Navy Concludes Four-Game Homestand on Friday Night vs. Penn on CBS College Sports
Dec. 3, 2009
|Friday, December 4, 2009|
7:00 pm (ET)
Alumni Hall (5,710)
|1-800-US4-NAVY or available at door|
$8 for adults / $4 for students
|WNAV (1430 AM / Annapolis)|
WTOP (820 & 1500 AM / Washington, D.C.)
SIRIUS Satellite Radio: Channel 127
Talent:Pete Medhurst, Michael Heary
|CBS College Sports|
Talent: Tom McCarthy, Pete Gillen
|Navy is 3-4 (0-0 Patriot League)|
Penn is 0-4 (0-0 Ivy League)
|Billy Lange (Rowan, 1994) is in his sixth year at Navy (72-81 at Navy / 111-100 overall).|
Glen Miller (Connecticut, 1986) is in his fourth year at Penn (45-47 at Penn / 233-206 overall).
|Overall Series Record|
Penn leads, 57-23
Dec. 28, 1907 (Penn, 37-16)
Dec. 5, 2008 (Navy, 76-65)
|At a Glance: Penn|
|Penn enters the game with an 0-4 overall record, and will be playing its first game since Nov. 24, a 58-49 loss to Drexel. The Quakers have played a difficult schedule so far, falling to Penn State (70-55), Villanova (103-65), Delaware (97-94, 2ot) and Drexel (58-49). The Quakers are coming off a 10-18 overall record and a 6-8 Ivy League record a year ago and returned four starters from last year's team. |
Sophomore point guard Zack Rosen, who was the Big Five Rookie of the Year last year, leads Penn with a 13.3 ppg and 5.3 apg average. He is joined in double figures by Jack Eggleston (12.8 ppg, 4.5 rpg) and Darren Smith (11.3 ppg). Sophomore Mike Howlett paces the Quakers in rebounds at 9.8 rpg. The Quakers' probable starting lineup consists of three sophomores, one junior and one senior.
As a team, Penn is averaging 65.8 ppg and allowing 82.0 ppg, a total that ranks 328th nationally out of 334 teams. The Quakers are shooting just 37.9 percent from the field (318th), 26.4 percent from three-point range (265th) and 66.9 percent from the free throw line (192nd). Opponents are shooting 49.4 percent from the field (320th) and 35.7 percent from long distance (218th). The Quakers are getting outrebounded by almost four per game and are -3.25 per game in turnover margin.
Setting the Stage
The second-most frequently-played rivalry on Navy's schedule returns to Alumni Hall for a nationally-televised contest on Friday night, beginning at 7:05 pm (ET) on the CBS College Sports Network (Tom McCarthy and Pete Gillen). Navy and Penn will meet for the 81st time on Friday and for the first time in Annapolis since Dec. 7, 2006, in a contest also carried by the CBS College Sports Network. In addtion, the game will be broadcast on the radio by WNAV (1430 AM), WTOP (820 & 1500 AM) and SIRIUS Satellite Radio (Channel 127) with Pete Medhurst and Michael Heary handling the call, beginning with the Navy basketball pregame show at 6:45 pm.
In addition, the game will be streamed online as part of Navy's All-Access package and Gametracker (live scoring) will be available at www.NavySports.com. In addition, fans can receive Twitter updates of Navy Basketball (and all 32 of Navy's sports) at Twitter.com/NavyAthletics(.)
Navy Team Information
Navy is 3-4 on the season after a thrilling 65-62 victory over Quinnipiac on Monday night in Alumni Hall. The Midshipmen are currently 2-1 on their season-long four-game homestand and own victories over Longwood (79-76), Towson (87-70) and Quinnipiac (65-62). Following Friday's game with Penn, Navy hits the road for four games against George Washington, Md.-Eastern Shore, Wofford and Seton Hall to conclude its pre-Holiday schedule.
Chris Harris continues to pace the Mids, who are showing signs of coming alive on offense. Harris leads the Patriot League in scoring at 21.6 ppg and is among the nation's leaders in points (20th), free throws made (3rd) and free throw percentage (40th). In three Navy victories this year, Harris is averaging 27.0 ppg, while shooting 32-of-32 (1.000) from the free throw line.
Harris is aided in the backcourt by sophomore Jordan Sugars, who is the only other Mid in double figures, averaging 13.6 ppg and 7.4 rpg, a total that ranks third in the Patriot League. Sugars has made 47.4 percent of his 38 three-point attempts (18-of-38) and is shooting 48.6 percent from the field this year.
