Dunbar, Navy Hold Off The Citadel For Third Straight Win
Dec. 4, 2013
ANNAPOLIS, Md - Navy sophomore point guard Tilman Dunbar's career night of 28 points, eight rebounds and seven assists helped Navy (5-3) hold off The Citadel (3-7), 79-74, at Alumni Hall on Wednesday evening. The Mids win their third straight game and their fifth of their last six. Navy also finishes its non-conference home schedule at 4-0.
"In the first half we came out and we had good energy," head coach Ed DeChellis said. "We spread the floor and got lay-ups and open shots. We defended pretty well. They only had 26 points at the half. But in the second half, we played not to lose."
Navy built up a 15-point halftime lead (41-26), but The Citadel came storming back in the second half by scoring 48 points and shooting 57 percent after the break. The Bulldogs pulled within four points at the end of the game but Navy was able to make enough free throws to hold on for the win.
Dunbar scored 10 points in the final three minutes and he made eight of his career-high 14 free throws in the final 74 seconds to help Navy seal the win. The Mids shot 18-of-25 from the free-throw line in the second half with Dunbar making 12-of-15 in the half and 14-of-17 in the game.
"Tilman Dunbar played outstanding," DeChellis said. "It might have been his best game ever. His leadership ability on the floor, making his free throws, he came up with eight rebounds. I thought he had an outstanding game."
Dunbar had a career-high 28 points and a career-high eight rebounds to go along with seven assists, two steals and one block. He shot 7-of-12 from the floor.
Junior forward Worth Smith scored 17 points with 10 coming in the first four minutes of the game. Sophomore guard Kendall Knorr scored 13 points and freshmen guards Grant Vermeer and Zach Fong each hit two key three pointers off the bench. Sophomore center Will Kelly pulled down eight rebounds to go along with six points.
Marshall Harris III scored 19 points for The Citadel while freshman forward Brian White had 15 points and six boards. Matt Van Scyoc chipped In with 14 points and five rebounds.
The Citadel opened the game with a 4-0 lead, but Navy, led by Smith, reeled off a quick 10-0 run. The Mids would eventually go up 10 at 20-10 after Knorr grabbed his own rebound off a missed jumper and put in a lay-up.
The Citadel fought back to pull within three at 25-22, but Knorr and Vermeer hit three pointers on back-to-back possessions. After a Navy missed jumper, Vermeer drained another three and then on the next possession Knorr followed suit again as the Mids went on a 12-0 run to take a 15-point lead.
The Citadel pulled within nine at 60-51 in the second half before Fong drained a three from the left corner. Two possessions later Fong hit another three from the right wing to extend Navy's lead to 15.
Harris helped get the Bulldogs back in the game by making three free throws after being fouled on a three-point attempt and then Harris and C.J. Bray each hit three-pointers down the stretch to cut the lead to five with under two minutes to play. At that point in the game it became a free throw contest and Navy was able to hold on to its lead with clutch free throws from Dunbar.
A total of 42 fouls were called in the game and the teams combined to shoot 54 free throws. Navy had a 39-35 edge on the glass, outrebounding its opponent for the sixth time this season.
Navy will have a break for final exams before returning to action at Bryant on December 14. Navy will then play at Northern Kentucky on December 21 and at UMBC on December 30 to close its out of conference schedule.
"We're 5-3 going into exams," said DeChellis. "We won our home games like we needed to. Now we go play three games on the road and then our first conference game on the road. So now we've got to go back and regroup and figure out how we are going to win on the road."