Feb. 15, 2007
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- Tim Clifford scored a career-high 33 points and Navy shot just 25.0 percent from the field as Holy Cross ended Navy's two-game winning streak with a 68-40 victory on Thursday afternoon. The loss was Navy's second worst Patriot League home loss in school history and drops the Mids to 13-13 overall and 3-8 in Patriot League play. Holy Cross improved to 20-7 and 11-1.
"You can talk about our youth and exams and the change in gametime. You can list a million facts about this game, but we have never let them become excuses," said Navy head coach Billy Lange. "There is no excuse worth talking about. We just didn't do what we were supposed to do. I haven't been disappointed in a game yet this year, because I always felt we had positives in every game. There were no positives in this game. I am very disappointed with our energy and lack of effort today."
Holy Cross jumped out to a 9-0 lead and never looked back. The lead quickly expanded to 28-6 with 5:19 to play in the first half, before Navy trimmed the margin to 28-13, fueled by two Bryce Brigham three-pointers. However, Holy Cross closed the half with a 36-18 advantage.
The Crusaders' lead never got below 20 in the 14:30 of the contest and Holy Cross would take its biggest lead of the game with 58 seconds left at 68-37. A late three-pointer by Derek Young allowed Navy to avoid its worst Patriot League home loss ever.
Clifford's 33 points were the most for a Navy opponent since Brown's Earl Hunt scored 35 points on Jan. 5, 2002.
"We had the same gameplan that we played with up there," said Lange. Clifford had six points and four turnovers in the team's first meeting. "The game started and it looked like we didn't practice at all. He did whatever he wanted. I don't know if we were intimidated or not, but this was not the same basketball team that we had the last two games."
Navy, meanwhile, could find no rhythm on offense, converting on just 12-of-48 shots from the field. Navy was just 5-of-23 from inside the three-point arc. The 25.0 percent from the field tied for the fourth lowest percentage in school history and the 12 field goals made equaled the fewest in school history. Navy was forced into a season-high 24 turnovers and was outrebounded 40-29. Navy's bench scored 25 points to just 15 for the starters and T.J. Topercer
was Navy's top scorer with eight points.
"I don't want to discredit Holy Cross either," said Lange. "Their defense was outstanding. It's very hard to simulate their athleticism, size and strength. We knew how we wanted to attack it. We just didn't execute it."
The Mids host Army at Alumni Hall on Saturday in the annual Star Game at 1:00 pm in a game televised by CBS.
"It's a big game, but so was today's," said Lange. "Every game late in the year is big. You want to go into the Army game playing well. We obviously have a little bit of work to do for Saturday. I expect a much-better effort on Saturday."
# GO NAVY #