Navy Beats Holy Cross 69-34 in Historic Defensive Performance
WORCESTER, Mass. - The Navy men’s basketball team (16-10, 7-6 PL) held Holy Cross (8-16, 5-8 PL) to just 34 points in a 69-34 win at the Hart Center on Wednesday evening. The 34 points allowed was the second-lowest by Navy in program history, behind its 55-33 win over Penn State on Feb. 9, 1974.
Navy won its fourth straight Patriot League road game, while also snapping a nine-game losing streak to Holy Cross in games played at the Hart Center. Navy also completed its first season sweep of Holy Cross since the 2007-08 season.
Freshman guard Cam Davis, in his first career start, poured in a career-high 18 points for the Midshipmen. Davis started in place of Navy’s leading scorer Shawn Anderson, who was out due to illness. Davis was 6-of-8 from the floor, 3-of-4 on 3-pointers and 3-of-3 at the free throw line.
“I think this just shows the mentality of our team,” said Davis. “It’s next man up. Everybody has to be ready to go on any given night. We have a great group of guys and the seniors did a really good job of getting us focused. We all came together tonight and we made it happen.”
Junior forward George Kiernan scored 14 points with a game-high seven rebounds, while senior guard Bryce Dulin tallied 12 points, six rebounds, four steals and two assists. Junior guard Ryan Pearson scored a season-high nine points, while senior guard Nourse Fox dished out a career-best seven assists.
Jehyve Floyd scored a team-high nine points for Holy Cross, while Jacob Grandison and Clayton Le Sann each chipped in with seven.
“I’m very proud of our kids and I’m very proud of our team,” said Navy head coach Ed DeChellis. “I thought the guys off the bench were outstanding. Cam did an unbelievable job stepping in for Shawn and he really scored the basketball for us. I thought our defense was very good for us tonight. We made them take perimeter jump shots, and when they didn’t make them, one thing led to another.”
Navy got off to a great start in the game, jumping out to a 10-2 lead at the first media timeout. Navy’s lead grew to 14-3 as the Crusaders missed their first seven field goal attempts of the game.
After a jumper by Grandison cut Navy’s margin to 16-9 at the 11:38 mark, the Mids reeled off a stifling 17-0 run over the next 8:54 to take 33-9 lead. Holy Cross went 0-of-8 from the floor and Navy forced five turnovers during the run.
Navy put together a unique 9-0 run during the spurt. Pearson hit a 3-pointer from the left wing coming off an in-bounds play that began with two seconds left on the shot clock and then Kiernan knocked in a 3-pointer off an in-bounds play that began with just five seconds left on the shot clock. On the third successive possession, Davis was fouled on a 3-point attempt and made all three of his foul shots.
Navy also closed the first half on a 7-0 run as freshman forward Tyler Riemersma made two free throws, sophomore center Evan Wieck scored after an offensive rebound after his own miss and then Dulin sunk a 3-pointer from the left corner with four seconds left in the period to put the Mids ahead 40-11.
The 11 points by Holy Cross in the first half was the third-lowest by a Navy opponent in a single half in program history and the Crusaders’ 15.8 shooting percentage (3-of-19) was the sixth-lowest by a Navy opponent in a half in program history.
Holy Cross was 0-of-11 on 3-pointers in the first half.
Navy would then outscore the hosts 29-23 in the second half and Holy Cross did not cut the margin to any closer than 24 points for the final 20 minutes.
For the game, Navy outshot Holy Cross 46 percent (23-of-50) to 28 percent (12-of-43). Navy outrebounded Holy Cross 39-23 and the Mids scored 16 points off of Holy Cross’ 13 turnovers.
The 35-point victory margin was the largest in the history of the 66-game series between the Midshipmen and the Crusaders. The 35-point margin was also the third-largest by Navy in a Patriot League road game in program history.
With five league games remaining, Navy sits in sole possession of fourth place in the Patriot League at 7-6.
Navy will next play at rival Army West Point (13-11, 6-7 PL) on Saturday at 1:30 PM on CBS Sports Network. Saturday’s contest is the 2018 Army-Navy Star Game.