Dec. 6, 2011
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- Monmouth's Jesse Steele scored 20 points and Jordan Brickman's three-pointer at the buzzer was off the mark as the Navy men's basketball fell to the Hawks, 69-67, at Alumni Hall on Tuesday night.
The loss drops Navy to 3-7 overall and Monmouth earned its first victory of the year, now with a 1-8 record.
Navy once again struggled late in the game, aiding Monmouth to its first victory. The Mids held a 62-60 lead with 5:06 to play, but went two-of-seven from the field in the final five minutes and committed two of its three second-half turnovers during the stretch. Navy also missed the front end of a 1-and-1 free throw opportunity.
With a 62-60 lead, Navy had three chances to add to the lead and couldn't capitalize. Monmouth would counter with an 8-2 run to take a 68-64 lead with 14 seconds remaining. Navy answered by cutting the lead to one on a Jordan Sugars (Sr. / Winchester, Va.) three-pointer with seven seconds left and after a Dion Nesmith free throw pushed the Monmouth lead to two at 69-67, Brickman's three-pointer from the top of the key was short and Monmouth escaped with a 69-67 decision.
Monmouth continually frustrated Navy's defense and shot 58.0 percent from the field and had nine of its 13 offensive rebounds in the second half.
"It was just a really poor effort defensively from start to finish. We don't value each possession offensively or defensively, and that has been a hard thing for us to understand," said Navy head coach Ed DeChellis. "I thought entering this game we were making great strides defensively, but we were the exact opposite tonight. For us to win basketball games, we have to defend and rebound the basketball and we did neither tonight."
The two teams were even all night with neither team gaining more than a six-point lead all evening. Monmouth led 23-17 with 8:33 to play in the first half, the Midshipmen would use an 8-0 run to grab a 30-25 lead with 4:42 left and the Mids led 37-34 at the halftime break.
Early in the second half, Navy again would lead 47-42 with 15:52 to play and threaten to break the game open, but the Hawks would counter with a 9-1 spurt to take a 51-48 advantage with 12:29 to play.
Navy had two different five-point leads in the contest and Monmouth would answer with separate 7-0 and 9-1 runs on the two occasions.
Navy shot 24-of-51 (.471) from the field, but went 10-of-28 (.357) from three-point range, both season highs in three-pointers made and attempted. Navy went 9-of-12 (.750) from the free throw line and had 12 turnovers, a season low. Navy was outrebounded, 30-21, including 16-6 in the second half. Navy had just two defensive rebounds in the second half. Navy went 14-of-23 (.609) from inside the three-point line.
"We better defend and rebound the ball, no matter what style we play. We played a great defensive game against Elon and came in tonight and played very poorly on defense. I don't care what style we play, but you have to play defense and rebound to be successful. We took 28 three-pointers. That is not who we are,"
said DeChellis. "We need to play defense, share the ball and rebound. We aren't high-powered enough to outscore anyone. It's a fine line between winning and losing for us. We are a young team that hasn't figured out how to win."
J.J. Avila (So. / McAllen, Texas) led Navy with 14 points, seven rebounds, five assists and two steals. Sugars added 12 points, while Jordan Brickman (Jr. / San Antonio, Texas) added 11 points and a career-high eight assists. Worth Smith (Fr. / Mooresville, N.C.) scored 14 points with four rebounds and three steals.
Navy takes to the road for its next two games, the first coming on Saturday at No. 10-ranked Missouri in Columbia, Mo. Tip-off is slated for 5:00 pm (ET) and will be televised by Fox Sports Midwest and streamed online on ESPN3.com(.) Navy will close out its pre-Christmas schedule on Dec. 22 at Presbyterian in Clinton, S.C.
Navy started Sugars (63rd career / 28th cons.), Avila (29 / 11), Roberts (23 / 3), Brickman (7 / 7) and Worth Smith (4 / 4) ... it was the third straight game with this starting lineup (now 0-3) ... Navy had held three straight opponents to 59 or fewer points before Monmouth scored 69 ... Navy's 67 points were the most since scoring 88 against Penn State Altoona on Nov. 13 in the second game of the year ... Navy lost for the first time when having four or more players score in double figures (now 3-1) ... Navy also lost for the first time when shooting 45.0 percent or better (now 3-1) ... Navy is now 1-5 in games decided by single digits and 0-3 in games decided by three or fewer points ... J.J. Avila has scored in double figures in six straight games and surpassed 100 career assists in the loss ... Avila now has seven career "statsheet-stuffer games" (games of at least five in three statistical categories). The rest of the team combined has one such career game (Sugars - 1) ... Avila has made 13 straight free throws and is 20 of his last 21 from the charity stripe in the last four games after starting the year 6-of-11 ... Avila now just needs nine points for 500 in his career ... Jordan Brickman recorded his second career double-figure game and added a career-high eight assists against two turnovers. His turnovers came in the first 2:28 of the contest, meaning he had eight assists and no turnovers in the last 37:32 of the contest ... Worth Smith tied a career high with 11 points.
# GO NAVY #