Men’s Hoops Surges Late in 61-44 Win at American
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Navy men’s basketball team (15-9, 6-5 PL) outscored American (5-17, 2-9 PL) 40-21 in the second half to take control in a 61-44 win at Bender Arena on Wednesday evening. Navy has now won back-to-back Patriot League road games and moves into sole possession of fourth place in the conference standings.
Navy senior guard Shawn Anderson scored a game-high 20 points with five assists and four steals, while junior forward George Kiernan posted his third double-double of the season with 16 points and 11 rebounds.
Navy was also boosted by the play of a pair of freshmen on Wednesday. Guard Cam Davis tallied 11 points (7-of-8 at the free throw line) in 23 minutes and forward Tyler Riemersma scored a season-high eight points with four rebounds in 20 minutes.
Freshman Sam Iorio was the lone American player to score in double figures with his 16 points.
“It was a good road win for us,” said Navy head coach Ed DeChellis. “We played really poorly in the first half. We turned the ball over way too much. We didn’t play with any pop or vigor. But I thought in the second half we played a little bit better.”
American opened the game with a 13-0 lead as Navy struggled to get going offensively. The Mids didn’t score their first point until the 14:09 mark when Anderson got on the board. Navy was able to chip away at the lead and a bucket by Riemersma cut Navy’s halftime deficit to two points at 23-21.
Navy shot just 24 percent (6-of-25) in the first half. However, the Mids responded by shooting 63 percent in the second half (15-of-24), while also stifling American into shooting 24 percent in the period (5-of-21).
“Defensively, we were pretty good tonight,” said DeChellis. “We were pretty active in our zones. American started to miss some shots, then we started to make some baskets. We started playing north-to-south a little bit more in the second half. We got Anderson driving to the basket and had some other guys cutting.”
Navy ramped up the defensive pressure to open the second half and held American without a field goal until the 12:10 mark when Iorio made a 3-pointer. Navy had already taken a 35-26 lead before Iorio’s 3-pointer and an offensive putback by Anderson gave Navy a 10-point lead at 42-32 with 8:34 remaining. The Mids would lead by at least 10 points for the rest of the game.
Navy continued to build its lead as Anderson, Kiernan and Davis paced the Mids on the offensive end. Anderson scored 16 of his 20 points after halftime. Navy led by as many as 18 points before settling for the 61-44 final.
Although Navy did not make a 3-pointer in the game (0-of-11), the team did shoot 79 percent at the free throw line (19-of-24). Navy also outrebounded American, 34-30.
The 44 points scored by American was the lowest output by a Navy opponent this season. Navy held American to 31 percent shooting on the night (14-of-45).
Navy earned its first season sweep of American since the 2007-08 season.
Anderson moved from 19th place to 17th place on Navy’s career scoring list on Wednesday, passing Erik Harris ’91 and John Tolmie ‘69. Anderson now has 1,255 career points.
Navy will next host Colgate (7-4 PL) on Sunday at 12 noon on CBS Sports Network. Colgate sits alone in third place in the Patriot League standings, one game in front of Navy.
“There’s a lot of basketball still to be played,” said DeChellis. “We’re just trying to position ourselves the best we possibly can to try to get a good seed and give ourselves an opportunity in the postseason tournament.”