Navy Blows Past Towson, 73-59
Nov. 29, 2007
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- Kaleo Kina and Adam Teague combined for 29 points, 16 rebounds and 11 assists and Navy never trailed in a 73-59 victory over regional rival Towson on Thursday night at Alumni Hall. The Mids snapped a three-game losing streak and improved to 3-6 overall, while Towson dropped to 3-3 overall. Navy shot a season-best 50.9 percent from the field and dominated the glass, 39-31.
"I'm really proud of the way we bounced back after three tough losses. I thought we showed a lot of maturity, and it was a big step in the right direction," said Navy head coach Billy Lange. "We still have lots of room for improvement, but this was a nice win over a very good team. I really liked the way we did it tonight with our defense, rebounding and sharing the ball."
Navy jumped out to a 19-10 advantage with 8:41 to play on a dunk by freshman Mark Veazey (Lilburn, Ga.). Towson went on 12-3 run over the next four minutes to tie the contest at 22, but the Mids regrouped and held a 34-29 cushion at the halftime break.
The lead stayed within two and seven for the first seven minutes of the second half, before the Mids used a 16-4 run over five minutes to take a 16-point lead at 61-45 with 8:15 to play. Towson cut the margin to 11 at 61-50 and had a shot to trim the lead to single-digits, but Rocky Coleman misfired and Teague connected on a three-point bomb on the other end to push the lead back to 14 at 64-50 with 5:41 to play. Navy's lead didn't dip below 14 for the rest of the game and Navy breezed home with a 73-59 decision.
The Mids shined at the defensive end, holding the Tigers to a season-low 34.5 percent shooting performance and just seven second-chance points. Junior Hairston entered the game with a 12.6 rpg average, and even though the Towson junior had 13 rebounds, just two came on the offensive end.
"We emphasized keeping the ball out of the paint, because they have such great penetrators and offensive rebounders," said Lange. "Hairston is a fantastic rebounder and to hold him to two offensive boards shows a solid effort defensively. We knew we would have to rebound because they take great care of the ball, and we responded tonight."
Navy, meanwhile, clicked on offense. Navy made 10 of its first 14 shots in the second half and finished the final 20 minutes shooting 14-of-24 (58.3 percent) from the field. The Mids had several wide-open looks after breaking down the Towson defense with penetration. Kina and Teague, who both came off the bench, were the beneficiaries, combining to shoot 11-of-21 from the field and 6-of-11 from three-point range. Kina and Teague's effort was part of a Navy bench that outscored Towson's bench, 41-11.
"They are both learning what it takes to be successful as upperclassmen," said Lange. "I thought it was our best offensive rhythm in a game since at least the Longwood game, and maybe all year.
"Kaleo was more poised tonight and he is still learning what it takes," said Lange. "We know Teague is a strong shooter, but he is starting to do the other things that it takes to be a good player, such as rebounding and playing defense."
Over the last four games, Teague is averaging 13.2 ppg and 5.5 rpg, while shooting 18-of-34 from the field, including 15-of-29 from three-point range.
The Mids were credited with 22 assists, a new high under head coach Billy Lange, on its 28 made baskets and were guilty of 19 turnovers. Towson was credited with 12 turnovers. The Tigers entered the game averaging just 11.0 turnovers per game.
Besides Kina's 17 and Teague's 12, freshman Romeo Garcia (Houston, Texas) scored a career-best nine points on 3-of-4 shooting. Brian Richards (Stevensville, Md.) added eight points with five rebounds and Chris Harris (Mechanicsville, Va.) dished out five assists, while Veazey tallied three blocks. Navy had seven players score at least five points and 11 players found their way into the scoring column.
Navy's leading scorer, Greg Sprink (Cardiff by the Sea, Calif.), who entered the game averaging 19.1 points per game, scored just four points on 1-of-4 shooting.
"Towson did a great job on Sprink tonight. The fact that we were competitive when he took just four shots and is not shooting the ball well is a credit to this team," said Lange. "Greg will be fine. He is a good player and he will bounce back."
Tony Durant led Towson with 13 points, while C.C. Williams and Hairston contributed 12 and 10 points, respectively.
Navy will look for its second win in a row on Monday night as Mount St. Mary's comes to Alumni Hall for a 7:00 pm tip-off. It will be Navy's final game before breaking for two weeks for exams. For ticket information, call 1-800-US4-NAVY.
# GO NAVY #