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Men's Basketball Falls at Colgate in Patriot League First Round

Brandon Venturini

March 3, 2014

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HAMILTON, N.Y. - Despite a game-high 26 points from junior guard Brandon Venturini, #10 Navy lost at #7 Colgate, 57-51, in the Patriot League Tournament's First Round on Monday evening at Cotterell Court. Navy ends its season at 9-21, while Colgate (13-17) advances to Wednesday's Patriot League Quarterfinal game at #2 American.

With 13 seconds remaining, Navy was within two points at 53-51, but couldn't get any closer and Colgate made four free throws to hold on for the 57-51 win.

"The kids fought and played hard and gave ourselves a chance here tonight and I'm proud of the kids," head coach Ed DeChellis said. "We just couldn't make baskets when we needed to. We shot the ball very, very poorly tonight. I thought we were pretty good defensively. Our goal was to keep Colgate at 60 and we thought if we did that we'd have a chance to win."

With five minutes to go in the second half, Colgate got a big and-one play from Damon Sherman-Newsome to take a 10-point advantage at 46-36. When Venturini finally answered with a 3-pointer it snapped a 3:22 drought by Navy. Navy started to get some defensive stops but then fouled at the end of the shot clock and Austin Tillotson hit a pair of free throws.

Venturini then hit a jumper on the other end and that was followed by a steal by junior forward Worth Smith and a fast-break layup by Venturini to cut the deficit to five with under two minutes to play.

Navy then did well again to get Colgate down to the final ticks of the shot clock, but unwisely fouled at the end and Ethan Jacobs made one of two. Navy missed on the other end and Colgate made two more free throws to extend the lead to eight.

Navy then got a third-chance 3-pointer by freshman Zach Fong before Sherman-Newsome split a pair of free throws. Venturini was then fouled driving to the rim and made his first free throw and Navy recovered the miss off his second. Colgate then instantly fouled Will Kelly on the inbounds and the center calmly made both to cut the margin to three.

Navy had to continue to foul and Matt McMullen made one of two with 21 seconds left and that allowed Venturini's jumper with 13 seconds left to cut the margin to two at 53-51. Navy fouled Sherman-Newsome again, who made two huge free throws to go up four with eight seconds left.

Venturini missed a 3-pointer and then Navy fouled once more with one tick left on the clock and Tillotson's last two free throws set the final score at 57-51.

"I thought in the last 10 minutes we played pretty hard and executed but we just couldn't make the big shot and had some silly turnovers in that stretch," said DeChellis. "And that's been our demise."

Venturini's 26 points came on 11-of-21 shooting from the floor. He also had five rebounds, three steals and two assists. Smith finished with 10 points and nine rebounds before fouling out in the final minute.

"I thought Brandon played really, really well tonight and I thought Worth Smith did a good job for us but we just couldn't get anyone else going," said DeChellis.

Venturini got Navy going early by getting a steal and turning it into a fast-break layup for the first points of the game. Venturini then put Navy up 4-2 by driving into the lane late in the shot clock. Junior guard Earl McLaurlin created a turnover by taking an offensive charge and then his 3-pointer put Navy ahead, 7-2 at the first media timeout.

Colgate went on a 9-3 run to pull ahead at 14-10, but the Mids responded with a 7-0 run of their own. Venturini hit a long 2-point jumper and then Fong buried a 3-pointer. Smith's fast-break layup gave Navy a 17-14 lead.

Colgate went on a 6-0 run to retake the lead at 20-17, prompted DeChellis to call a 30-second timeout. The Mids fought back as Smith scored four straight points to put Navy ahead, 21-20. However, Colgate then ended the half on a 7-0 run and got a layup by Luke Roh right at the halftime buzzer to take a 27-21 lead into the locker room.

Senior Thurgood Wynn got the game's first points in the second half, but after a 3-pointer by Venturini, Colgate went on a 10-0 run to take a 13-point lead at 39-36. Colgate got its first six points during the run in a quick 1:15 of action.

Sherman-Newsome was 7-of-8 from the free throw line and scored a team-high 16 points. Jacobs had 10 points and nine rebounds and Roh also scored 10.

Colgate made 15-of-19 free throws in the second half and shot 80.0 percent in the game at 16-of-20.

Kelly had four points, seven rebounds and five blocks.

Navy shot just 35.1 percent in the game (20-of-57) and was 22.2 percent on 3-pointers (6-of-27).



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