Feb. 5, 2011
LEWISBURG, Pa. -- The Bucknell men's basketball team jumped out to a 10-0 lead and never looked back in handing the Midshipmen a 75-49 setback on Saturday night in Sojka Pavilion. The Mids, which had won three games in a row, fell to 8-16 overall and 3-5 in the Patriot League while Bucknell improved to 16-8 overall and 7-1 in the league standings.
"One team made shots and one team didn't make shots tonight. It was as simple as that," said Navy head coach Billy Lange, who was coaching in his 200th game at Navy. "It has been our achilles' heel all year and it showed up again tonight. You just can't do that against a good team like Bucknell and expect to win."
Navy made just 16-of-58 (.276) from the field and 5-of-31 (.161) from three-point range. Navy shot 23.1 percent (6-of-26) from the field in the first half in falling behind 41-22 at intermission.
The Midshipmen tried to mount a comeback in the second half, cutting a 54-29 Bucknell lead to 54-42 with 8:42 left to play thanks to a 13-0 run over three-plus minutes. But the Bison answered with a 21-5 run to take their largest lead of the game at 75-47 with 3:14 to play.
Navy trailed by 10 or more points for the last 32 minutes of the contest.
The Midshipmen had come into the game making 47.3 percent of their attempts over the last three games, all Navy wins, but struggled all night from the field. The 27.6 field goal percentage was the second-lowest percentage of the season, better than just the 26.3 percent shot against Buffalo in the second game of the season.
Bucknell also did a fantastic job defensively on Navy's leading scorer, Jordan Sugars (Jr. / Winchester, Va.). Sugars entered the game ranked third in the Patriot League in scoring, but managed just three points on 1-of-9 shooting. Sugars saw a streak of double-figure scoring games snapped at 18 contests.
"They did a good job on him tonight. He just struggled with his shot. He doesn't shoot a lot anyway and is a pretty efficient player, but he just couldn't get it going tonight," said Lange. "He didn't take bad shots. They just didn't fall."
Bucknell, meanwhile, shot 31-of-58 (.534) from the field and 8-of-17 (.471) on three-pointers. The Bison outrebounded the Mids, 46-26, but had a season-high 20 turnovers against Navy's 12. The Midshipmen entered the game ranked 14th nationally in turnover margin, and was plus-8 against the Bison.
Navy was 12-of-18 (.667) from the free throw line, while Bucknell was 5-of-6 (.833).
"They just have a lot of weapons and they make shots. When you don't make shots, it deflates you. We'll get back into the gym and get better. I have no doubt about that," said Lange. "I think we are a good team. When you are not scoring, it's tough to win. We had enough open looks to make this a different game, and we will use it as a teaching point."
Greg Brown (Sr. / Waldorf, Md.) led Navy with 17 points while adding a career-high four blocked shots and three steals. J.J. Avila (Fr. / McAllen, Texas) added nine points, six rebounds, three assists, three steals and one blocked shot. Isaiah Roberts (Fr. / Pennsauken, N.J.) scored seven points with two assists and a steal.
Bryson Johnson and Joe Willman led Bucknell with 18 points each, with Willman adding 10 rebounds. Mike Muscala had 11 points and 17 rebounds.
Navy returns home to Annapolis on Wednesday night to face Lehigh at 7:00 pm in Alumni Hall. For tickets, call 1-800-US4-NAVY or purchase them online at www.NavySports.com(.)
# GO NAVY #