Feb. 9, 2013
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- Lafayette outscored Navy, 35-12, over the last 16 minutes of the first half to overcome an early Navy lead and were never seriously threatened in the second half to hand the Midshipmen a 70-47 setback in front of a season-high crowd of 3,212 on Saturday night at Alumni Hall.
The loss drops Navy to 7-17 overall and 1-7 in Patriot League, while Lafayette improved to 12-13 overall and 5-3 in league play.
"Lafayette was just better than us tonight in every facet of the game," said Navy head coach Ed DeChellis. "I thought we started very well and then we went to the bench, and the bench didn't play very well, and we lost some momentum. It's been very frustrating. We're a young team, but it's too late in the season for that anymore."
Navy jumped out to an 8-0 lead by making its first four shots of the game, but went just 5-of-20 (.250) the rest of the way as Lafayette outscored the Mids, 35-12, the remainder of the way. Lafayette went 7-of-9 from three-point range in the first half and shot 54.5 percent from the field to take its halftime lead.
"You have to hope they miss. They are a very good offensive team. They have come together very well this year and they make shots," said DeChellis. "They make you pay when you leave them open and tonight they made their shots. It was a frustrating defensive night.
"Our frustration is that we just can't buy in defensively. We don't have the grit we need to have. We knew we weren't going to be a high-scoring team, but defensively, we need to hold people in the 50s, and we haven't been able to do it. We haven't grasped the scouting report and what the tendencies are of the other team," continued DeChellis.
The Leopards cooled off from behind the arc in the second half, but still managed to shoot 12-of-24 in the second stanza and led by as many as 25 to cruise to the 23-point victory. Navy was not able to get closer than 20 during the last 17 minutes of the contest.
"We just need to break the ice and get better. We have been in mud. We are a bit fatigued and this is exam week coming up, but we just need to keep grinding and be ready to go this week. We are trying to get better, but I don't see us getting better defensively right now. We just aren't gaining any ground and nothing is really working right now," said DeChellis.
For the contest, Navy shot just 19-of-51 (.373) from the field, 3-of-14 (.214) from three-point range and went just 6-of-12 (.500) from the free throw line. Navy had 13 assists against 11 turnovers but was outrebounded, 35-24.
Lafayette, meanwhile, shot 24-of-46 (.522) from the field, 8-of-16 (.500) from long distance and 14-of-17 (.824) from the free throw line. The Leopards had 14 turnovers.
Worth Smith (So. / Mooresville, N.C.) led Navy with 13 points, a career-high five steals and four rebounds. Tilman Dunbar (Fr. / Woodbridge, Va.) added eight points, five assists and two steals. Will Kelly (Fr. / Mount Laurel, N.J.), Brandon Venturini (So. / Allendale, Mich.) and Jerome Alexander (Fr. / Radford, Va.) added six points each.
Navy hits the road for a Tuesday night contest at Holy Cross in snowy Worcester, Mass., beginning at 7:00 PM in the Hart Center.
# GO NAVY #