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Mids Wrap Up Pre-Holiday Break Saturday vs. Northern Kentucky

Jerome Alexander and the Midshipmen take on Northern Kentucky on Saturday afternoon (2:00 PM) in Alumni Hall.

Dec. 21, 2012

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Northern Kentucky (1-6) at Navy (6-6)
Saturday, December 22, 2012 | 2:00 PM (ET)
Annapolis, Md. | Alumni Hall (5,710)
Streaming Video:
Navy All-Access
Radio: WNAV (1430 AM, 99.9 FM,
Satellite Radio: SIRIUS (Ch. 134), XM (Ch. 198)
Announcers: Pete Medhurst (play-by-play), Michael Heary (analyst)
Television: None
Tickets: 1-800-US4-NAVY / available at Alumni Hall ticket window
Series: First Meeting

Bring your 'A' Game -- All kids ages 14 and under receive FREE admission to the game by showing an 'A' grade on their report card or graded assignment at the Alumni Hall Ticket Office.

• All fans without a Department of Defense sticker affixed to their vehicle will need to either park outside of the Naval Academy and walk through the security checkpoint or else ride the free shuttle bus to and from the matches. The shuttle bus will originate from and return to Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium (parking is $5 per vehicle).
• Season-ticket holders are able to park on The Yard, as they should have received a pass from the Naval Academy for entry onto campus.

The Game
• Navy (6-6) closes out its pre-Holiday slate of games on Saturday afternoon (Dec. 22) when NCAA Division I newcomer Northern Kentucky (0-6) comes to Alumni Hall for a 2:00 PM tip-off. Tickets are available online at, by calling 1-800-US4-NAVY or at the Alumni Hall ticket window.

• Navy enters the contest with a 6-6 overall record and has won four of its last six games. The Midshipmen carry a three-game home winning streak, winning those games by an average of 12.7 points per game. The Midshipmen boast four scorers that average at least 7.6 points per game. Navy, along with Army, are the only Patriot League schools to have at least 10 players averaging 10.0 minutes per game.

• Navy is paced by freshman Tilman Dunbar, who leads the team in points (10.7 ppg) and assists (5.8 apg). Brandon Venturini (9.0 ppg), Worth Smith (8.8) and Kendall Knorr (7.6 ppg) all contribute at least 7.5 points per game. Eight regulars are shooting over 42.0 percent for the Midshipmen, which is also averaging just 12.3 turnovers per game.

• In its first year of its transitional state to Division I, Northern Kentucky enters Saturday's game with an 1-6 record, defeating Hampton, 54-52, on Thursday night. NKU's losses have come to San Diego, Tulsa, Siena, Cal State Northridge, Texas Tech and No. 4-ranked Ohio State. The Norse have yet to play a home game un the 2012-13 season.

• The Norse had been an NCAA Division II power for years, advancing to 12 NCAA Division II Tournaments since 1995, including each of the last two tournaments in 2011 and 2012. The Norse were NCAA runner-ups in 1996 and 1997.

• Nebraska transfer Eshaunte Jones leads the Norse with a 13.0 points per game average. Jalen Billups averages 9.7 points per game and Ethan Faulkner averages 6.0 points per game while leading the team in rebounds (5.3) and assists (2.7). The Norse are shooting just 37.4 percent from the field and 27.0 percent from three-point range.

The Coaches
• Navy head coach Ed DeChellis is in his second year at Navy, owning a 9-32 record in Annapolis. He has undertaken massive rebuilding projects at East Tennessee State, Penn State and now Navy, owning a 228-263 career record in his 17th season as a collegiate head coach. He will coach his 500th career game on January 26, 2013, vs. Colgate.

• Dave Bezold in his ninth season as a collegiate head coach, all at Northern Kentucky, owning a 162-85 career record. He guided the Norse to five NCAA Division II Tournaments (2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012), all coming in the last six years.

