Robert Morris Runs Past Navy
Nov. 14, 2007
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- Robert Morris used a 12-0 run over four-plus minutes in the second half to take control of a tight game in defeating Navy 93-77 in men's basketball action on Wednesday night. The game was Navy's second contest in the inaugural Philly Hoop Group Classic, and dropped Navy's record to 1-2 overall. Robert Morris, which is expected to contend for the Northeast Conference title, improved to 2-0.
"Robert Morris is a very good team and they played well. We played well in pockets, but in the pockets we didn't play well, they really took advantage," said Navy head coach Billy Lange. "We have got to get better and I am confident we will. We were just a step slow defensively and made some ill-advised decisions and didn't execute in some sets. We showed a lot of heart, but we need to tighten some things up."
Navy jumped out early to a 7-3 advantage just a minute-and-a-half into the game, but saw the Colonials responded with a 12-2 spurt over three-and-a-half minutes to take a lead it would never relinquish.
Robert Morris pushed the lead to 40-29 with 3:33 left, but Navy ended the half with an 8-2 run to trim the Colonial halftime lead to 42-37.
Navy still trailed 55-49 with 13:51 to play, when the Colonials went on its game-clinching 12-0 run over nearly five minutes to take a 67-49 advantage with 9:02 to play. During the run, Navy went 0-for-4 from the field and 0-for-2 from the free throw line with six turnovers.
"Our goal coming out of halftime was to get the lead or cut it to one or two points and then switch back to a zone," said Lange. "I think they struggled a bit with it in the first half and felt if we could get it close, that we could switch back and have the same success. We just didn't get close enough to use it again. We were slow on our defensive rotation tonight."
Robert Morris dominated the glass, outrebounding the Mids, 50-28, including 17 offensive rebounds that resulted in 27 Colonial second-chance points. Robert Morris shot 31-of-69 (.449) from the field, and were 23-of-26 (.885) from the free throw line. Navy, meanwhile, managed to shoot just 23-of-58 (.397), including just 7-of-27 (.259) from three-point land. Navy was 24-of-33 (.727) from the free throw line. Robert Morris did commit 22 turnovers.
In its last two games, Navy is 49-of-129 (.380) from the field, including 16-of-57 (.281) from beyond the arc.
"We obviously struggled from three-point land," said Lange. "This is how we play and when the shots aren't falling, we become still on offense. I thought we didn't move the ball very well on offense. When we are at our best, we aren't holding the ball and we are moving it around. This group is comfortable with whoever is in the lineup at a certain time and they have confidence in one another, even when the shots aren't falling. We are a good shooting team. They will start to fall again."
Greg Sprink (Sr. / Cardiff by the Sea, Calif.) led Navy with 19 points. He added four assists and three rebounds and moved into 15th place on the school's career scoring list with 1,192 points, passing Cliff Rees (1985-88). Derek Young (So. / Seat Pleasant, Md.) added a career-best 15 points, while Scott Brooks (So. / Raleigh, N.C.) chipped in with a career-high 12 points and five rebounds. Freshman Mark Veazey (Lilburn, Ga.) scored seven points with eight rebounds and two blocks.
A.J. Jackson led four Colonials in double figures with 22 points and 10 rebounds. Jeremy Chappell added 20 points, nine rebounds and five steals, while Tony Lee contributed 12 points, eight rebounds and eight assists.
Navy will return to the road to battle Texas-San Antonio on Saturday night at 8:00 pm (ET), at the cavernous AlamoDome. The AlamoDome is the site of the 2008 Final Four and NCAA rules mandate that at least one game is to be played in the facility prior to the Final Four. This is the lone regular-season college game to be played there this year.
# GO NAVY #