The Mids currently rank 317th (of 334 teams) in field goal percentage, but over the last three games, is shooting 68-of-160 (.425) from the field. Navy is 16th nationally in three-point percentage defense (.248) and 51st in free throw percentage (.741).
Recapping the Quinnipiac Game
Navy 65, Quinnipiac 62
Chris Harris banked in a 45-foot heave as the buzzer expired to give Navy a thrilling 65-62 victory over Quinnipiac on Monday night. The Mids led by as many as 17 points in the second half and still led by 13 at 54-41 with 10:30 to play, before Quinnipiac went on a 21-8 run to tie the contest at 62, setting up Harris' heroics.
T.J. Topercer, who was inserted into the ballgame to throw the inbounds pass, threw a strike to Harris, who turned, took one dribble and let go of a shot in traffic that banked in off the glass and cleanly into the net.
The Mids shot 14-of-28 (.500) in the first half, but was just 5-of-19 (.263) in the second half. Over the last 10:30 of the contest, Navy was just 1-of-10 from the field, with Harris' shot being Navy's lone make.
Harris finished with 31 points (8-of-15 fgs, 5-of-10 3-pts., 10-of-10 fts) for his second 30-point game in the last three outings. Mark Veazey added a season-high 18 points on 7-of-14 shooting.
Navy was outrebounded, 41-25, including 25-13 in the second half. Navy, however, committed a season-low 12 turnovers and was 21-of-25 from the free throw line.
James Feldeine led Quinnipiac with 24 points, while Justin Rutty added 15 points and nine rebounds.
Navy and Penn Go Way Back
Navy and Penn will renew acquaintances for the 81st time on Friday night when the Quakers come calling to Alumni Hall. The rivalry ranks second on the "most times faced" list behind Army (110) and ahead of American (69), Lafayette (63) and William & Mary (59). Penn's 57 wins are by far and away the most for an opponent over Navy, ahead of Army (42), American (33), Holy Cross (30) and Maryland (30).
Last year, Navy won in the Palestra against the Quakers for the first time in 49 years to the date, with 76-65 win on Dec. 5. The Mids' last previous win in the Palestra against Penn came on Dec. 5, 1959, a 64-41 decision. Navy had lost 15 in a row to Penn in the Palestra.
Navy last won two in a row in the series in the 1959-60 seasons. In addition to the above-mentioned victory in the 1960 season, Navy also defeated the Quakers, 66-53, in Annapolis on Dec. 6, 1958.
Since those two wins in the 1959-60 seasons, Navy is just 4-25 against the Quakers.
Lastly, the two teams have played five overtime games in their 80 previous meetings. The five overtime games is the second most against one opponent, behind the six played against William & Mary (59 all-time meetings).
Navy is looking for its second straight victory overall for the first time this season.
The Midshipmen have not defeated Penn in two previous trips to Alumni Hall.
Following the contest with Penn, Navy will be away from Annapolis for four straight games, including Sunday's BB&T Classic game in Washington, D.C., against George Washington.
The Midshipmen have held 11 straight opponents under 50.0 percent from the field.
Inside the Numbers
When the Midshipmen attempt more free throws than their opponent under Lange, Navy is 45-8.
When Navy shoots a higher percentage than its opponent from the field under Lange, the Mids are 46-9.
Navy is 57-22 all-time under Lange when scoring 70 or more points.
Navy is 38-16 all-time under Lange when shooting 42 percent or better from the field.
Navy has made a three-pointer in 191 straight games, dating back to a Jan. 26, 2003, contest vs. Colgate.
Navy saw a streak of 138 straight games with at least three three-pointers snapped against Mount St. Mary's last Saturday night. Since Billy Lange has taken over at Navy, the Mids have made at least three three-pointers in 151-of-153 games played.
Solid at the Stripe
Navy started the year struggling at the free throw line, but has turned it around nicely in the last four games.
Through the first three games of the season, Navy was just 41-of-65 (.631) from the free throw line. Over the last four games, Navy has gone 79-of-97 (.814) from the charity stripe.
Throwing out Billy Lange's first year at Navy (2004-05), Navy can make a case as the country's best free throw shooting team, at least in terms of national rankings.
Over the last four years, Navy has ranked in the top 70 nationally in free throw percentage and owns four of the top eight single-season percentages on the Navy charts.
Now, including this year, Navy is one of three teams from the above list (Harvard and California) to rank in the top 70 nationally in each of the last five years, meaning Navy, California and Harvard are the only schools out of 334 to rank in the top 70 in free throw percentage every year since the start of 2005-06.
Navy is shooting .735 from the free throw line since the start of the 2005-06 season, making 1,882 of its 2,560 attempts.
Navy has had much luck starting games, but not much luck finishing games, showing signs of struggle in the second half.