The Series
... first meeting between the two teams.
... Navy is 0-5 all-time against the Atlantic Sun Conference (0-2 vs. Jacksonville,0-2 vs. Mercer, 0-2 vs. Stetson).
... Navy is 8-10 on this date (Dec. 22) all-time.
... in the final game before the Holiday break, Navy has lost in the previous four seasons by an average of 19.8 ppg.
... Navy is just 1-5 vs. the state of Kentucky all-time.
... Ed DeChellis is just 0-1 against the Atlantic Sun all-time, falling to Mercer last year. When DeChellis coached at East Tennessee State, it was part of the Southern Conference.

A Navy Win Would...
... improve Navy to 7-6 overall.
... give Navy a .500 record at the Holiday Break for the first time since the 2008-09 season.
... be Navy's fourth win in a row at Alumni Hall, its longest homecourt winning streak since Jan. 23 to Feb. 17, 2010.
... give Navy seven wins at the Holiday Break, its fifth-most victories at the break since 1951-52.
... be Navy's first all-time victory against a current member of the Atlantic Sun Conference.
... be Navy's first win over a team from the State of Kentucky since the 1927-28 season (Kentucky).

Navy Team Notes
• In the official NCAA rankings released on Monday, the Midshipmen rank 16th in the country in scoring defense, 41st in field goal percentage defense and 16th in three-point field goal percentage defense. The Midshipmen are one of 12 teams nationally to rank in the top 50 of all three categories.

• Navy's six wins to date have already doubled the amount Navy won all of last year (3). So far this year, 10 NCAA Division I teams have surpassed last year's win total and Navy (along with Canisius, Bryant and Towson) lead the way with a three-win increase from last year.

• Navy is 4-2 during its last six games, the Midshipmen's best six-game stretch since Jan. 22 - Feb. 12, 2011. With a win over Northern Kentucky, Navy is looking to go 5-2 over a seven-game stretch for the first time since Jan. 23 - Feb. 17, 2010.

• Navy is looking to improve to 7-6, giving Navy a winning record heading into the holiday break for the first time since 2008-09 (8-4). The last time Navy was above .500 this late in the year came at the end of the 2008-09 season (finished 19-11). The six wins are already tied for the fifth-most victories before Christmas in school history

• Navy freshmen are averaging 26.1 points per game, scoring 313 of Navy's 724 points (43.2 percent). The school record for points scored by a freshman class is 762 by the freshman class of 2010-11 (this year's current junior class), while the top average by a freshman class is 25.7 set by the freshman class of 2005-06 (Kina, Teague, Colbert, Brigham, Reed, Bailey).

• Over the last three games, Navy has been incredibly efficient on the offensive end, shooting 57.0 percent from the field and 44.4 percent from three-point range while averaging 73.0 points per game.

• During the same span in the second half only, Navy has shot 66.7 percent from the field and 55.6 percent from three-point range, while outscoring foes by an average of 42.7 points per game to 28.7 points per game.

• Navy has won three straight home games and owns a 4-1 record at Alumni Hall. Navy's last four-game winning streak at Alumni Hall came on Jan. 23 - Feb. 17, 2010. During the current home winning streak, Navy has outscored its opponents by a combined 38 points (12.7 points per game).

• Navy's bench has outscored its counterparts in all but two games this year (TCU, Mount St. Mary's), averaging 21.3 points per contest. The group is shooting 42.9 percent from the field and 40.7 percent from three-point range. Freshman Kendall Knorr (7.6 points per game) is the second-ranked bench scorer in the Patriot League behind Colgate's Brandon James (7.9 ppg).

• Navy has had at least four players in double figures in each of the last three games, showing off its balanced scoring. Navy had just five games last year (out of 29 games) where four or more players scored in double figures.

• Navy has no players in the top 15 in the Patriot League in scoring, but has four players (Dunbar, Venturini, Smith, Knorr) that average between 7.6 and 10.7 points per game. Ten different players average at least 10.0 minutes per game.

