Go Navy

Navy Men's Basketball Kicks Off Four-Game Homestand on Tuesday vs. Towson




Nov. 23, 2009

Gameday Specifics
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
7:00 pm (ET)
Annapolis, Md.
Alumni Hall (5,710)
Radio
WNAV 1430 AM / (WNAV.com)

Pete Medhurst, Michael Heary
Television
None

Records
Navy is 1-3 (0-0 Patriot League)

Towson is 1-1 (0-0 CAA)

Coaches
Billy Lange (Rowan, 1994) is in his sixth year at Navy (70-80 at Navy / 109-99 overall).

Pat Kennedy (King's College, 1975) is in his sixth year at Towson (59-97 at Towson / 475-408 overall).

Series
Overall Series Record
Towson leads, 7-2

Current Streak
Towson, Win-1

First Meeting
Dec. 7, 1987 (Towson, 79-62)

Last Meeting
Nov. 14, 2008 (Towson, 86-68)
At a Glance: Towson
Towson, which returned four starters from last year's team that reached the CAA Semifinals as an 11th seed, enters the contest with a 1-1 record after falling to Buffalo on Saturday, 78-69, in Towson. Buffalo had defeated Navy, 63-53, on Thursday night and was playing its second game in three days during its trip to Maryland. The Tigers own an impressive 82-71 win over a Miami (Ohio) team that nearly knocked off No. 5-ranked Kentucky. This will be Towson's first road game of the year.

Senior forward Calvin Lee leads four Tigers in double-figures, averaging 20.0 ppg and 6.0 rpg. Lee was named the CAA Player of the Week for his role in the win over Miami (Ohio), when he scored 25 points with four blocked shots and three rebounds. He then added 15 points, nine rebounds and two blocks in the loss to Buffalo. Sophomore jitterbug Troy Franklin comes off the bench to average 13.0 ppg and 4.5 apg, while Jarrel Smith (12.0) and Georgetown transfer Josh Thornton (10.5) are also in double-figures. As a team, Towson is shooting 45.1 percent from the field, while foes are shooting 47.1 percent. The Tigers are getting outrebounded by almost seven boards per game, but are winning the turnover battle by almost five per game.

Pat Kennedy is in his sixth year at Towson and his 30th overall. His 475 all-time wins rank 21st on the active coaches list. He is one of five coaches nationally to coach consecutively for 29 or more years. His previous stops include Iona, Florida State, DePaul and Montana. His staff has a wealth of experience as he is joined by Jim Meil (19th season at Towson), Danny Nee (former Nebraska and Duquesne coach) and Allen Edwards (former Kentucky standout).

Game Notes | Gametracker | Navy All-Access (Watch) | Follow on Twitter

Tuesday's Basics
The Navy men's basketball team hopes a return to Alumni Hall does some good as the Mids host CAA member and regional rival Towson, beginning at 7:00 pm (ET) in Annapolis, Md. The game will be aired on WNAV (1430 AM in Annapolis; WNAV.com) as well as on SIRIUS Satellite Radio (Channel TBA). In addition, the game will be video-streamed online as part of the All-Access packages at NavySports.com. Pete Medhurst and Michael Heary will call all the action, beginning at 6:45 pm with the Navy Basketball pre-game show.

