Nov. 17, 2007
SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- Texas-San Antonio ran out to an 11-point halftime lead, then held off every Navy challenge in the second half to defeat the Midshipmen, 77-67, in men's basketball action at the Alamodome on Saturday night. The loss drops Navy's record to 1-3 overall, while UTSA improved to 2-1 overall.
"I thought as the game went on that we developed a little bit of an identity. We played very hard today, and it was an extremely physical game. We got in some foul trouble early on and really had to go with a makeshift lineup," said Navy head coach Billy Lange. "They did a great job defending our perimeter game and forced us to play inside more. We were hurt by turnovers tonight, but I thought that we did a lot of things well."
UTSA surged to a 17-7 lead in the first seven minutes, forcing Navy to play the entire game from behind. The Roadrunners' lead stayed between five and 14 points for the rest of the first half, taking their biggest lead of the opening half at 28-14 with 6:07 to play. At that point, Navy was just 4-of-16 from the field with seven turnovers. The Mids finished the half making five of their last six shots to cut the halftime margin to 36-25.
In the second half, Navy trimmed the lead to 56-48 on a tip-in by freshman Mark Veazey (Lilburn, Ga.) with 8:25 to play, but the Roadrunners responded with a 10-2 run over the next three-plus minutes to take their biggest lead of the game at 64-48 with 4:46 to play. Navy could get no closer than nine in the last five minutes, falling 77-67.
"UTSA is a very athletic, unselfish and physical team, and we had a problem with turnovers and fouls," said Lange. "But I was encouraged that we competed as hard as we did with the foul trouble we were in and lineup we played with. This game will help us as me move on and we'll learn from it."
Navy committed 27 fouls and 27 turnovers, hurting its chances for the win. Navy's leading scorer, Greg Sprink (Sr. / Cardiff by the Sea, Calif.) was limited to just 21 minutes because of foul trouble. Point guard Chris Harris (So. / Mechanicsville, Va.) played just 13 minutes before fouling out and Kaleo Kina (Jr. / Phoenix, Ariz.) and Clif Colbert (Jr. / Grand Prairie, Texas) ended the game with four fouls each. In addition, key reserve Derek Young (So. / Seat Pleasant, Md.) played just two minutes after suffering a sprained ankle in practice on Thursday.
Colbert led Navy with 14 points and added four rebounds, one assist and two steals. Sprink tallied 13 points, while Kina chipped in with 10 points, six rebounds, four assists and three steals. Navy also got solid contributions off the bench from junior Brian Richards
(Stevensville, Md.), Veazey and fellow freshman Romeo Garcia
(Houston, Texas). The trio combined for 18 points and 12 rebounds on 8-of-14 shooting in 45 combined minutes.
Freshman Devin Gibson led UTSA with 19 points, seven assists and seven turnovers, while going 14-of-18 from the free throw line. Travis Gabbidon added 16 points and six rebounds.
As a team, Navy shot 25-of-53 (.472) from the field, including 5-of-12 (.417) from three-point range. Navy was 12-of-19 (.632) from the free throw line, and outrebounded UTSA, 35-33. The Roadrunners were 24-of-55 (.436) from the field and 23-of-32 (.719) from the charity stripe. UTSA committed 19 turnovers.
Navy will host Canisius on Tuesday night at 7:00 pm at Alumni Hall. For ticket information, call 1-800-US4-NAVY.
# GO NAVY #