Junior guard Brandon Venturini led all scorers with a career-best 28 points on 8-for-9 shooting from 3-point range as Navy ended a four-game losing skid with a 79-71 victory over visiting Lafayette in a Patriot League game Sunday.
"This was a big game for us," Midshipmen coach Ed DeChellis said. "We lose the other night, we have to go to Boston U. on Tuesday with a one-day prep tomorrow, and then we have Army on Saturday. This was an important game for us. The kids knew it. I thought they played a little tight in the first half. I thought the first half we were really sleepwalking and we didn't play with the level of intensity that we needed to have.
"In the second half I thought we played better. Obviously when you make some shots like Venturini did it opens things up a little bit for you. I'm very happy with our kids the second half. They had good effort and they responded."
Navy (6-7) moved to 5-0 at home and evened its record in the Patriot League at 1-1.
Lafayette (4-9, 0-2) — playing without leading scorer Seth Hinrichs, who is out indefinitely with a left knee injury — lost for the fourth straight time.
Guard Thurgood Wynn added 15 and forward Worth Smith chipped in with 14 for the Mids.
Three-point shooting was the difference. As a team, Navy nailed 11 of 14 from beyond the arc, while Lafayette, normally a solid 3-point shooting team, made six of 17 from 3-point range.
Lafayette went into halftime leading 33-29 on 45percent shooting from the field (9-for-20).
Massachusetts-Lowell 59, UMBC 54: The visiting Retrievers failed to overcome a cold-shooting second half and lost to the River Hawks.
UMass-Lowell (2-11, 0-1 America East) closed the first half on a 9-4 run to take a 34-31 lead into intermission, and scored the first seven points of the second half to extend its lead to 10. UMBC (4-10, 0-1) went 6-for-23 from the floor in the second half and missed four of its first five free-throw attempts after the break.
The Retrievers cut the margin to three on a pair of free throws by guard Rodney Elliott with just over a minute to play, but the River Hawks ran the shot clock down, missed a layup and picked up the offensive rebound. Center Kerry Weldon missed both of the ensuing free throws, giving UMBC the chance to tie, but Elliott missed a 3-pointer in the final seconds. Weldon hit a pair of free throws with a second to play for the final margin.
Guard Rodney Elliott was the only player in double figures for UMBC, finishing with 14 points to go with his six assists and two steals. The Retrievers were undone by their bench, which combined to go 7-for-23 from the field, 0-for-6 from 3-point range and 4-for-9 from the free-throw line.
Army 91, Loyola Maryland 82: Five players scored in double figures for the hot-shooting Black Knights (6-7, 2-0 Patriot League), led by forward Kyle Wilson with 18 points, in a win over the visiting Greyhounds (6-7, 1-1).
Guard Dylan Cox added 17, missing only one shot from the field for Army, and center Kevin Ferguson chipped in with 15 points and nine rebounds.
Guard Dylon Cormier (Cardinal Gibbons) scored a game-high 26 points for Loyola, but made only 10 of 25 shots from the field. Guard R.J. Williams (St. Frances) added 14 points and six steals, while guard Eric Laster scored 13 points.
Navy 67, Lafayette 53: Kara Pollinger paced the visiting Mids with 15 points to go along with seven rebounds as Navy (10-3) picked up its second Patriot League win in as many games. The Leopards dropped to 6-7, 0-2.
Army 66, Loyola Maryland 62, OT: Junior Nai Brown and freshman Lisa Mirarchi sets career highs in points, but the host Greyhounds (3-10, 0-2 Patriot League) lost to the Black Knights (10-3, 2-0).
Brown had 24 points and six rebounds, while Mirarchi chipped in 17 points and four assists.
Baltimore Sun staff contributed to this article.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun