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No. 10-Ranked Missouri Too Much For Midshipmen, 84-59

J.J. Avila scored 26 points with eight rebounds and five assists in the loss to Missouri.

Dec. 10, 2011

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COLUMBIA, Mo. -- No. 10-ranked Missouri placed all five starters in double figures and used a 21-2 run early in the second half to defeat the Navy men's basketball team, 84-59, in front of 11,529 fans at Mizzou Arena. The Tigers improved to 9-0 with the victory while Navy fell to 3-8 overall.

After trailing 45-26 at halftime, Navy scored six of the first eight points in the second half to cut the lead to 47-32 and had three chances to cut into the lead even more but came up empty on all three possessions. Missouri capitalized and went on a 21-2 run over seven minutes to take its largest lead of the game at 68-34 with 9:47 left.

Navy answered with a 24-6 run of its own to cut the lead to 74-58 with 3:29 left on a J.J. Avila (So. / McAllen, Texas) three-pointer, but the Tigers scored 10 of the last 11 points of the contest and Missouri cruised in for an 84-59 decision.

"I was proud of our effort, but we didn't do the things we needed to do to win the game," said Navy head coach Ed DeChellis. "It was a great atmosphere here today and it's a game that will only help us later in the year."

The difference in the game came at the free throw line as all the other statistical categories were fairly even. The Tigers made 23-of-28 (.821) from the charity stripe while Navy went 5-of-12 (.417) from the free throw line, missing the front end of two one-and-ones in the process.

Navy jumped out to an early 5-0 lead and were within 18-15 at the 11:32 mark in the first half, when Missouri went on a 16-3 run over seven minutes to take a 34-18 advantage with 4:49 to play. Navy steadied itself and played even the rest of the way, trailing at the break, 45-26.

"I thought we played a decent first half, but Missouri is so good at taking advantage of your mistakes. They are a really, really good team that starts four seniors and can score from all over the floor," said DeChellis. "We battled hard and competed, but kind of lost our way a bit during their run in the second half and that cost us."

Navy was guilty of just five turnovers in the first half, but was minus-10 in point differential at the free throw line and minus-10 on the glass. Four of Navy's five first-half turnovers came in the first six minutes of the game against Missouri's intense defensive pressure.

For the contest, Navy shot 23-of-55 (.418) from the field, 8-of-25 (.320) from three-point range and 5-of-12 (.417) from the free throw line. The Mids had 14 turnovers, nine in the second half, but recorded 17 assists on 23 made field goals.

Missouri shot 27-of-55 (.491) from the field, 7-of-18 (.389) from three-point range and 23-of-28 (.821) from the charity stripe. The Tigers had 12 turnovers and outrebounded the Midshipmen, 40-29.

Navy sophomore J.J. Avila (McAllen, Texas) had a sensational game for Navy, scoring a game-high 26 points, grabbing eight rebounds and dishing out five assists against one turnover in 31 minutes of action. Avila was 10-of-13 from the field and 4-of-7 from three-point range. Worth Smith (Fr. / Charlotte, N.C.) added eight points and three rebounds, while Brandon Venturini (Fr. / Allendale, Mich.) had seven points and two rebounds in 11 minutes. Jordan Brickman (Jr. / San Antonio, Texas) had a strong floor game with six assists against two turnovers.

All-American Marcus Denmon led Missouri with 22 points, while the nation's leading shooter Ricardo Ratliffe added 14 points and eight rebounds. Ratliffe entered the game shooting 74.1 percent from the field and went 6-of-9 today.

Navy will be off for final exams until Dec. 22, when it travels to Clinton, S.C., to face Presbyterian College at 7:00 pm.

Navy's starting lineup consisted of Sugars, Avila, Roberts, Worth Smith and Brickman. It was the fourth straight game with this starting lineup ... Navy allowed an opponent to score over 80 points for the first time during the 2011-12 season ... Navy hasn't reached 60 points in a road game since scoring 78 in the season opener against Longwood ... Navy has lost six straight road games ... Navy's 14 turnovers are the second fewest this season, behind the 12 against Monmouth last Tuesday night ... over the last two games, Navy is 18-of-53 from three-point range and has 35 assists against 26 turnovers ... the loss dropped Navy to 7-58 all-time against AP Top 25 ranked teams and was Navy's 14th straight loss to ranked foes ... Navy was playing a ranked opponent for the first time since Dec. 22, 2008 against 18th-ranked Villanova and Missouri (ranked No. 10) was the highest-ranked opponent since Navy lost to No. 4-ranked Wake Forest on Dec. 29, 2000 ... Navy fell to 0-3 all-time against Missouri and 1-8 against the Big 12 Conference ... J.J. Avila scored a season-high 26 points ... it was the most points for a Navy player since he scored 31 against Towson on Nov. 24, 2010 ... Avila has scored in double figures in seven straight games ... Avila became the first Navy player to make 10 field goals since Chris Harris made 11 field goals against American on Feb. 24, 2010 ... Avila recorded his second straight "statsheet-stuffer" game (at least five in three of the major statistical categories and averaged 20.0 ppg, 7.5 rpg and 5.0 apg over the last two games. Avila now has eight career (three this year) "Statsheet-Stuffer" games. The rest of the team has one ... Avila surpassed 500 career points in the contest, coming in his 42nd career game. Since freshmen became eligible in 1972-73, Avila is the fifth-fastest Navy player to reach 500 points behind Kevin Sinnett (33), Michael Heary (37), Vernon Butler (39) and David Robinson (41) ... by grabbing three rebounds against Missouri, Jordan Sugars moved into 15th on the school's career rebounds list with 550 ... Jordan Brickman has 14 assists against four turnovers in the last two games.




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