Noteworthy
• Navy is off to a 1-3 start. The last time Navy started 1-3 came in 2007-08, when the Mids finished 16-14 and placed second in the Patriot League.
• Since Billy Lange took over at Navy, the Mids are 22-12 (.647) against non-conference foes at home, including 16-5 (.762) since 2006-07.
• Navy, which has led the league in scoring in four of the last five years, ranks sixth early on in scoring offense (67.2 ppg), while ranking seventh ahead of only Holy Cross in scoring defense at 74.5 ppg. The Mids are last in the league in field goal percentage by almost 50 points, shooting just 35.1 percent from the field. Lehigh is seventh at 39.7 percent.
• Towson handed Navy its worst loss since the start of the 2007-08 season, when it defeated the Mids, 86-68, in last year's opener.
• Navy ranks 333rd (out of 347) in field goal percentage at just 35.1 percent.
• Navy does lead the league in three-point percentage defense (.231) and rebounds per game (39.2) and is second in turnover margin (+2.75).
• Senior team captain Chris Harris is leading the team, averaging 16.5 ppg through four games. Harris ranks second in the league in scoring behind Lafayette's Jared Mintz (18.8 ppg). Harris has struggled from the field, but has made up for it at the free throw line, where he ranks second in the league in free throw percentage (.920) and enters Tuesday's game having made 21 free throw attempts in a row.
• Sophomore Jordan Sugars, who entered the season with two double-figure scoring games in his career, has already scored in double-figures three times this year, ranking 10th in the league in scoring (13.3 ppg) and third in rebounding (8.5 rpg). He is seventh in three-point percentage (.455) and fifth in three-pointers made per game (2.50).
• Junior Romeo Garcia, who missed all but nine games of action with hamstring injuries a year ago, has rebounded nicely so far in his junior season. Garcia has been in double figures three times this year (four all of his career entering this year), ranking third on the team in scoring (12.5 ppg), second in rebounding (6.8 rpg) and assists (2.5 apg). He ranks fifth in the Patriot League in free throw percentage (.857) and sixth in field goal percentage (.548).
• Navy's two centers, Mark Veazey and Jeremy Wilson, are just a combined 12-of-40 (.300) from the field. Veazey, however, has picked it up as of late, averaging 11.0 ppg (8-of-20 from the field) and 5.5 rpg in the last two outings in 53 minutes of play. In the season's first two games, Veazey was 2-of-10 (.200), averaging just 2.5 ppg and 5.0 rpg.
• Navy was riddled by injuries against Long Island, as junior point guard O.J. Avworo (hand) and senior forward T.J. Topercer (groin) missed the game. Both are questionable for the game with Towson.

Saturday's LIU Recap
Long Island University went on a key 11-0 run in the second half, then held off every Navy challenge in the final 10 minutes to hand Navy its second straight defeat, 83-72, on Saturday night. The Mids went on a 7-0 run to climb to within 52-50 with just under 15 minutes left, but the Blackbirds answered with an 11-0 run that featured three three-pointers to take their largest lead of the game at 63-50 with 12 minutes to play. Navy would get no closer than five the rest of the way. LIU jumped out to a 20-10 lead midway through the first half, but Navy battled back to tie the game for the last time at 34-34 just before halftime. The big storyline was on the glass, where LIU outrebounded Navy, 46-34, and had 18 second-chance points to Navy's six. Chris Harris led Navy with 17 points, but managed to go just 4-of-15 from the field. Jordan Sugars added 14 points, Mark Veazey had 12, and Romeo Garcia had nine points, five rebounds and five assists in a fine all-around floor game.

Five Things From Saturday's Loss
• Navy once again struggled from the field, shooting just 36.2 percent. Navy shot just 31.3 percent in the second half.
Greg Brown made his first career start, contributing nine points and six rebounds before fouling out in 21 minutes.
• Navy shot a season-best 85.7 percent (24-of-28) from the free throw line. Navy entered the game shooting just 63.1 percent from the stripe.
• Navy had a season-low 13 turnovers against the Blackbirds and had 14 assists on 21 made field goals, including 10-of-11 in the first half.
• Career highs recorded during the game: Ted Connolly (assists - 5, rebounds - 1, minutes - 13), Montez Blair (points - 7, rebounds - 2, minutes - 14), Greg Brown (points - 9, rebounds - 6, minutes - 21), Romeo Garcia (minutes - 38), Alex Newsome (points - 4).

Previewing Towson
Towson, which returned four starters from last year's team that reached the CAA Semifinals as an 11th seed, enters the contest with a 1-1 record after falling to Buffalo on Saturday, 78-69, in Towson. Buffalo had defeated Navy, 63-53, on Thursday night and was playing its second game in three days during its trip to Maryland. The Tigers own an impressive 82-71 win over a Miami (Ohio) team that nearly knocked off No. 5-ranked Kentucky. This will be Towson's first road game of the year.

Senior forward Calvin Lee leads four Tigers in double-figures, averaging 20.0 ppg and 6.0 rpg. Lee was named the CAA Player of the Week for his role in the win over Miami (Ohio), when he scored 25 points with four blocked shots and three rebounds. He then added 15 points, nine rebounds and two blocks in the loss to Buffalo. Sophomore jitterbug Troy Franklin comes off the bench to average 13.0 ppg and 4.5 apg, while Jarrel Smith (12.0) and Georgetown transfer Josh Thornton (10.5) are also in double-figures. As a team, Towson is shooting 45.1 percent from the field, while foes are shooting 47.1 percent. The Tigers are getting outrebounded by almost seven boards per game, but are winning the turnover battle by almost five per game.

