Siena Uses Runs in Each Half to Deal Navy First Setback
J.J. Avila scored 19 points with seven rebounds and three assists in the loss to Siena.
Nov. 16, 2011
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- Siena used two big runs in each half, then held off a late Navy charge to hand the Midshipmen their first loss of the 2011-12 season, 65-56, in front of 5,896 fans at the Times Union Center on Wednesday night.
The loss dropped Navy to 2-1 overall, while Siena was playing in its season opener and improved to 1-0.
Navy held an early 17-11 lead, but the Saints went on a 12-0 run to grab a 23-17 advantage with 7:09 left in the first half before settling in for a 30-25 halftime advantage.
The Saints then came out of the halftime break by scoring the half's first seven points as part of a 13-2 spurt over the first four minutes to take their largest lead of the game at 43-27 with 15:52 to play. Navy would get no closer than four points the rest of the night.
"We are just trying to figure out who we are. We are one of the youngest teams in America and we are trying to get our guys to do what we need to do," said Navy head coach Ed DeChellis. "We didn't do anything special tonight. I thought we fought and gave ourselves a chance down the stretch. We just try to stress to the guys to keep making basketball plays and give us a shot to win at the end.
"I have to give credit to Siena tonight. They have battled some injuries and they played well and made the plays when they had to," said DeChellis.
After Siena had grabbed its largest lead of the game at 43-27 early in the second half, Navy began to battle back, using a quick 7-0 run to trim the margin to 43-34 with 13:27 left. Siena pushed the lead back to 12 at 52-40 with 7:25 to play, but Navy responded with a 16-8 stretch capped off by a Jordan Brickman (Jr. / San Antonio, Texas) three-pointer with 48 seconds left to cut the lead to 60-56.
After the Saints made two free throws to push the margin back to six, the Saints slapped on a full-court press and Navy turned the ball over at halfcourt on consecutive possessions to end the game and Siena would make five-of-six free throws in the final minute for the final 65-56 margin.
Siena led 11-10 with 13:11 to play in the first half, when Navy used its own 7-0 spurt to grab its largest lead of the game at 17-11 with 10:58 to play. But the Midshipmen would score just eight points in the final 11 minutes of the first half and first three minutes of the second half as Siena outscored the Mids in the 14-minute stretch, 28-8, to turn a six-point deficit into a 14-point advantage.
Navy shot a season-low 42.6 percent (23-of-54) from the floor and was just 5-of-22 (.227) from the three-point line and 5-of-9 (.556) from the free throw line. The Mids committed 15 turnovers and were outrebounded by a 32-30 margin.
Siena shot 23-of-47 (.489) from the field but was just 2-of-10 (.200) from three-point range. The Saints outscored Navy by 12 at the free throw line, making 17-of-27 (.630) free throw attempts. Siena was guilty of 12 turnovers.
J.J. Avila (So. / McAllen, Texas) recorded his third straight double-figure scoring game with a 19-point, seven-rebound, three-assist effort. Avila was 9-of-15 from the field and is shooting 20-of-29 (.690) from the field in the first three games of the season. Worth Smith, a freshman from Charlotte, N.C., added a career-high 10 points with six rebounds and two assists in 27 minutes of action.
Jordan Sugars (Sr. / Winchester, Va.) became the ninth player in school history to score 1,000 points and grab 500 rebounds. He totaled eight points and nine rebounds, thus giving him career totals of 1,051 points and 508 rebounds.
Kyle Downey led Siena with 19 points and five rebounds and Brandon Walters added 12 points and seven rebounds.
Navy will travel to Hamden, Conn., on Saturday to face Quinnipiac at 2:00 pm. There will be no Navy radio and live stats or video is not available. Fans will be able to get updates on Navy Athletics' official Twitter page at Twitter.com/NavyAthletics(.)
# GO NAVY #