Dec. 30, 2006
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- Yale shot .522 percent (24-of-46) from the field and outrebounded Navy, 33-24, to run past the Navy men's basketball team on Saturday night in Alumni Hall, 74-59. The loss was Navy's second in a row and dropped the Mids' record to 9-5 overall, while Yale improved to 3-8 overall.
"We just ran into a very talented, experienced, physically-tough team tonight, but we also didn't play very well," said Navy head coach Billy Lange. "They were better than their record indicated and we just didn't defend the way we normally do tonight. Our offense didn't click because our defense was off and it was just a rough night for us."
The two teams played a see-saw first half with three ties and three lead changes. Navy led 28-24 with just under five minutes to play in the opening stanza, but Yale outscored the Mids, 13-3, the rest of the way, including a pair of three-pointers in the final minute, to take a 37-31 advantage into the halftime break.
Navy trimmed the margin to 42-41 just three minutes into the second half, but the Bulldogs responded again with a 13-2 sprut over the next three-and-a-half minutes for a 55-43 cushion with 13:25 to play. Navy fought back behind three straight three-pointers, two of them by Bryce Brigham, to cut the margin to 55-52 with 10:46 to play, but that was as close as Navy got, as Yale ended the game on a 19-7 run for the final margin.
The Mids hurt themselves with turnovers all game long, committing 21 turnovers, which turned into 16 Yale points. Navy's three guards in its three-guard lineup (Greg Sprink, Kaleo Kina and Corey Johnson) committed 14 of the turnovers, including eight in the second half.
"I am concerned with the turnovers lately, because many of them are due to laziness and careless plays," said Lange. "We are a better team than we showed tonight and we knew that we would have games like this. We are still building with a young line-up and this is part of the growing process. We have to be ready to play and tonight we weren't."
The Mids shot .438 percent (21-of-48) from the field and just .333 percent (8-of-24) from three-point range. Navy shot .750 (9-of-12) from the free-throw line. Yale, which entered the game shooting just .320 from three-point range, shot .471 (8-of-17) from long distance and was 18-of-26 (.692 percent) from the charity stripe. Yale recorded 19 assists on 24 made baskets.
Sprink led Navy with 13 points, while Adam Teague chipped in with 12 and Kaleo Kina tallied 10, all in the first half. Trey Stanton added nine points and a team-high six rebounds. Casey Hughes led four Yale players in double figures with 14 points.
Navy will travel to NJIT to open the new year on Tuesday night at 7:00 pm.
# GO NAVY #