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Harris Lifts Navy To Wild 65-62 Win Over Quinnipiac

Nov. 30, 2009

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- Chris Harris banked in a half-court shot at the buzzer to lift Navy to a wild 65-62 victory over Quinnipiac on Monday night at Alumni Hall. The win lifts Navy's record to 3-4 overall, while Quinnipiac drops to 3-2.

After Quinnipiac tied the game at 62 with 2.4 seconds left on a Justin Rutty free throw, T.J. Topercer threw a strike to Harris, who spun, took one dribble and launched a shot from just inside the half-court line that banked in cleanly off the glass and give the Mids the three-point victory.

The shot ended another outstanding effort by Harris, who earlier in the day was named Patriot League Player of the Week. Harris finished with 31 points on 8-of-15 from the field and 10-of-10 from the free throw line. He was 5-of-10 from beyond the three-point line.

"We are fortunate to be on the positive end of that game," said Navy head coach Billy Lange. "We have obviously been on the other end of that type of game, so it feels pretty good to be on the good end."

"We go through situations like that all the time in practice, and its something we work on every day," said Harris. "It might have been luck sent from above, but we executed it perfectly and we were fortunate enough that it went in.

"I had never won a game like that in either college or high school," added Harris. "It's a pretty good feeling."

Harris' shot ended a drought of 10-plus minutes from the field for the Midshipmen, which saw Quinnipiac tie the contest on two different occasions in the final two minutes after Navy had led by as many as 17 points.

The Mids led 43-26 just out of halftime and still led 54-41 with 10:30 to play on a Mark Veazey jumper.

However, the Mids went cold, missing their next nine shots, while the Bobcats attacked the offensive glass, eventually tying the game at 59 and 61.

"Quinnipiac really picked up the pressure, but I thought we got some really good looks. We just weren't making the shots we had," said Lange. "We executed pretty well, but we just got out of rhythm a bit, especially on the defensive end."

Using an interesting strategy, Quinnipiac opted to foul O.J. Avworo with 17 seconds left. The junior point guard made 1-of-2 free throw attempts to give Navy a 62-61 advantage. The Bobcats came down and missed their game-winning attempt, but Rutty grabbed the offensive rebound and was fouled. Rutty missed the first free throw, but made the second, setting up the wild finish.

Navy took control of the first half early, taking a double-digit lead at 18-8 on a Veazey dunk with 9:44 to play, and the lead would stay within six and 14 for the remainder of the half, before Navy took its largest lead of the half at the break, 38-24, on an Avworo three-point play.

Navy was 19-of-47 (.404) from the field, but went just 5-of-19 (.263) in the second half. The Mids were 6-of-17 (.353) from beyond the arc and went 21-of-25 (.840) from the free throw line. Navy was guilty of 12 turnovers and was outrebounded, 41-25.

Quinnipiac went 24-of-58 (.414) from the field, but was just 4-of-16 (.250) from beyond the arc and 10-of-18 (.556) from the free throw line. Quinnipiac had 13 turnovers.

Besides Harris' 31, Veazey had a season-high 18 points. Avworo had an outstanding game with eight points, six rebounds, five assists and no turnovers in 36 minutes of action.

Navy will conclude its four-game homestand with a nationally-televised matchup against Penn on Friday night, beginning at 7:00 pm. The game will be broadcast by CBS College Sports. Tickets are available by calling 1-800-US4-NAVY or at the Alumni Hall ticket window prior to the game.




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