Navy Rally Falls Short to Albany, 69-62
Nov. 25, 2011
ALBANY, N.Y. -- Albany made 7-of-8 free throws in the final minute and 22 seconds and withstood a furious rally by the Navy men's basketball team to hand the Midshipmen a 69-62 setback on Friday afternoon.
The loss was Navy's fourth in a row and drops the Midshipmen to 2-4, while Albany improved to 3-3 overall.
After trailing 32-26 at halftime, the Great Danes outscored Navy 27-13 over the first 10 minutes of the second half to take a 59-39 advantage with 9:43 to play. Navy answered with a 19-3 run over seven-plus minutes to trim the margin to 62-58 with 2:01 to play on a J.J. Avila (So. / McAllen, Texas) lay-up.
"We were disappointed with the way we came out in the second half. We had it within striking distance and we didn't come out the way we needed to start the second half, said Navy head coach Ed DeChellis. "We have a resilient bunch and we won't quit. We asked them to get it within 10 with three minutes left. We have to take it one possession at a time and make the extra pass. We were very tentative on offense and then we finally woke up and started driving the basketball. When we did that, we got some wide-open looks."
Navy had a chance to cut into the lead even more after Albany center Blake Metcalf missed two free throws with 1:40 left, but the Mids weren't able to corral the rebound on the second miss and the Great Danes responded with two more free throws to push the margin back to six at 64-58 with 1:22 left.
"We had an opportunity to make a play down the stretch on a missed free throw and we didn't box out. Those are plays that cost you ball games," said DeChellis. "If we get that rebound and come down and score, the pressure is back on them to make a play on offense. Instead it gives them a little breathing room."
Navy would cut the lead to four twice more during the final minute, but Albany made its free throws down the stretch for the final seven-point margin, 69-62.
The two teams were tied at seven early on when the Great Danes went on a 7-0 spurt to take a 14-7 lead with 13:40 to play in the first half. Navy would crawl to within one on two different occasions, the last time being 16-15, but Albany would use a 11-0 run to grab a 27-15 lead with 5:33 to play. Still trailing by 12 (32-20), Donya Jackson (Fr. / Baltimore, Md.) would hit back-to-back three-pointers in the final minute to cut the halftime deficit to 32-26.
Navy still trailed 37-30 with 18:17 left when Albany went on a 10-0 run to take a 47-30 lead with 16:30 left to help set up Navy's rally which eventually would come up just short.
"Albany played well and made some shots. We just didn't get out on them enough," added DeChellis. "I was proud of the effort, but we just aren't making enough plays, which is very characteristic of a young team."
Navy shot 22-of-50 (.440) from the field, 6-of-17 (.353) from three-point range and 12-of-17 (.706) from the free throw line. The Mids were guilty of 16 turnovers and were outrebounded, 32-26. Albany shot 23-of-46 (.500) from the field, 10-of-24 (.417) from the three-point line and 12-of-16 (.750) from the free throw line. Albany was charged with 17 turnovers.
Jordan Sugars (Sr. / Winchester, Va.) scored 12 of his team-high 14 points in the second half and added two rebounds and one assist. Avila tallied 12 points, nine rebounds, three assists and two steals. Jackson came off the bench to play a career-high 21 minutes and score a career-high 12 points with two rebounds.
Gerardo Suaro led four Albany players in double figures with 21 points. Sixty-seven of Albany's 69 points came from four players and the Great Danes had zero bench points.
Navy returns home on Sunday night to face Mount St. Mary's at 7:00 pm at Alumni Hall. Tickets are available at the Alumni Hall box office one hour before tip-off.
# GO NAVY #