Dec. 3, 2007
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- Navy held Mount St. Mary's to shoot just 27.9 percent from the field, but Navy's offense struggled just as much in a 62-58 loss at Alumni Hall on Monday night. The loss drops Navy's record to 3-7 overall, heading into final exams and a two-week break.
The Mids shot just 32.7 percent (18-of-55) from the field, including an icy 18.2 percent (4-of-22) from beyond the arc. Navy was outrebounded, 51-37, by The Mount.
Navy fell behind 13-0 just five minutes into the game and never led in the contest.
"Obviously, we didn't get off to a good start and that was the story of the game. It's tough to fall behind 13-0 and come back to win," said Navy head coach Billy Lange. "We have a lot of growing up to do and have to become more mature. We just had no focus and energy from the beginning. The game was lost in the first five minutes.
"I give our guys credit for not quitting, but our lack of focus was evident from the start," continued Lange. "We have to appreciate the opportunity to play the game of basketball. We didn't get it done tonight, and we have to be ready to play every night."
Navy would twice cut the lead to one in the first half, the last time coming at 30-29, before The Mount took a 32-29 halftime lead.
The story was much of the same in the second half. Mount St. Mary's would surge to its largest lead of the half at 55-46 with 4:06 to play, but Navy wouldn't fold. Navy cut the margin to 55-51 with 2:38 to play on a Chris Harris three-pointer (Mechanicsville, Va.), and then to three points at 61-58 with 17 seconds left.
But Jeremy Goode made one of two free throws with 17 seconds left to bump the lead to four and Mount St. Mary's ran out the clock for the four-point decision, 62-58.
Mount St. Mary's won the contest, despite making just 4-of-26 shots (.154) in the second half. The Mount's last field goal came with 7:19 to play. Its last 13 points came from the free throw line and 20 of its 30 second-half points came from the charity stripe. Mount St. Mary's shot just 27.9 percent (17-of-61) from the field for the contest.
"It's disappointing that we wasted a great defensive effort with such poor offense," said Lange. "I don't think I have ever seen a boxscore like this one.
"We just aren't good enough to turn it on and off, and we don't know the importance of carrying over strong performances," added Lange, in reference to Navy's win over Towson last Thursday. "We took a step back in our progress tonight. This is a hard one to swallow. Hopefully, it will serve as a wake-up call."
Kaleo Kina (Phoenix, Ariz.) came off the bench to spark the Mids with 16 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two steals. He scored Navy's first seven points (all in a row) after falling behind 13-0.
"Not many teams in the country can come back from 13-0 and win the game," said Kina. "We just weren't ready from the start. We have to come together as a team and be one unit and bounce back in the next two weeks."
"Kaleo has been a spark for us off the bench," said Lange. "I am pleased with the way it has gone. He has played more within himself and let the game come to us. He has been a crutch for us to fall back on. He is still playing starter's minutes, but is playing much better."
Greg Sprink (Cardiff by the Sea, Calif.) added 16 points, nine rebounds and two assists, while Harris contributed 15 points.
Both teams were guilty of 16 turnovers.
Navy will be off until Dec. 17, when the Mids battle San Diego State at Cox Arena in San Diego. The game, which tips off at 7:00 pm pacific time (10:00 pm ET), will be televised nationally by College Sports Television (CSTV).
# GO NAVY #