Navy Falls to Late Lehigh Run, 87-72
J.J. Avila scored 22 points, his fifth 20-point game of the season.
Feb. 9, 2011
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- The Lehigh men's basketball team went on a 15-1 run midway through the second half to pull away for an 87-72 victory over Navy in front of 2,021 fans at Alumni Hall on Wednesday night. The loss was Navy's second straight and drops the Mids to 8-17 overall (3-6 PL), while Lehigh improved to 13-11 overall (4-5 PL).
Navy was within one at 60-59 with 11:25 to play, when Lehigh used a 15-1 run over four minutes to grab a 75-60 advantage with 7:24 to play. Navy would get no closer than 12 the rest of the way in falling to the Mountain Hawks for the second time this season.
"We just dug ourselves too big of a hole in the first half, and when we were down one, I thought our decision-making in about a five-minute span really hurt us," said Navy head coach Billy Lange. "I am proud of the way we battled and how hard we fought tonight. I believe in these guys. We showed no quit tonight."
Navy trailed 47-36 at halftime and was still behind 55-44 early in the second half, when the Midshipmen started to chip away. Back-to-back threes by Isaiah Roberts (Fr. / Pennsauken, N.J.) and Brennan Wyatt (Fr. / Greensboro, N.C.) cut the Lehigh lead to 55-52. The Mountain Hawks would score five straight to bump the lead back to eight at 60-52, before a 7-0 run fueled by a Greg Brown (Sr. / Waldorf, Md.) trifecta cut the margin to 60-59, setting up Lehigh's back-breaking run.
"We made some good adjustments out of halftime in the second half, but the deficit was just too much to overcome," said Lange. "We stopped driving and getting into the paint and failed to put the pressure on them defensively. We just didn't make good decisions during that key stretch and by then, it was too late. We needed to put our foot down and keep attacking the basket."
Lehigh scored 11 fast-break points in the up-tempo contest, including six during its 15-1 run that gave the Mountain Hawks a 15-point advantage.
"I thought our defensive conversion was scattered. I had not seen that from us this year," said Lange. "Our conversion was not very good tonight."
Navy was also hurt on the glass, being outrebounded by the Mountain Hawks, 49-25. Navy grabbed just six offensive rebounds, while Lehigh had 13 en route to outscoring Navy in the paint, 34-24.
"When you don't shoot well, there are more rebounds to be had. I thought we did OK on the glass and that margin is a little bit deceiving," said Lange. "We are undersized and we fight hard for rebounds, but when you don't shoot a high percentage, it can be tough."
Navy shot 26-of-65 (.400) from the field, 11-of-35 (.314) from three-point range and just 9-of-15 (.600) from three-point range. Navy dished out 17 assists against just 12 turnovers, while grabbing 12 steals. Navy, which entered the game 14th nationally in turnover margin at +4.25, forced 20 Lehigh mistakes for a plus-eight margin.
Lehigh shot 30-of-61 (.492) from the field, 10-of-20 (.500) from three-point range and 17-of-19 (.895) from the free throw line. In two games against Navy this year, Lehigh went 34-of-38 (.895) from the free throw line.
J.J. Avila (Fr. / McAllen, Texas) continued his standout freshman season with 22 points, four rebounds, four steals, two assists and two blocks in a fine all-around effort. Avila now has scored 299 points this year, moving into fifth on the Navy freshman single-season scoring list and his four three-pointers give him 43 for the year, the third most by a freshman in school history.
O.J. Avworo (Sr. / Houston, Texas) tallied 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting and had six assists and three steals. Jordan Sugars (Jr. / Winchester, Va.) tallied 13 points with eight rebounds, four assists and three steals.
Michael Ojo scored 23 points with 11 rebounds for Lehigh, while C.J. McCollum had 20 points and nine rebounds.
Navy will host Lafayette on Saturday night at 7:00 pm in Alumni Hall. Tickets are available by calling 1-800-US4-NAVY, online at www.NavySports.com and at the Alumni Hall ticket window prior to the game.
* Navy now leads the all-time series with Lehigh, 44-19 ... Lehigh swept the season series for the first time since the 2005-06 season.
* Navy's 35 three-point attempts were the second most of the season and the seventh most in school history ... Navy's 11 three-pointers made give Navy 194 three-pointers this year, the sixth most in school history.
* Navy was outrebounded by 20 or more rebounds for the third straight game ... over the last three games, Navy has been outrebounded 143-78, an average of 21.7 rebounds per game.
* Navy forced 20 or more turnovers for the 14th time this year, but is just 5-9 in those games ... since the start of last year, Navy is 5-15 when forcing 20 or more turnovers ... Navy has just 71 turnovers in the last six games (11.8 tpg), while forcing 117 turnovers (19.5) ... Navy has a plus-7.7 turnover margin in that span.
* Navy lost its fifth straight game in the month of February, dating back to last year.
* Navy's freshmen class scored 35 points to push its season total to 672 points ... the 26.9 points per game average is the highest average in school history for a freshman class.
* Navy dropped to 7-5 this year when scoring 70 or more points.
* Jordan Sugars recorded his 19th double-figure scoring game this year and 44th of his career ... he also surpassed the 900-point mark (912 points) and the 450-rebound mark (451 rebounds) ... his four assists were a season high.
* J.J. Avila recorded his 14th double-figure scoring game and fifth 20-point game with his 22-point effort ... his 299 points moved him into fifth place on the Navy freshman scoring list ... he also moved into third on the Navy freshman three-pointers list (43) and is second on the Navy freshman steals list (45) ... his two free throws made tonight were his eighth and ninth in a row and he is now shooting 84.2 percent from the free throw line, the second-best percentage by a freshman in school history.
* O.J. Avworo scored 15 points, his seventh double-figure outing this year and 19th of his career ... his six assists give him 367 for his career.
* Isaiah Roberts scored eight points and moved into 24th on the Navy freshman scoring list with 156 points.
* Brennan Wyatt became the 47th Navy freshman to score 100 points in a season ... Wyatt scored three points to give him 102 for the season.
# GO NAVY #