Nov. 27, 2007
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Howard closed the game on a 14-4 run over the last 1:27 of the game to deal the Mids their third straight loss, 75-65, on Tuesday night. The loss drops Navy's record to 2-6 overall, heading into Thursday's battle with Towson at Alumni Hall.
"We have played three games in a row that followed the exact same scenario," said Navy head coach Billy Lange, referring to losses to Seton Hall, Penn and now Howard. "We just have to learn how to win and get through this. We made three huge technical mistakes down the stretch that really hurt us. We are giving the effort, just not making the plays in the end."
Navy was playing from behind essentially for the majority of the game. Howard jumped out to an 11-7 lead, before Adam Teague (Hickory, N.C.) fueled a 10-2 Navy run to grab a 17-13 advantage with 10:44 to play. However, Howard answered with an 11-2 spurt to grab a 24-19 lead with 5:32 to play in the first half.
With leading scorer Greg Sprink (Cardiff by the Sea, Calif.) on the bench with two fouls, Navy ended the first 20 minutes with a 12-6 run to take a 31-30 halftime advantage.
However, Howard again started strong in the second half, using a 17-6 run to take its largest lead of the game at 47-37 with 12:16 to play.
But Navy didn't fold and embarked on a methodical 22-12 run to tie the game at 59-59 with 3:01 to play on a three-pointer by Teague.
But Howard ended the game of runs with a 16-6 spurt of its own for the victory. The Bison withstood one final Navy charge after grabbing a 68-62 advantage. Teague hit his fourth three-pointer of the game to trim the margin to 68-65. Freshman Mark Veazey (Lilburn, Ga.) then stole the ensuing inbounds pass and dished to Kaleo Kina (Phoenix, Ariz.), whose three-point attempt rimmed in and out. Jeron Smith grabbed the rebound and went coast-to-coast for a traditional three-point play to put the game out of reach. Kandi Mukole then hit four free throws in the last 20 seconds to preserve the 75-65 victory.
"We got in some foul trouble early in the second half, and that caused us to lose some of our aggressiveness, which caused our bad start in the second half," said Lange. "Winning and losing becomes such a fine line down the stretch and it all goes back to the first five minutes of the second half. We just haven't come out with the commitment and focus needed during the first part of the second half."
Sprink led the Mids with 18 points, including 16 in the second half. Teague came off the bench to score 16 points with five rebounds and four steals. The Mids shot an icy 34.4 percent from the field, including just 27.8 percent in the second half. The Mids were guilty of 11 turnovers.
Howard placed five players in double figures, and shot 49.1 percent from the field. The Bison outrebounded Navy, 46-30, but were guilty of 20 turnovers.
Navy hosts Towson on Thursday night at Alumni Hall. For ticket information, call 1-800-US4-NAVY.
# GO NAVY #