• Navy is getting outscored in second-chance points, 139-79, an average of 11.6 to 6.6 points per game. Opponents have turned their 140 offensive rebounds into those 139 points.

• However, Navy has doubled up its opponents in fast-break points, outscoring foes, 82-39, in that category.

• The Midshipmen defense has held eight of its 12 opponents to 54 points or less and just two teams, UAB and Mount St. Mary's, have surpassed the 70-point plateau on the season.

• From last year to this year, Navy has made an eight-point swing through the season's first 12 games. Navy was getting outscored by 4.2 points per game last year after 12 games, while this year, Navy is outscoring its foes by 4.1 points per game. In addition, Navy's defense is holding its foes to 70 percentage points lower on its field goal attempts (.452 to .382). The biggest area of improvement comes in ball handling (turnover margin, turnovers per game and assist-to-turnover ratio).

• Navy is just 1-28 during the Ed DeChellis era when opponents shoot a higher percentage than Navy.

• The Midshipmen are just 2-23 when trailing or tied at halftime under DeChellis. However, the two wins have come in the last three games (Monmouth, Bryant).

• Lastly, Navy is just 3-17 under DeChellis in games decided by single-digits, including 0-7 in games decided by three or fewer points. Navy is 1-4 in games decided by single digits during the 2012-13 season. The Midshipmen are 5-2 in games decided by double figures this year.

Rare Shooting Feat
• Navy has shot over 55.0 percent in three straight games for the first time since March 7-9, 1985 (CAA Tournament). The last time Navy accomplished the feat in four straight games was Jan. 7-14, 1985.

Navy Shines on Defensive End
• Navy's defense has held eight of 12 opponents this year to 54 or fewer points, but has posted just a 4-4 record in those games. Navy has allowed just three opponents to score more than 60 points (UAB, Monmouth, Mount St. Mary's).

• The Midshipmen held five straight opponents (TCU, Prairie View A&M, Delaware State, IPFW and Tulane) to 55 points or less. It marked the first time since February 1986 (year Navy made the Elite Eight) that it held five straight opponents to 55 points or less.

Rookie of the Week Times Three
Kendall Knorr and Tilman Dunbar became the first two Navy freshmen to win Patriot League Rookie of the Week honors in consecutive weeks since Chris Harris and Trey Stanton won back-to-back honors in November 2006.

• The duo becomes Navy's fourth set of teammates to earn back-to-back Patriot League Rookie of the Week accolades. (Harris, Stanton in November 2006; Kaleo Kina and Adam Teague in January 2006; Brian Walker and Randy Torgrimson in February 1994).

• Knorr was named the recipient on December 3 after scoring 13 of his 15 points against IPFW in a five-minute span during the second half.

• Dunbar won back-to-back awards on December 10 and December 17. Dunbar averaged 19.0 ppg and 6.0 apg in contests against Monmouth and Mount St. Mary's to earn the award on December 10, then tallied 13 points with 10 assists against Bryant to be named Rookie of the Week for the second straight time on Monday.

• Dunbar is one of six Navy freshmen to earn ROW awards in consecutive weeks.

Knorr Knows How to Start a Run
Kendall Knorr has shown the ability to "go off" a few times this year. He currently ranks fourth on the team in scoring at 7.6 points per game, but leads the team in points per 40 minutes (15.9 ppg) as he averages just 19.1 mpg.

• In the season opener against Marymount, Knorr finished the game with 13 points on 3-of-6 field goals (all three-ptrs.) and 4-of-4 free throw attempts. He scored 10 of his 13 points in a 4:22 span late in the first half that started a 21-2 run to give Navy a 45-24 lead at halftime.

• Knorr finished 6-of-6 from the field (3-of-3 from 3-pt. range) in a 54-49 win over IPFW. He scored 13 of his 15 points against the Mastadons in a five-minute span in the second half that helped push the Navy lead from 31-30 to 49-36 with 4:30 to play in the contest.

