Navy Rallies Past Lehigh, 63-58, in Patriot League Road Opener
Jan. 14, 2009
BETHLEHEM, Pa. -- Adam Teague hit a deep three-pointer with 3.5 seconds left and Chris Harris iced the game away with a pair of technical free throws to give Navy a 63-58 decision at Lehigh on Wednesday night. The Mids improved to 13-4 with the victory and 2-0 in the Patriot League. Navy is one of three teams (American and Holy Cross) to be undefeated (2-0) in league play.
Lehigh drops its third game in a row and is 10-6 overall. The Mountain Hawks are 0-2 in league play.
Navy is 2-0 in league play for the first time since thr 2000-01 season and has now defeated Lehigh four straight times.
"We had great poise down the stretch again, and our defense all night was outstanding," said Lange, as the Mids won their fifth game in a row. "They are a very good team and one of the most talented teams in the league. This is a great win for us on the road."
Navy trailed 32-22 with 15:47 to play after Lehigh opened the second half with a 13-0 run. Navy began to chip away, using a 16-5 run of its own to grab a 38-37 advantage with 9:54 to play on a Kaleo Kina fast-break lay-up.
Lehigh still led 50-45 with 6:22 left, when Navy started its game-ending run, tying the game at 52 and 54. Lehigh would lead for the last time at 55-54 on a Zahir Carrington free throw, but Kina hit a pair of difficult layups, the last coming with 25 seconds left.
Lehigh's Marquis Hall, who came into the game averaging 14.4 ppg, tied the game with his only field goal of the game with 15 seconds left, before Teague's fourth three-pointer of the game gave Navy a three-point lead.
After two time-outs with 3.3 seconds left, Lehigh was whistled for a technical foul for having six players on the floor and Harris calmly drilled a pair of free throws for the five-point victory.
The Mids struggled from the field in the first half, at one point going over 10 minutes with a basket, and started the game 4-of-24 from the field. However, after trailing by one at 12-11, Navy went on a 10-5 run until the Mountain Hawks' Phil Anderson hit a three-pointer in the final 30 seconds to cut the Midshipmen halftime lead to 22-19.
"These guys just have a sense of pride to win down the stretch," said Lange. "We got a lot tougher at the end. We don't win this game in years past, but right now these guys feel that we can grind it out and get the job done no matter the situation."
Navy improved to 8-1 this year in games decided by five or fewer points.
Four players were in double figures for the fourth straight game, as Kina led the Mids with 18 points and nine rebounds, with three assists to boot. Chris Harris scored 13 points with four assists and three steals. Adam Teague had 12 points and six rebounds and Mark Veazey tallied 10 points and eight rebounds.
The Mids shot just 20-of-61 (.328) from the field, but did shoot 11-of-28 (.393) in the second half. Navy made 8-of-23 (.348) three-point tries and were 15-of-17 (.882), including 14-of-15 (.933) in the second half. Navy had 11 turnovers and were outrebounded, 45-42.
Carrington led Lehigh with 21 points and 11 rebounds and Rob Keefer had 13 points. Marquis Hall was held to three points with four turnovers, while shooting just 1-of-8 from the field.
Navy will battle Lafayette on Saturday at 1:00 pm in Easton, Pa. Lafayette is 5-11 overall and 1-1 in the Patriot League after defeating Colgate, 69-62, on Wednesday night.
# GO NAVY #