Nov. 14, 2010
NEWARK, N.J. -- After letting all but two points of a 19-point first-half lead slip away, the Navy women's basketball team closed the game strong to post a 72-55 victory over NJIT Sunday afternoon at the Fleischer Center in Newark, N.J. The win was Navy's second in as many games on this the opening weekend of the season, while the Highlanders fell in their season opener.
Navy held an 8-7 lead less than four minutes into the game, but erupted with a 24-6 run to build a 32-13 lead over the next 10 minutes. The Mids connected on 8-of-11 shots from the field during this span, while NJIT missed seven of its nine attempts from the floor during the same time.
"We did a real nice job against NJIT's zone and full-court defense," said Navy head coach Stefanie Pemper of her team's efforts in the opening part of the game. "We maintained good spacing and moved the ball around well. We were able to not only get good shots, but also hit them. This was our second game (Navy defeated Siena Friday night) and the first for NJIT, and I think that helped us. They seemed a little surprised with what we were doing in the early part of the game."
NJIT proceeded to go on a sizeable run of its own. The Highlanders closed to within eight points of the Mids at halftime (39-31) before scoring the opening six points of the second half to make it just a two-point game at 39-37. While Navy was missing 10 of its 13 shots from the floor in this timeframe, NJIT was converting 11 of its 14 attempts from the field.
"We were still getting good shots, but they weren't falling and we tightened up a bit," said Pemper of the middle part of the game. "NJIT also caught its proverbial second wind. Our lead was a real kick in the pants for them and their coach started subbing players. They are a very athletic team and that started to make a difference. It was a classic basketball run by them."
Navy held just a 43-39 lead with 15 minutes remaining in the game, but the Mids opened the margin back to double figures with an 8-0 run that made the score 51-39 with 12:51 left on the clock. NJIT could pull no closer than within 10 points of the Mids over the remainder of the game.
"We came into the game concerned about how we were going to defend NJIT because they are so athletic and how we were going to score ourselves because their 2-3 zone is very different from almost every other one we see," said Pemper. "So we tinkered a bit with our zone offense and added a few new wrinkles Saturday in practice and worked on them this morning in shootaround. I am really pleased with how we were able to implement those ideas, and this last run of ours was the result of our tapping into that tinkering. And we also hit some shots again."
Both teams shot over 40 percent from the field in the game, but Navy made eight three-point field goals and was 8-of-10 from the foul line while NJIT made five three-point field goals and was 4-of-4 from the charity stripe. The Mids held a big statistical advantage on the glass, especially on the offensive end. Navy hauled in 18 offensive rebounds to just six for NJIT, a difference that resulted in the Mids holding a 20-2 lead in second-chance points.
Navy's offense was very balanced as five players scored in double figures in the game. Cassie Consedine (Sr., Bartlesville, Okla.) led all Mids in the game with 15 points, while Angela Myers (Sr., San Antonio, Texas) was 5-of-6 from the floor on her way to scoring 14 points. Also for the Mids, Chey Arvin (So., Noblesville, Ind.) scored 11 points and both Jade Geif (Fr., Lakeview, Minn.) and Audrey Bauer (Fr., Lake Zurich, Ill.) tallied 10 points.
Myers would have another strong all-around day for the Mids. In addition to her 14 points, she also recorded seven steals, six assists and three rebounds against the Highlanders.
"I thought Angela had a terrific opening weekend," said Pemper. "This was a real physical and mental challenge today. NJIT changes its defenses regularly, so it takes a good point guard to recognize what is going on, remain poised and be there for their teammates. Angela was able to do just that today as a true thinking point guard. She really set the tone for us."
Additionally, Consedine and Arvin both narrowly missed respective double-doubles as each hauled in nine caroms.
NJIT's Melanie Griffin led all players in the game with 19 points. She was 8-of-12 from the field and made 3-of-4 three-point field goal attempts. However, the remainder of the NJIT team was 15-of-40 from the floor (37.5%) and just 2-of-7 from outside of the three-point arc (28.6%).
Navy will open the home portion of its season this weekend when the Mids play host to the Navy Classic on Friday and Saturday in Alumni Hall. Friday's schedule has Oral Roberts and Harvard playing at 3:30 p.m. before Navy takes on Villanova at 5:45 p.m. Oral Roberts and Villanova will then play Saturday at 11 a.m., with Navy playing host to Harvard at 8:30 p.m.