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San Diego State Uses Second-Half Run to Edge Navy, 86-76

Dec. 18, 2007

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SAN DIEGO, Calif. -- San Diego State went on a 13-0 run over 2:28 of the second half to break open a tie game and defeat the Navy men's basketball team, 86-76, on Monday night at Cox Arena. The Mids fall to 3-8 overall, while SDSU, which won its 11th home game in a row, improved to 9-2.

"We expect to win every game and we knew that San Diego State would be a very difficult challenge," said Navy head coach Billy Lange. "We had about a six-possession span in the second half where we lost focus and didn't make the right decisions and that was the ballgame. We did a lot of good things tonight, and some things not so well. We are capable of playing better."

Greg Sprink, playing just 25 miles from his hometown of Cardiff by the Sea and in front of about 40 family members and friends, led Navy with 26 points on 11-of-14 shooting, five assists and four rebounds. Chris Harris (Soph. / Mechanicsville, Va.) added 22 points, including six three-pointers.

Sprink, who had been shooting just 32.1 percent from the field entering the contest, connected on a variety of shots against the Aztecs. Sprink was 4-of-7 from three-point land and converted on all seven of his shots inside the arc. It was his 23rd career 20-point game.

"It's a great feeling to come home and play in front of family and friends. It would have been better if we would have won," said Sprink. "I had been in a mental slump. I put the issues I had been struggling with aside and have been able to put school and basketball first in the last two weeks."

Navy fell behind 9-2 three minutes into contest, but rallied to tie the game at 16 on a jumper by Harris with 11 minutes left. Navy would take its first lead of the half moments later at 19-18 on a Sprink three-pointer with 10:42 to play. The Mids would stretch the lead to 31-24 on a Scott Brooks jumper and led 37-35 on a three-pointer by Kaleo Kina (Phoenix, Ariz.) at the halftime buzzer.

Navy scored the first six points of the second half to take its biggest lead of the game at 43-35, but SDSU responded with a 12-2 run to grab a 47-45 advantage with 14:14 to play. The two teams traded baskets for the next seven minutes, before SDSU went on its 13-0 game-deciding run.

Navy could get no closer than nine at 85-76 with 52 seconds to play, before the Aztecs settled in for their 10-point victory.

Navy shot 29-of-59 (.492) from the field, including 15-of-33 (.455) from beyond the three-point arc. The 15 three-pointers are tied for the second most in school history. Navy recorded 19 turnovers and were outrebounded, 39-21.

"The way we played, the ball sharing, some of the scrappiness on defense, when you're a coach, you're in a tough dilemma because you have to play zone against these athletes. We don't rebound well in the zone and that kind of hurt us," said Lange.

San Diego shot 51.8 percent (29-of-56) from the field and were guilty of 17 turnovers. The Aztecs won the game at the free throw line, converting on 23-of-30 free throws, while Navy was just 3-of-4. Navy's first free throw attempt came with 3:56 to play in the contest and the Aztecs were called for just 12 fouls.

Kina added 11 points, four assists and three rebounds for the Mids.

Lorrenzo Wade led five Aztecs in double figures with 18 points.

The Mids will close out their pre-Christmas schedule on Saturday, Dec. 22, at Maryland-Eastern Shore. Tip-off is scheduled for 1:00 pm, in Princess Anne, Md.




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