Feb. 8, 2012
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- Holy Cross shot 62.5 percent in the second half and outscored the Navy men's basketball team, 40-28, in the second half to pull away for a 64-52 decision at Alumni Hall on Wednesday night.
The loss drops Navy to 3-20 overall and 0-9 in the Patriot League, while Holy Cross improved to 10-13 overall and 4-5 in the league standings.
The two teams were tied at 39 with 12:36 to play in the second half, when the Crusaders used a 10-2 run over four minutes to grab a 49-41 lead with 8:36 left.
Navy then tightened up on defense, holding Holy Cross scoreless for the next five minutes, but could only shave two points off the Crusaders' lead and Holy Cross would make 12-of-16 free throws in the final 3:49 of the contest for the final margin.
Navy was outscored 25-13 in the game's final 12:13 of the contest, going just 5-of-16 from the field during that span with four of its 11 turnovers.
"I thought we came out with good energy and played with a lot of intensity in the first half. We defended as well as we could defend in the first half," said Navy head coach Ed DeChellis. "The second half was a repeat theme. You can't allow teams to shoot 62 percent and expect to win. It's a process for us to understand that every possession is critical."
Navy fell behind 10-1 early in the contest as the Crusaders made three of their first five shots while the Mids missed their first six attempts from the field. Navy still trailed by eight, 20-12, with 4:59 to play, when the Mids used a 12-4 run over the last five minutes to tie the game at halftime at 24. The run was fueled by senior guard Jordan Sugars (Winchester, Va.), who scored 10 of his game-high 20 points during the spurt.
Navy would take its first lead since 1-0 on a three-pointer by Sugars with 15:57 left to give the Midshipmen a 34-31 advantage. It was short-lived, however, as Holy Cross' Devin Brown countered with a three-pointer at the other end and Navy would lead twice more by a narrow margin, the last time coming at 37-36, before Holy Cross' run allowed the Crusaders to pull away.
Navy shot 20-of-52 (.385) from the field, 5-of-23 (.217) from three-point range and 7-of-10 (.700) from the free throw line. The Mids recorded 14 assists against 11 turnovers and were outrebounded by a 31-29 margin.
"We aren't a good three-point shooting team and offensively, we are just struggling to find people to score. Jordan played as well as he has played all year. We just didn't have enough to go with him tonight. It's a struggle for us on offense," said DeChellis.
Holy Cross was 20-of-45 (.444) from the field, 7-of-18 (.389) from three-point range and 17-of-21 (.810) from the free throw line. The Crusaders also had 14 assists against 11 turnovers and blocked eight Navy shots on the evening. Holy Cross was 10-of-16 (.625) from the field in the second half.
Sugars led Navy with 20 points on 8-of-18 shooting with four rebounds and two steals. During the contest, he became the seventh player in school history with 1,200 points and 600 rebounds and he moved past Kylor Whitaker (1983-86) into 15th place on the school's career points list with 1,276 points.
"I thought Sugars played well tonight, but now we need him to play like that and bring that same energy on Saturday against Army. We need to find players to complement each other on the same night," said DeChellis.
Brandon Venturini (Fr. / Allendale, Mich.) followed with seven points and three assists. Isaiah Roberts (So. / Pennsauken, N.J.) had six points and Worth Smith (Fr. / Mooresville, N.C.) added five points, six rebounds, two assists and one block.
Justin Burrell led Holy Cross with 17 points, most of it coming from the free throw line down the stretch, going 8-of-10 from the charity stripe.
Navy will travel to Army on Saturday afternoon for a 2:30 pm tip-off on the CBS Sports Network. The contest will be the second game of a women's-men's doubleheader with the women battling the Black Knights at noon.
# GO NAVY #