• Lastly, Knorr tallied the last 10 Navy points of the contest in the win over Bryant, including a huge three-pointer with 2:03 to play to push the Midshipmen lead from 59-55 to 62-55. He then iced the game away by making seven-of-eight free throws down the stretch.

Incredible Coincidence
• Comparing last year and this year through 12 games, Navy has scored the exact same points in the first half (343 / 28.6 points per half).

• The biggest difference comes on the defensive end, where Navy has allowed 55 fewer points in the first half and 57 fewer points in the second half through the first 12 games.

Player Notes
Tilman Dunbar
... 2nd among Patriot League freshmen in scoring (Kyle Wilson -- Army; 11.8).
... 2nd among the country's freshmen in assists (Javan Felix -- Texas, 6.0).
... back-to-back Patriot League Rookie of the Week.
... averaging 17.0 ppg and 7.3 apg while shooting 19-of-28 FGs last 3 games.
... already ranks ninth on the Navy single-season freshman assists list.
... one of 19 players nationally to average 10.0 ppg and 5.0 apg while shooting 45.0 percent from the field.
... his two double-doubles in points / assists are already the sixth most by a Navy player in school history.
... has distributed 42.94 percent of Navy's assists, the fourth-best percentage nationally by a freshman.

Kendall Knorr
... 3rd among Patriot League freshmen in scoring; first in three-pointers made.
... 15th nationally among freshmen in three-pointers made (20).
... has made 19-of-20 free throws on the season (.950).
... over the last three games, is averaging 14.3 ppg while shooting 10-of-21 from the field and 8-of-17 from three-point range.
... named Patriot League Rookie of the Week on Dec. 3.
... has four double-figure scoring games in last five outings.

Brandon Venturini
... has seven double-figure scoring games this year.
... is 14-of-31 (.452) from three-point range in last six contests.
... owns an assist-to-turnover ratio of 23-to-11 (2.09) this season.
... 15th among the nation's sophomores in three-ptrs. made; 11th in attempts.
... 74 points scored as a freshman; already 108 this season.

Worth Smith
... has seven double-figure scoring games already this year.
... averaging 10.0 ppg and 6.6 rpg over the last five games (22-of-44 FGs).
... surpassed 300 career points in the win over Bryant.
... ranks ninth in the Patriot League in rebounding (5.8 rpg).

James Loupos
... scored in double-figures in back-to-back games for first time in career.
... avg. 9.3 ppg and 3.3 rpg while going 11-of-17 (.647) FGs in last three games.
... leads team with nine drawn charges and active leader in career starts (32).

Will Kelly
... shooting 73.3 percent from the field (11-of-15).
... went 5-of-5 from the field vs. Monmouth; has made seven straight FGs over the last three games.

Thurgood Wynn
... tallied career-high 19 points on 8-of-9 FGs in the win over Monmouth.
... scored 200th career point in the loss to Mount St. Mary's.
... averaging 7.0 ppg and 3.0 rpg over last three games; 10-of-13 FGs.

Miscellaneous Information
• Navy owns a 179-114 (.611) record in Alumni Hall in its 22nd season at Alumni Hall.

• Navy will play its 300th game in the facility on Feb. 16 when it hosts rival Army in the annual Star Game.

• Navy is 136-146 (.482) all-time in its 22nd season in the Patriot League. The Mids are 76-60 (.559) at Alumni Hall and 60-81 (.426) on the road in Patriot League action. Navy is 1-4 in games played in Halsey Field House (1992 and 1993) in Patriot League play.

• Navy has won three Patriot League Tournament championships (1994, `97, `98) and five regular-season crowns (1994, `96, `97, `98, 2000).

• Alumni Hall has sold out nine times, all coming against Army, including in each of the last five years. Navy is 7-2 in Alumni Hall sellouts.

• Since its opening in the 1991-92 season, six Navy players have scored 1,000 career points. All six scored the milestone point in Alumni Hall.




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