Sugars' Three-Pointer Lifts Mids Past Coppin State, 78-75
Dec. 30, 2009
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- Jordan Sugars scored a career-high 27 points, including his seventh three-pointer of the contest with 0.7 seconds left to lift Navy to a 78-75 victory over Coppin State on Wednesday night at Alumni Hall. The win snapped a four-game losing streak and improved Navy's record to 5-8 overall. Coppin State fell to 5-6 overall.
Navy led 75-72 with 22 seconds left, before the Eagles' Kareem Brown connected on his seventh three-pointer of the contest with 7.8 seconds left to tie the game at 75.
After a timeout, Chris Harris took the inbounds pass, dribbled through a triple-team just outside the three-point arc, and found Sugars along the right wing. Sugars let go of a wide-open shot that found nothing but the bottom of the net to five Navy a three-point advantage with 0.7 seconds left. A last-second Coppin State inbounds pass was deflected away, giving Navy its fourth win in six games at Alumni Hall.
"For Chris (Harris) to make the decision he did on the last play was phenomenal. He made a great play against the triple-team and was really, really tough with the ball," said Navy head coach Billy Lange. "Sugars was wide open and showed his confidence and hit the shot. We had a lot of options on that play, and Sugars was open."
The shot ended a see-saw affair that saw 11 lead changes and 16 ties. Navy's largest lead in the contest was six points in the first half, while Coppin State led by four midway through the opening frame. The largest lead for either team in the final 15 minutes was four by Navy at 56-52 (11:22) and 61-57 (8:50).
"It was an exciting game and both teams really shot well and made some big plays," said Lange. "Its good to come out on the positive side in a game like that.
When you play games this close, in the end, they are 50-50 games. It comes down to one or two possessions. We executed four or five situations that really showed our poise tonight. Tonight was the best poise we had on both ends in a long time, and we made great decisions and really shared the ball well," added Lange.
Navy led 35-33 at halftime thanks to its best shooting performance in a half this year at 54.5 percent. The Mids, however, were plagued by 11 turnovers that kept Coppin State close. Navy led 61-57 with 8:50 to play, but the Eagles responded with a 10-3 spurt to grab a 67-64 lead with 6:15 to play.
A Sugars' three-pointer with 2:02 left gave Navy a 72-69 advantage, but Brown netted a fadeaway 22-footer to tie the game at 72 just 22 seconds later. Two free throws by Jeremy Wilson and a Harris free throw gave Navy a 75-72 advantage, before Brown's seventh three-pointer with 7.8 seconds left tied the game at 75, setting up Sugars' heroics.
Navy jumped out to an 11-5 lead five minutes into the contest, but Coppin State went on a 12-2 run to grab its largest lead of the contest at 17-13 with 9:57 to play.
Navy would respond and led 31-26 with 2:44 to play on a Sugars three-pointer, before settling in for its two-point halftime lead.
Sugars led Navy with a career-best 27 points and seven rebounds. He was 7-of-17 from the field and 7-of-15 from three-point range. Sugars' 15 three-point attempts tied a school record and his seven three-pointers are tied for the fifth most in school history. It is his fourth 20-point game this season.
"I definitely feel more confident, but a lot of it has to do with my teammates. We really moved the ball well tonight and it's about playing as confidence with your team," said Sugars, who is now averaging 15.5 ppg and 8.3 rpg this year. "If you don't have confidence in yourself and your team, it makes it much harder to play."
Meanwhile, Chris Harris had a sensational game with with 20 points, a season-high seven assists and four steals and four rebounds. In addition, Harris made four three-pointers, giving him 238 for his career, setting the school record for three-pointers made in a career. He passed Greg Sprink (2005-08), who finished his career with 237.
"I didn't know about the three-point record. It says a lot about my teammates and ability to get me open," said Harris "I have been fortunate to play with guys who got me open looks. It's easy to knock them down when open."
Jeremy Wilson added 10 points (3-of-3 shooting) and five rebounds and three blocks. Wilson was making his second straight start, after Mark Veazey suffered a foot injury in the days leading up to the Seton Hall game.
The Mids shot 23-of-49 (.469) from the field and 13-of-29 (.448) from three-point range. Navy was 19-of-26 (.731) from the free throw line, had 16 turnovers and 15 assists, and outrebounded the Eagles, 27-24.
Navy will conclude its non-conference home slate on Saturday, Jan. 2, 2010, when it hosts Elon, beginning at 7:00 pm. Tickets are available at the Alumni Hall ticket window prior to the contest.
# GO NAVY #