Long Island Runs Past Navy, 83-72
Nov. 21, 2009
Navy has been the home opener for three of its four opponents so far this year.
"I was encouraged by a lot of things we saw tonight," said Navy head coach Billy Lange. "We were playing without two regulars and I felt we could have won the game. LIU played very and there are still things we got to keep getting better at."
Navy was without the services of starting point guard O.J. Avworo, who suffered a cut on his hand that required 10 stitches after getting bit in Thursday's loss to Buffalo. Then, during pre-game warmups, T.J. Topercer suffered a pulled groin muscle and was unable to play on Saturday night.
Trailing 52-43 with 16:00 to play, Navy went on a 7-0 run to trim the margin to 52-50 with 14:19 to play. However, the Blackbirds countered with an 11-0 run that featured three three-pointers to bump the lead back to 63-50 with 12:12 to play.
Navy would keep battling, cutting the lead to five at 74-69 with 3:15 to play on a Romeo Garcia layup, but the Blackbirds countered with a 7-1 spurt to push the lead back to 11 and LIU was able to run out the clock and send Navy to its second loss in a row.
Long Island jumped out fast, taking leads of 13-4 and 20-10, before Navy rallied eventually tying the game at 34 on a pair of free throws by Garcia. Long Island would settle in for a 39-36 halftime lead.
Navy got solid contributions in the first half from reserve guards Ted Connolly and Montez Blair. Connolly had four assists in nine first-half minutes, while Blair, who hadn't played yet this year, scored four points in seven minutes.
Connolly and Blair finished with five assists and seven points in 13 minutes each, respectively.
"We needed those guys and it speaks to the culture of the team and our oneness that those guys could come in and contribute like that," said Lange. "It will only help us down the road with our confidence and will add some depth for us."
Navy shot just 21-of-59 (.356) from the field and was 6-of-19 (.316) from three-point range and 24-of-28 (,857) from the free throw line. Long Island went 26-of-62 (.419) from the field and was 9-of-32 (.281) from three-point range and 22-of-32 (.688) from the free throw line.
Both teams had 14 assists and 14 turnovers. Long Island won the battle of the glass, outrebounding the Mids, 46-34, while turning 18 offensive rebounds into 18 second-chance points. Navy had just nine offensive rebounds for six second-chance points.
Navy was paced by Chris Harris' 17 points, while connecting on all nine of his free throw attempts. Jordan Sugars added 14 points, while Mark Veazey had 12 points and seven rebounds. Romeo Garcia had a strong floor game with nine points, five rebounds and a career-high five assists, while Greg Brown, making his first career start, had career highs in points (9) and rebounds (6).
David Hicks led four Blackbirds in double figures with 18 points and 10 rebounds.
Navy will return home for a four-game homestand, beginning Tuesday night against regional rival, Towson, beginning at 7:00 pm. For ticket information, call 1-800-US4-NAVY.
# GO NAVY #