Feb. 12, 2014
LEWISBURG, Pa. -
The Navy men's basketball team (8-16, 3-10) suffered a 78-57 loss to Bucknell (11-13, 6-7 PL) at Sojka Pavilion on Wednesday evening. The two teams will split the season series as Navy defeated Bucknell in Annapolis, 62-61, on January 15.
"I didn't think we had the energy we needed tonight," head coach Ed DeChellis said. "Our execution was very poor on the offensive end. We turned the ball over way too many times and we gave up too many layups. In the second half we shot the ball better but we could never get over the hump and really challenge them."
Navy shot 44 percent (22-of-50), which was just behind Bucknell's 46 percent (30-of-65), but the Mids were hurt by the turnovers and Bucknell's success on its offensive glass. Bucknell took advantage of 16 offensive rebounds by scoring 24 second-chance points and the Bison scored 21 points off of Navy's 18 turnovers. The 18 turnovers were the second-most by Navy this season.
Navy outscored Bucknell, 36-34, in the second half, but could never make up the early deficit.
Junior forward Worth Smith scored four points in the opening minutes and a three pointer by junior guard Brandon Venturini gave Navy a 9-8 lead five minutes into the game. Bucknell then reeled off a 15-3 run.
A three pointer by freshman guard Michael Brown cut the deficit to 11, but Bucknell then closed out the first half on a backbreaking 13-1 run over the final four minutes to lead by 23 at halftime.
Navy showed some fight to open the second half, scoring the first six points while going on a 9-3 run. Sophomore center Will Kelly scored twice and Smith once on the inside and Venturini drilled a three pointer to cut the lead to 17. However, Bucknell responded right back with a 7-0 run of its own.
After Bucknell pulled ahead 58-30, Navy went on an 11-0 run to cut the deficit to 17. Smith scored on a layup, followed by a trio of three pointers by Venturini, freshman guard Zach Fong
and then Venturini again.
However, Bucknell answered with a 13-2 run to once again go up by 28 at 71-43 with 6:43 left, matching its largest lead of the game.
Navy made a late push when Venturini hit his fifth three pointer of the night and then freshman guard Tim Abruzzo drilled a three pointer and then scored three more on an and-one opportunity. Senior Thurgood Wynn's trey with 30 seconds left cut the final deficit to 21 with a 78-57 final.
Venturini led Navy with 15 points on 5-of-8 shooting from beyond the arc. Venturini also had six rebounds, three assists and two steals. Smith scored 10 points and had four rebounds and two steals.
Kelly had eight points, six blocked shots, four rebounds and two assists. The six blocks were a career-high and marked the first time a Navy player blocked six shots since 2000 when Sitapha Savane had seven against Holy Cross.
Abruzzo had nine points off the bench while Fong scored six on a pair of three pointers.
Chris Hass paced four Bucknell players in double figures with 15 points. Forward Dom Hoffman had 14 points and eight rebounds and fellow big man Brian Fitzpatrick had 14 points and seven rebounds. All of Hoffman's points came in the first half.
For the second time this season, Bucknell point guard Steven Kaspar had 10 assists against Navy. Kaspar also tallied nine rebounds, four steals and three points.
Navy will next host Colgate on Saturday at 7:00 PM.