Pat Kennedy is in his sixth year at Towson and his 30th overall. His 475 all-time wins rank 21st on the active coaches list. He is one of five coaches nationally to coach consecutively for 29 or more years. His previous stops include Iona, Florida State, DePaul and Montana. His staff has a wealth of experience as he is joined by Jim Meil (19th season at Towson), Danny Nee (former Nebraska and Duquesne coach) and Allen Edwards (former Kentucky standout).

Series History
Towson owns a 7-2 series lead against the Midshipmen. The two teams first met back in the 1987-88 season, with Towson grabbing a 79-62 victory at Halsey Field House. Navy's first win in the series came on Dec. 5, 1990, when the Mids outscored Towson, 102-88, the second-most points ever scored by a Navy team on the road. Navy won in the teams' last meeting in Annapolis, 73-59, on Nov. 29, 2007. Towson won last year's meeting in the season opener for both teams, 86-68, in Towson.

Last Year Against the Tigers
Towson went on a 28-8 run over seven-plus minutes and cruised in down the homestretch for an 86-68 victory over Navy in the 2008-09 season opener. Josh Thornton led Towson with 24 points, making 6-of-11 shots from beyond the arc. Jarrel Smith added 18 points, Brian Morris had 10 points and eight assists and Calvin Lee had 10 points, nine rebounds and six blocked shots for the Tigers. Clif Colbert led Navy with 14 points, while Kaleo Kina had 10. Navy's five starters combined to shoot 12-of-43 (.279) from the field scoring just 32 points, while Navy's bench went 15-of-29 (.517) from the field and scored 36 points.

As a team, Towson shot 46.0 percent (29-of-63) from the field, 40.0 percent (10-of-25) from three-point range and had 20 assists against just seven turnovers. Navy shot just 37.5 percent (27-of-72) from the field, 20.0 percent (5-of-25) from three-point range and was guilty of 18 turnovers. Navy did win the battle of the boards, 50-35, and outscored the Tigers in the paint, 42-32.

On This Date
Navy is just 1-5 all-time on Nov. 24, including 0-1 under head coach Billy Lange. The Mids lost to Penn, 71-67, in 2007, Lange's only game on Nov. 24. The Mids have lost two straight games on the date, falling to Belmont, 88-71, in 2003, and the afore-mentioned Penn game.
• Navy and Towson battled each other on Nov. 24, 1996, with Towson edging the Mids at the Towson Center, 76-68. Navy radio broadcaster Michael Heary led Navy with 17 points (4-of-7 from 3).

Up Next
After kicking off its season-long four-game homestand on Tuesday against Towson, Navy remains home next weekend for a pair of post-Thanksgiving games against Northeast Conference foes. The Midshipmen will host NEC preseason-favorite Mount St. Mary's on Saturday night (Nov. 28) at 7:00 pm, then Quinnipiac (picked third in the NEC) on Monday, Nov. 30. By the time next weekend is over, Navy will have played the three top teams (Long Island, Mount St.. Mary's and Quinnipiac) in the preseason NEC poll. Navy will conclude its homestand on Friday, Dec. 4, with a nationally-televised game against Penn (CBS College Sports) at 7:00 pm.

Home Sweet Home
• Navy recorded a 12-3 mark at home last year, the most home wins since 1999-00 (16-2) and fourth most in Alumni Hall history. Navy owns a 158-91 (.635) record all-time in the facility.
• Since the start of the 2007-08 season, Navy is 20-10 at home, including 11-3 against non-conference opponents. Buffalo ended Navy's nine-game home winning streak against non-conference foes in last Thursday's 63-53 decision.
• Navy has drawn 480,096 fans through the Alumni Hall gates, meaning it's highly likely that number 500,000 will pass through the gates at some point this year.

Second-Half Woes
Navy is outscoring its four opponents in the first half (134-132), but is getting outscored by almost seven points per game in the second half (166-135).
• In the first half, Navy is shooting 39.3 percent (44-of-112) from the field and 37.5 percent (18-of-48) from three-point range. Meanwhile, opponents are shooting 40.9 percent (45-of-110) and 25.0 percent (10-of-40), respectively, in the first half.
• In the second half, Navy is shooting just 31.7 percent (44-of-139) and 25.0 percent (10-of-40), respectively. Opponents are shooting 45.2 percent (57-of-126) from the field, including a sizzling 55.7 percent (49-of-88) from inside the three-point arc. Foes are 8-of-38 (.211) from three-point range in the second half.

# GO NAVY #

 

 

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