Nov. 23, 2007
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. -- Navy jumped out to a 16-point first half lead, but Seton Hall rallied in the second half to defeat the Mids, 79-75, in the Philly Hoop Group Classic on Friday night. The loss drops Navy to 2-4 overall, while Seton Hall improved to 4-0.
Navy led for the majority of the game, but Seton Hall 10-0 run over 2:42 of the second half to take a 65-58 lead with 8:16 to play. However, Seton Hall big man John Garcia, who grabbed 19 rebounds, picked up his fourth foul with 7:24 to play, and Navy took advantage. The Mids reponded with a 13-4 run to cut the lead to 69-68 on a Kaleo Kina (Phoenix, Ariz.) jumper. The Mids then had four shots to take the lead with under four minutes to play and couldn't convert. The Mids also hurt themselves with a pair of turnovers around the two-minute mark that hurt their chances.
Seton Hall would go on a quick 8-1 run over 1:20 to essentially put the game away at 77-69. However, Chris Harris (Mechanicsville, Va.) and Adam Teague (Hickory, N.C.) connected on a pair of three-pointers to cut the margin to 78-75 with six seconds to play. Larry Davis then made the second of two free throw attempts for the final margin.
"It's a game we could have won, but we have got to get better at the end," said Navy head coach Billy Lange. "We were playing not to lose, instead of to win. Our upperclassmen have got to step up in that situation. We have to get better in certain areas and have to have the belief that we can win and beat these good teams. We will get better at it, we just need to learn how to win."
The Mids started strong both offensively and defensively in the first half, jumping out to a double-digit lead 10 minutes into the contest, before Seton Hall finished the half on an 18-6 run to cut the margin to 43-39 at halftime.
"I think it was a bit of an aberration," said Lange. "We shot the ball great in the first half and capitalized on their pressure to get some open looks. They tightened it up as the half went on and things got a little tougher for us."
Lange credits the middle part of the second half as the difference in the game.
"From about the 14-minute mark to the six-minute mark, we tried to do too much one-on-one." said Lange. "That is not our game. Our game is working the ball around and getting open looks. That is where the majority of our turnovers were and they took advantage."
The Mids were led by Greg Sprink (Cardiff-by-the-Sea, Calif.) with 23 points, five rebounds, four steals and three assists. However, Sprink struggled for the second straight game from the field, connecting on just 7-of-21 field goal attempts. During the last two games, Sprink is 12-of-42 (.286) from the field. Teague came off the bench to score 18 points (6-of-10 from three) and Harris added 11 points and a career-high six assists. Brian Richards (Stevensville, Md.) led Navy with nine rebounds.
Brian Laing led the Pirates with 27 points, while Paul Gause added 13 points and Eugene Harvey scored 11. Harvey entered the game averaging 23.3 ppg, but was held to 11 points and forced into seven turnovers.
As a team, Navy shot 37.9 percent (25-of-66) from the field and 35.1 percent (13-of-37) from three-point range. Seton Hall shot 40.6 percent (26-of-64) from the field and 17.4 percent (4-of-23) from beyond the arc. Seton Hall went 23-of-40 from the free throw line, while Navy was 12-of-19.
The Pirates outrebounded Navy, 50-40, and Navy committed 22 turnovers to Seton Hall's 19.
Navy will battle the loser of Penn / Virginia on Saturday night at The Palestra. Action gets underway at 7:00 pm, and the game will be televised by CN8.
# GO NAVY #