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Navy Wins Double-OT Thriller Over Howard, 79-75

Dec. 4, 2006

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Sophomore guard Kaleo Kina scored a game-high 20 points as Navy outlasted Howard 79-75 in double overtime Monday night. The win was Navy's second in a row in overtime after defeating Longwood, 61-59, last Friday night. The win moves Navy to 7-2 overall, while Howard drops to 4-4.

"Any time you can win in double overtime on your home floor, you feel fortunate," said Navy head coach Billy Lange. "We didn't play great tonight, but you have to give credit to Howard. They got after us and made us do some things we don't typically do. But that is also a good sign for us in that we didn't play our best and still got a quality win against a good team."

"We definitely had some lapses, and Howard took us out of our game some tonight," said junior co-captain Corey Johnson. "But its nice to get a win when things don't always go great. We always talk about 'chip' time (which is short for championship time). If you can win 'chip' time, you are going to succeed more often than not."

The Mids started fast, jumping out to a 12-4 advantage at the first media timeout, but then saw Howard score the next eight points of the contest to tie the game at 12. The lead then see-sawed back and forth in the first half, with Navy holding a 32-27 halftime advantage.

The Mids would take their biggest lead in regulation at 51-44 with 7:28 to play, but Howard outscored Navy, 13-6, over the last seven minutes to send the game into overtime.

In the first extra session, Navy led by two points five separate times, but Howard responded each time and had a shot to win it in the end, but a Julius Hearn jumper fell short and the two teams headed into the second overtime tied at 66.

In the second overtime, Navy took control, scoring the first seven points, then made 6-of-10 free throws to salt away the victory, 79-75.

The Mids shot .442 (23-of-52) from the field, and was just 2-of-4 in the overtime session. Navy won the game in overtime from the free-throw line, making 18-of-24 foul shots in the extra sessions. Howard outrebounded Navy, 42-30, and scored 22 second-chance points to Navy's zero.

Despite the subpar night for Navy, the Mids are still 7-2 and off to their best record in eight years.

"We're happy at 7-2, but we know that we are a work in progress and that we have work to do," said Lange. "Its good to pull out wins, especially when you don't play your best. We need to understand that people are going to start to play us and realize that we would be a good win for them. We have to match other team's intensity and focus."

Besides Kina's 20 points, Johnson scored a season-high 17 points, Greg Sprink added 15, Trey Stanton contributed 11 and Adam Teague scored 10 off the bench. Sprink led Navy with nine rebounds and four assists, and went 9-of-10 from the free throw line.

The Mids will battle Penn on Thursday night, beginning at 8:00 pm in Alumni Hall. The game will be aired nationally on CSTV. The Quakers advanced to last year's NCAA Tournament.

"We know we have an incredible challenge on Thursday night and will have to bring a strong game," said Lange. "It will be a big challenge for us and will tell us a lot about where we stand."

Military Appreciation Night and Toys For Tots will be held for Thursday's nationally-televised battle with Penn, beginning at 8:00 pm. All current or former military personnel in uniform or with a military ID that attend the game will receive one free ticket to the game. Additional tickets for family members can be purchased at the game for only $3. Navy Basketball's Toys For Tots drive begins on Thursday and will run through the December 20, game with Washington (Md.). Marines will be in the lobby of Alumni Hall to collect new and unwrapped toys from fans. Those that donate a toy to the drive will receive one free ticket to the game.

For ticket information, please call 1-800-US4-NAVY, and for promotion information, call 410-293-8785.




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