Abdullah's Double-Double Helps Navy Beat Morgan State for Third Straight Win
Dec. 3, 2017
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Junior point guard Hasan Abdullah recorded his first career double-double as the Navy men's basketball team (7-3) extended its winning streak to three games with a 66-59 win over visiting Morgan State (4-4) on Sunday afternoon at Alumni Hall. Navy has now won six of its last seven games.
Abdullah scored 15 points with a career-high 10 rebounds, six assists, three steals and just one turnover in 32 minutes. He was 4-of-6 on 3-pointers in the contest. Abdullah scored 12 of his 15 points in the second half.
"I just tried to stay relaxed and take what the defense gave me," Abdullah said of his offensive performance. "Just letting the game come to me. My teammates did a great job of finding me, so it was my part to just put it in. They did the hard work and I had the easy job."
Senior guard Shawn Anderson joined Abdullah in double figures with 11 points. Freshman guard Cam Davis sunk three 3-pointers for nine points, while junior forward George Kiernan scored nine points with five rebounds.
Morgan State's Phillip Carr scored 13 points in the first half, but got in to foul trouble and finished with 15 total points. Martez Cameron scored 14 points with six assists, four rebounds and four steals, while LaPri McCray-Pace added 11 points.
"I'm proud of our kids," said Navy head coach Ed DeChellis. "We turned the ball over way too much and we took too many threes at the start of the game. But to our kids' credit, they continued to fight and made some big plays. I think this was a very challenging game. Morgan State is very good. Coach Bozeman has done a very nice job with his program."
Morgan State is the preseason favorite to win the MEAC Conference.
Morgan State's Elijah Staley made a layup to cut Navy's lead to 50-46 with just under seven minutes to play, but Davis and Abdullah knocked down 3-pointers, while freshman forward Tyler Riemersma's layup from senior forward Tom Lacey extended Navy's lead to 11.
The Bears scored five straight points, but Anderson converted an and-1 to put Navy's lead at nine points. Then in the final 90 seconds, Carr scored in the paint and then after Navy missed the front end of a one-and-one free throw chance, McCray-Pace's 3-pointer brought Morgan State within four points at 63-59.
Abdullah then made a number of game-winning plays to seal the win. He first made a driving layup late in the shot clock to put the Mids up six, and then grabbed the defensive rebound after a Morgan State missed. He was fouled and made one-of-two at the line to put Navy up seven. Abdullah then stole the ball from Cameron with 21 seconds left to end the game.
Both teams started out slow offensively in the contest and Morgan State led 10-5 after nearly seven minutes. Navy started to pick things up as Davis and Kiernan hit back-to-back 3-pointers to briefly take an 11-10 lead. Another 3-pointer by Davis would tie the game at 14-14.
Morgan State led 23-19 with five minutes left in the first half before a 13-2 run gave Navy a lead it would not relinquish for the remainder of the game. Junior guard Ryan Pearson and senior center Evan Wieck each scored five points during the run and Navy took a 32-28 lead into halftime.
Navy opened the second half on a 9-1 run, punctuated by a 3-pointer by Abdullah and then a fastbreak layup by Anderson to give Navy its largest lead of the game at 41-29 with 15:07 remaining. Navy would keep the lead for the rest of the contest, getting a number of key baskets, including a steal and fastbreak layup by Kiernan.
Navy outrebounded Morgan State by a wide margin at 37-24, and outshot the Bears 47 percent (23-of-49) to 39 percent (19-of-49). Navy had 18 turnovers in the contest.
Navy improves to 3-0 all-time against Morgan State. The two teams were playing for the first time since 2005 on Sunday.
Navy has started a year at 7-3 through its first 10 games for the second time in the last three seasons.
"We are going to approach every game like we're 3-7," said Abdullah. "Every game we push the restart button, so it doesn't matter what our record is. We are just going to keep battling until the whistle blows."
Navy improved to 4-0 at home in non-conference games this season. Navy's fifth and final non-conference game of the season is against Lipscomb on Dec. 21.
Navy will next play at Coppin State on Wednesday at 7:00 PM.