, 0-3 PL), 70-64, on Friday evening in Alumni Hall. Navy led by 17 points late in the first half, but American rallied back to within three in the final minute.
Dulin was a sizzling 7-of-8 on 3-pointers to set a career-high for triples made in a game. He also had five rebounds and three assists in 38 minutes. It was Dulin's team-best fourth 20-point game of the season.
"I thought Bryce was tremendous tonight," said Navy head coach Ed DeChellis. "He made just about every shot he took."
Navy senior guard Shawn Anderson scored seven points with seven rebounds, four assists and three steals, while senior forward Tom Lacey tallied nine points with four rebounds, two assists, two steals and one blocked shot.
American's Sa'eed Nelson scored a team-high 18 points with eight assists. Larry Motuzis knocked down three 3-pointers for 13 points, while Sam Iorio had 14 points and 13 rebounds.
A short jumper by Abdullah put the Mids ahead by 11 points at 66-55 with two minutes to play, but American responded with back-to-back 3-pointers by Stacy Beckton Jr. and Motuzis. Anderson made one-of-two free throws in between two Navy turnovers, and Beckton hit another 3-pointer with 24 seconds left to cut Navy's margin to three points at 67-64.
Lacey then made a pair of free throws and then Dulin grabbed a defensive rebound after a Navy stop and he made one-of-two free throws for the six-point final margin of 70-64.
"I think we played pretty well in the first half offensively," said DeChellis. "In the second half we just got sloppy with the ball. We didn't execute in the last three minutes. We didn't matchup defensive, we didn't inbound the ball properly. It's my fault. We need to work more on late-game scenarios in practice."
Navy had a great offensive start to the contest, making its first seven shots while all five starters scored in the opening minutes. Dulin made a pair of 3-pointers in the opening minutes and then an and-1 play by Wieck and a 3-pointer by freshman guard Cam Davis put Navy ahead 22-13 at the 13:32 mark.
Shortly after, Dulin hit back-to-back 3-pointers to push Navy's lead to 12 points at 30-18. Navy wound up shooting 64.0 percent in the first half (16-of-25) while scoring its highest first-half total against a Division I opponent this season with its 43-34 halftime lead. Navy had 13 assists on its 16 made field goals in the opening 20 minutes.
Lacey and Wieck scored the first four points of the second half to push Navy's lead to 13 with 18:10 remaining, but American went on a 14-4 run over the next eight minutes to cut Navy's lead to just three points. Navy was able to extend its lead on a driving layup by junior forward George Kiernan before Abdullah stole the ball and then sunk a 3-pointer for a 56-48 lead.
Yet another 3-pointer by Dulin and an and-1 play by Lacey kept Navy's margin at a comfortable level, until American's late rally in the final minutes, which the Mid were able to hold off.
Navy outshot American in the game 54.3 percent (25-of-46) to 45.5 percent (25-of-55), but shot just 50 percent from the free throw line (9-of-18). American also converted 21 points off of Navy's 18 turnovers.
Navy outrebounded American, 32-28, and also knocked down 11 3-pointers in the contest.
The Mids improved to 10-0 this season, and 20-0 over the last two seasons, when scoring at least 70 points.
Navy now sits in a seven-way tie for first place in the Patriot League at 2-1 with Bucknell, Boston U., Colgate, Lafayette, Lehigh and Loyola.
"I'm happy we won and now we're 2-1 in the league," said DeChellis. "But we still have a lot more work to do. Now we go on the road to Colgate and we haven't won a road game in a while."
Navy will head to Hamilton, N.Y. to play at Colgate on Monday at 5:00 PM.