College roundup: Navy men’s basketball notches big road win

NEWARK, Del. –– The Navy (3-5) men’s basketball team answered every charge Delaware (7-3) made at it to come away with an 80-65 victory Wednesday night at the Bob Carpenter Center in Newark, Del.

“It was a great team win,” said Navy head coach Ed DeChellis. “It was fun watching our team play. I am really, really proud of our kids. We needed a win and we came in here and got one.”

Navy quickly jumped out to a 7-2 lead at the very start of the game. Delaware would take leads of 14-13 and 22-21, but the Mids scored the next five points to regain the lead at 26-22. Danny Ogele would hit a jumper followed by a three-point field goal to boost the advantage out to nine points at 33-24 before a late basket by the Blue Hens sent the teams into the locker room with Navy in front, 33-26.

Navy grabbed 18 offensive boards in the first half and held a 15-9 edge in second chance points during the opening 20 minutes of play.

Delaware opened the second half on a 7-0 run to tie the score at 33-33 less than three minutes into the stanza. The ensuing eight points of the game were scored by Navy’s George Kiernan, which made the score 41-33 with just over 14 minutes left in the game.

“I thought the most important thing was when they scored seven points to start the second half and tie the game, we came right back at them,” said DeChellis.

The Blue Hens gradually winnowed the margin down to one point at 52-51 with 10 minutes still to play. Neither team scored on their respective ensuing possession, then Hasan Abdullah first drained a three-point shot and then made a jumper on Navy’s next trip down the court to give the Mids a 57-51 lead with a little more than eight minutes left. After another empty possession by Delaware, John Carter Jr. scored on a fastbreak off of an assist by Abdullah to push the advantage out to 59-51.

One minute later, however, that eight-point lead was sliced in half. The gap hovered between four and six points for the next few minutes as both offenses start to click. Cam Davis soon drilled a three-point shot to give Navy a 66-59 lead. That triple started an 11-2 run that boosted the Mids out to a 74-61 lead with just over two minutes left.

Navy had great balance on offense as seven players scored between nine and 13 points. Leading the way were Kiernan and Davis with 13, and Abdullah and Ogele with 12. Carter scored nine points, led the Mids with eight rebounds and shared the team lead with four assists.

“We had guys make big shots,” said DeChellis. “We made timely shots. We’re a balance team; we’re not going to have this guy score 20 (points) and that guy score 20. But if we can get 5-6-7 guys between nine and 13 points, that’s really good for us.”

The Mids would lead for over 33 minutes and allowed the Blue Hens to lead for just 2:16 and never by more than two points.

Navy shot 55.6 percent from the field in the second half and 41.8 percent for the game. Though the Blue Hens shot 49 percent for the evening, the MIds attempted 16 more field goals (67-51) thanks to their snaring 22 offensive boards and allowing just 11. Navy ended the game with a 23-4 advantage in second chance points.

Navy also committed just five turnovers and forced 15, which led the Mids to enjoying a 20-7 edge in points scored after those miscues.

“We really tried to focus on offensive execution the last few days in practice,” said DeChellis. “I thought we were much better at taking care of the ball. And the big thing is we rebounded the ball well. We really tried to work on rebounding. Our offensive rebounds made us more aggressive.”

Navy will be back in action Sunday when it plays at Lipscomb.

NAVY WRESTLING: After spending the last month competing in a handful of tournaments, the Navy wrestling team (0-1) closes out the calendar year with a dual match against longtime rival Maryland (0-1) on Friday evening (7:00 pm) at Xfinity Center in College Park.

Navy owns a 0-1 mark in dual action this season, losing a 28-9 decision to No. 2 Ohio State in the opening week of competition. Since the Ohio State dual, the Mids have competed at the Jonathan Kaloust Bearcat Open (no team scoring), Navy Classic (3rd/16 teams) and Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational (17th/43 teams).

BOWIE STATE MEN’S BASKETBALL: Redshirt junior David Belle pumped in a career-high 24 points and hauled down a game-high 10 rebounds to lead Bowie State University to a 74-70 victory over previously unbeaten Shippensburg University on Wednesday evening in the A.C. Jordan Arena. The Shippensburg Raiders (8-1) were ranked #11 in the latest NABC Coaches Poll coming into the contest.

Bowie State (4-5) won its fourth straight game.

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