Mids Hold off Loyola to Complete Season Sweep
Feb. 8, 2017
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- Four players scored in double figures as the Navy men's basketball team (14-11, 9-4 PL) held off a late rally by Loyola (13-11, 7-6 PL) to earn a 62-59 win at Alumni Hall on Wednesday and complete a season sweep of the Greyhounds.
"I'm proud of our kids," said Navy head coach Ed DeChellis. "We got a win. We got nine (league wins) now and we had nine all of last year and we still have five to play. I like our team and I'm excited about them. They have a good fiber to them and a toughness to them."
Loyola's Jarred Jones scored a game-high 20 points, while Cam Gregory tallied 15 and Andre Walker recorded 12 points, five assists and four rebounds.
Navy's defense limited Loyola to just 16 made field goals and 38 percent shooting from the floor and 20 percent shooting on 3-pointers. The Greyhounds received a boost offensively at the free throw line, making 24-of-28 foul shots.
Navy shot 45 percent in the game and held a 35-24 edge in rebounding. Navy scored 20 second-chance points off of its 15 offensive rebounds.
Navy led by as many as 17 points in the second half, but went without a field goal for 8:12 in the second half, while Loyola took advantage with a 23-6 run. Loyola missed three game-tying 3-pointers in the final 11 seconds as Navy held on for the win.
"Defensively we played pretty well," said DeChellis. "We only gave up 59 points and they shot 28 free throws. We held them to 38 percent from the floor and 20 percent from three. The 17-point lead came off our defense. We got some hands on some balls and got some steals and that lead to some easier baskets."
Alade scored six early points for the Mids and a steal and fastbreak dunk by Dulin helped key an 8-2 run. Abruzzo would hit 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions as Navy took a 29-21 lead into halftime.
On Navy's first possession of the second half, Dulin and Shawn Anderson each kept possession alive with offensive rebounds and Tom Lacey took advantage of the 1:38-long possession with a three-point play.
Navy would late use an 8-1 run on a face-up jumper by George Kiernan, a Dulin putback and then a Nourse Fox steal and breakaway layup for its largest lead of the game at 47-30 with 12 minutes to play.
However, Navy went cold from the field and Loyola began to chip away at the lead with its 23-6 run. The Greyhounds whittled the margin down to just four points at 57-53 with 2:31 left after a 3-pointer by Walker.
Abdullah finally snapped Navy's field goal drought with a short jumper to put the Mids ahead by six, but Loyola scored on a free throw and then Walker converted a three-point play to get within 59-57 with 38 seconds left. Dulin then made two clutch free throws before Navy sent Walker to the line where he would match with two of his own.
Loyola then sent Abdullah to the line with 21 seconds left and the point guard made one of two to put Navy ahead 62-59. Walker missed a game-tying 3-pointer with 11 seconds left and Navy controlled the ball on the ground, but was whistled for touching the endline. Loyola got the ball back down three and Walker missed another 3-pointer that was corralled by teammate Chuck Champion. Champion threw up another game-tying 3-point attempt at the buzzer, but the ball bounced off the rim for a Navy win.
With five conference games to play, Navy has already equaled last season's league win total (9-9).
Navy remains tied for second place in the Patriot League standings with Boston U. after winning for the ninth time in its last 10 games.
Navy earned its first sweep of the season against Loyola on Wednesday and the Mids will have the opportunity to complete sweeps against its next four opponents (Lafayette, Lehigh, Army and American).
"This was our first sweep of the season and that's tough to do," said Dulin. "It's hard to beat a team twice when they know your tendencies and what you are going to do."
Navy will next host Lafayette (7-17, 3-10 PL) on Saturday at 7:00 PM.