Navy Defeats Pitt in Veterans Classic, 71-62
Nov. 10, 2017
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - The Navy men's basketball team (1-0) earned a 71-62 win over visiting Pitt (0-1) in the fourth annual Veterans Classic in Alumni Hall on Friday evening. Senior guards Bryce Dulin and Shawn Anderson combined for 33 points and 17 rebounds to lead Navy to its first win over an ACC opponent since 1971.
Dulin scored a team-high 18 points and pulled down eight rebounds, and Anderson added 15 points, nine rebounds and five assists. Senior forward Tom Lacey tallied eight points and eight rebounds, while junior point guard Hasan Abdullah scored eight points with five assists.
In addition to Dulin, Anderson and Lacey's performances, Navy's other senior, point guard Nourse Fox, played a solid game in backing up Abdullah at the point guard position. Fox had four assists, two points and a steal in 14 minutes.
"Overall, our seniors did a nice job and came through tonight," said Navy head coach Ed DeChellis. "I'm very proud of our effort. We played hard, we executed, and we made free throws down the stretch. Defensively, we gave a good effort."
"Being a veteran team did help us," said Dulin. "It's huge for us, we have a lot of seniors and juniors. We know that teams make runs, but if we don't get rushed or get tight, we know we can face those runs."
The win was Navy's first against an ACC team since defeating Wake Forest, 72-62, on Dec. 30, 1971 at the Steel Bowl tournament in Pittsburgh's Mellon Arena.
"It's definitely huge to beat an ACC team," said Anderson. "Our new strength and conditioning coach (Brandon Spayd) has been on us all summer, in our workouts and in conditioning, so we were ready. A win like this shows we have the potential to be a very good team."
Although Pitt opened the game with a 6-0 lead on two 3-pointers by Jared Wilson-Frame, Navy stormed back with a 17-3 run to take an eight-point lead seven minutes into the game. Dulin sunk a 3-pointer and then made a fastbreak layup to key the run.
Pitt rallied to take a brief one-point lead at 20-19 midway through the first half, but the Mids regained control and took a 39-38 edge into halftime. Navy shot 50 percent from the field in the first half.
Abdullah made a pair of early 3-pointers as the Mids raced out to a 13-1 run over the first 10 minutes of the second period. Anderson made his lone 3-pointer of the evening, which was followed by long jumpers from junior forward Mo Lewis and freshman guard Cam Davis. That spurt led to Navy's biggest margin of the evening at 56-41. Navy's run coincided with a seven-minute scoring drought by Pitt.
Pitt clawed back to cut Navy's lead to five points at 58-53 with five minutes left before Dulin made the big plays in converting an and-1 and then swishing a 3-pointer to push the lead to 11. The Panthers would later rally right back on two straight 3-pointers by Wilson-Frame and Ryan Luther, but Anderson, Dulin and Lacey made late free throws to seal the game.
Navy's free throw shooting played a big role in the game as the Mids were 15-of-18 from the charity stripe (83.3 percent). Navy shot 43.6 percent overall (24-of-55) and 42.1 percent on 3-pointers (8-of-19).
Navy outrebounded Pitt, 39-30, and the Mids grabbed nine offensive rebounds.
Wilson-Frame scored a game-high 20 points for Pitt in his first Division I game, while Luther scored 14 and Marcus Carr added 12.
Navy takes a 14-8 lead in an all-time series with Pitt that dates back to 1932.
Navy will next play at No. 13/12 Miami on Sunday at 4:00 PM.
No. 25 Alabama beat Memphis, 82-70, in the opening game of the Veterans Classic on Friday night.