Navy is outscoring its seven opponents in the first half (238-227), but is getting outscored by almost three points per game in the second half (237-257).
In the first half, Navy is shooting 42.1 percent (82-of-195) from the field and 34.2 percent (25-of-73) from three-point range. Meanwhile, opponents are shooting 39.6 percent (76-of-192) and 26.5 percent (18-of-68), respectively, in the first half.
In the second half, Navy is shooting just 35.2 percent (74-of-210) and 31.3 percent (20-of-64), respectively. Opponents are shooting 43.5 percent (90-of-207) from the field. Foes are 13-of-59 (.220) from three-point range in the second half.
Navy and League Honors
Navy has started the year off on the right foot, garnering two of the Patriot League's first three weekly honors. Jordan Sugars was named the initial weekly winner after averaging 15.0 ppg and 12.0 rpg during Navy's opening weekend.
Chris Harris was honored on Monday after averaging 27.0 ppg in a pair of Navy games last week. He scored 37 against Towson, and 17 against Mount St. Mary's.
Navy has won 33 PL Player of the Week awards since joining the league, the fourth most in league history.
Since the start of last year, Navy players have won seven of the 19 weekly honors, two more than American, who is next on the list with five.
Navy Among Patriot League Leaders
Five Navy players rank in the top 10 among the Patriot League leaders.
Senior guard Chris Harris leads the Patriot League in scoring (21.6), is third in free throw percentage (51-of-55; .927), is seventh in steals (1.4), is fourth in three-pointers per game (2.3) and tied for the league lead in minutes played (35.0).
Sophomore Jordan Sugars is eighth in scoring (13.6), third in rebounding (7.4), seventh in field goal percentage (.486), third in three-point percentage (.474), second in three-pointers per game (2.6) and fourth in minutes played (34.4).
Romeo Garcia, a junior forward, is seventh in rebounding (6.3), seventh in assists (3.3), third in assists-to-turnover ratio (2.3) and fifth in minutes (33.9).
Junior point O.J. Avworo is second in assists (5.0), sixth in steals (1.5) and sixth in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.4).
Lastly, junior center Mark Veazey is fourth in blocks (1.1).
Sugars Named Player of the Week
Navy sophomore Jordan Sugars was named the Patriot League Player of the Week on Monday, Nov. 16, after leading the Mids to a 1-1 record during their opening weekend of play, averaging 15.0 ppg and 12.0 rpg.
Sugars became just the fourth sophomore in school history to win the Patriot League POW award (Brian Walker, Chris Williams and Greg Sprink).
Making his first career start, Sugars had a monster game against Radford, logging career highs in points (16), rebounds (16), field goals made (6), field goals attempted (18), three-pointers made (3), three-pointers attempted (10) and minutes (40).
Then in the Nov. 15 win over Longwood, Sugars went 6-of-7 from the field for 14 points and grabbed eight rebounds.
Sugars' 16 rebounds were the most for a Navy player since Matt Fannin had 19 against American on Jan. 12, 2005.
Harris Named Player of the Week
Chris Harris was named the Patriot League Player of the Week on Monday and ECAC POW on Tuesday after averaging 27.0 ppg in two Navy games last week. He earns the award for the second time in his career.
Harris scored a career-high 37 points in the Mids' 87-70 win over Towson. It equaled the most points for a Navy player since Michael Heary scored 38 in the 1996-97 season. The 37 points were one shy of the Alumni Hall record for a Navy player and the 16th most in school history.
Harris moved into 18th place on the Navy career scoring list and over 1,100 points in the win over Towson.
He then added 17 points, all in the second half and OT, in the loss to Mount St. Mary's.
The League's Top-Scoring Attack
Navy has led the Patriot League in scoring in four of Billy Lange's five years in charge, including two in a row. Navy led the league in scoring in 2005, 2006, 2008 and 2009.
Holy Cross led the league in scoring five times in six years (1991-96) and four years in a row (1993-96). Holy Cross is the only program to ever lead the league in scoring three times in a row, let alone four times, as well as four times in a five-year span.
Navy's 76.3 ppg average in 2007-08 was the highest in the league since Holy Cross averaged 77.2 ppg in 1995-96.
Alumni Hall Success
Since the start of last year, Navy is 14-5 at Alumni Hall in all games played. The record improves to 9-2 vs. non-conference foes.
Now in its 19th year at Alumni Hall, Navy owns a 160-92 (.635) record in the facility.
In its 19th year of hosting Navy basketball, 484,246 fans have filed through the turnstiles, meaning that the 500,000th fan will likely come through the ticket gates at some point this year.
# GO NAVY #