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Navy Handles Washington (Md.), 83-37

Greg Sprink (File Photo)

Greg Sprink (File Photo)

Dec. 20, 2006

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) -Greg Sprink scored 27 points to lead Navy in an 83-37 rout of Washington College Wednesday night.

It was the biggest margin of victory for the Mids since an 85-36 win over Gettysburg on Dec. 14, 2002. The Mids, now 9-3 overall, have matched their best start since the 1998-1999 season.

"We wanted to start off playing intense and focused, and I thought we did a good job of that tonight," said Navy head coach Billy Lange. "We were more crisp in our execution and moved the ball well offensively. Defensively, we wanted to get after them and make them feel uncomfortable. I thought we did very well in the first 10 minutes to take control of the game right away."

Navy dominated from the outset, taking control with a game-opening 25-4 run over eight-and-a-half minutes. Sprink scored 13 of his 27 points in the run and led the Mids to a 49-19 halftime advantage. By halftime, the 6-5 junior guard had 21 points, which surpassed any of his totals from the previous four games.

"It was just a lack of focus in the previous four games. I felt that I was missing open shots and getting good looks, but was just struggling with the fundamentals of my shot," said Sprink, who notched his 14th career 20-point game and fifth of the year. "Tonight, I got my shots in the flow of the offense and wanted to be more aggressive, and fortunately, I got off to a good start."

"Greg was aggressive tonight and that was what we wanted to see out of him," said Lange. "We give him a plan to get 20 points every game and he followed the plan tonight, being within what we want him to do in our offense. When we move the ball well, he's usually the recipient. We want him to be a great scorer without having to run every play for him, and tonight was the case."

The Mids shot .548 percent (17-of-31) from the field in the first half, including .529 percent (9-of-17) from three-point range.

Washington (Md.) would get no closer 29 (49-20) in the second half and Navy's lead swelled to 40 with 12:48 to play on a Derek Young layup. The Mids' largest lead came on the final score, 83-37.

Navy's offensive output was overshadowed by its defensive effort. Navy allowed the fewest points (37) in a game since the 2003-04 season and the 37 points were the sixth fewest allowed in a game in school history. Coupled with Navy's 40 points allowed against Delaware Valley on Sunday, it marked the first time since the 1948-49 season that a Navy team has held two straight foes to 40 or fewer points.

It was also the 10th-largest margin of victory in school history and the second-largest ever in Alumni Hall.

"We just came out with a lot more energy, intensity and focus tonight," added Sprink. "It was a whole different atmosphere than on Sunday. As leaders, we let it get lazy the last couple of games, and Corey (Johnson) and I can't let that happen anymore. We need to be focused every game and give ourselves a chance."

For the game, Navy shot .492 (30-of-61) from the field and .435 (10-of-23) from long distance. Navy outrebounded the Shoremen, 44-22, and turned 27 turnovers (including 19 steals) into 31 points. Navy committed 18 turnovers on the evening.

Adam Teague added 13 points, all in the first half, and Corey Johnson scored 10 points with three rebounds, three steals and two assists. Derek Young came off the bench to score eight points with three steals and two rebounds.

"Derek is giving us an identity. He is developing into the kind of player that can just get after it and frustrate a player," said Lange. "Two years ago, we had Taj Mathews, who did that for us, and I see a lot of Taj in Derek. He brings a lot to the table for us. He needs to work on his shooting, but as far as bringing intensity and focus and heart on every play, he does it."

Navy will take a serious step up in competition on Saturday, traveling to the Nation's Capital for a 1:00 pm tilt with Georgetown at the Verizon Center. The game will be broadcast live on MASN.

"We feel good after tonight and have some confidence back, but we know Georgetown is going to be an outstanding foe," said Sprink. "Coach told us this is a chance of a lifetime to play a team like this. Everyone on our team feels we can compete and play with anyone if we play Navy basketball. That is what it will take on Saturday."

"It's definitely a great challenge for us, and I am excited for our guys to be able to play in a game like this," said Lange. "To get the opportunity to play in an NBA arena against a program like Georgetown that has several NBA-type players on its team is a great opportunity for us. We need to prepare this team for how we can beat them, but we are going to give it all we got. We are really looking forward to it."

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