Dec. 1, 2006
FARMVILLE, Va. -- The Navy men's basketball team survived a scare from a scrappy Longwood team, rallying from a seven-point deficit with three minutes to play and then scoring the first nine points in overtime to hold on for a 61-59 victory over the host Lancers. The Mids improve to 6-2 overall with the win, while Longwood drops to 3-5.
"We didn't play well at all, but we had a great attitude, jumping out in overtime," said Navy head coach Billy Lange. "Corey Johnson really took over the game in overtime and later in regulation, but that is what we expected out of him as a junior captain. We will learn a lot out of this game. We are getting respected a little bit and this is a great lesson for us, knowing that we will get team's best shot now."
The Mids struggled from the field in the first half, shooting just 6-of-26 (.231) from the field and 3-of-13 (.231) from the free throw line. Navy took an early 9-8 lead eight minutes into the game, but then went over seven minutes without a field as Longwood outscored the Mids, 10-2, over that stretch for an 18-11 lead. The Mids, however, responded with an 8-0 run themselves to take a 19-18 lead, before the Lancers' Clayton Morgan scored at the buzzer for a 20-19 Longwood halftime advantage.
The Mids also hurt themselves with eight turnovers in the first half, but stayed in the game thanks to Longwood's 10 first-half turnovers and its 1-of-8 (.125) from three-point range.
Navy then struggled again in the second half, falling behind 46-39 with 3:33 to play. However, Greg Sprink connected on a three and a layup, and then Corey Johnson scored to knot the game at 46 with just over a minute left. Johnson, who entered the game as a .571 percent free throw shooter, connected on four-of-four tries in the last two minutes and Navy withstood a last-second shot in regulation to send the game into overtime tied at 50.
Navy then took over early in the overtime session, scoring the first nine points, including an Adam Teague
three-pointer right off the bat. Navy still led by four with nine seconds left, but Clayton Morgan, who led all scorers with 21 points, scored with just under a second left to cut the final Navy margin to 61-59.
"We defended hard and got after it on defense," said Lange. "When the game was on the line, we made the plays we needed to and got out of here with a win."
Sprink led Navy with 16 points and nine rebounds, while Corey Johnson added 12 points and six rebounds. Johnson scored 11 of his points in the second half and overtime. Kaleo Kina added 11 points and three steals.
As a team, the Mids shot .351 (20-of-57) from the field, including 4-of-4 in overtime. Longwood outrebounded Navy, 45-37, and the Mids committed 16 turnovers.
Navy will host Howard on Monday as part of a women-men's doubleheader. The Navy women's team will host Georgetown at 5:00 pm, and the men will host Howard at 7:30 pm.
# GO NAVY #