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Mids can't handle Stony Brook in OT, 80-78


The friendly surroundings of Alumni Hall were not quite enough to rescue Navy men's basketball team from its losing ways last night.

Back home after absorbing two lopsided losses on the road, the Midshipmen couldn't hold a five-point lead with 1:32 remaining in overtime and fell to Stony Brook, 80-78.

Navy (3-5) barely emerged alive in regulation on a controversial three-pointer by freshman Corey Johnson that officials ruled beat the final buzzer, then eased into a 78-73 edge in the extra period on seven consecutive points by David Hooper (game-high 23).

But the Seawolves - already playing without high scorer Mitchell Beauford, who suffered a broken foot in the previous game - persevered through three disqualifications on fouls and the early lagging in the overtime.

"We found a way to win," said Stony Brook coach Nick Macarchuk. "We didn't have a lot of our players and I'm very pleased with how we responded."

The Seawolves led 71-68 with three seconds left in regulation when Johnson took an inbounds pass, fumbled it and tossed up a 28-foot shot against a double team. The ball went in.

"I didn't think I got it off in time," said Johnson. "But I looked at the ref and he said it counted, so it counted."

After Hooper took over in overtime, Stony Brook (4-3) received two baskets by Mike Orfini around a Navy turnover to trim the margin to 78-77. Hooper then missed a difficult shot and freshman Antwan Hardy's two free throws gave the Seawolves the lead.

A foul shot by Orfini following a Navy miss by Johnson ended the scoring.

"We played one of our better games," said Navy coach Billy Lange. "Offensive rebounding [22] by Stony Brook was one of the keys to what happened."

The Midshipmen were without leading returning scorer Carlton Baldwin, who has been suspended indefinitely for violating academy policy.

"He probably would have helped us on the boards, but our strength is in our numbers," said Lange. "I was disappointed in our effort to start both halves but overall, we're improving."

The game was delayed 14 minutes midway through the first half when the scoreboard malfunctioned.

Mike Popoko (McDonogh) contributed 10 points and nine rebounds for Stony Brook, which had five players score in double figures. Hardy led the way with 19 points.

STONY BROOK - Orfini 3-6 1-2 7, Popoko 3-9 4-6 10, Spencer 5-8 6-9 16, Hardy 5-18 6-7 19, Santiago 4-11 2-7 12, Feist 0-2 0-0 0, McCollum 2-9 0-1 4, Kobryn 4-6 4-5 12. Totals 26-69 23-37 80. NAVY - O'Garro 0-2 0-0 0, Mergerson 4-12 4-7 12, Mathews 1-3 0-0 2, Green 0-0 0-0 0, Rhoiney 1-1 0-0 3, Hooper 6-16 8-9 23, Johnson 2-12 4-7 10, Fannin 6-14 6-8 18, Higgins 0-0 0-0 0, Sprink 2-6 2-2 6, Biles 2-5 0-0 4. Totals 24-71 24-33 78. Halftime - Navy, 37-31. End of regulation - 71-71. 3-point goals - Stony Brook 5-15 (Orfini 0-1, Popoko 0-2, Hardy 3-8, Santiago 2-3, Feist 0-1); Navy 6-15 (Mathews 0-2, Rhoiney 1-1, Hooper 3-8, Johnson 2-3, Sprink 0-1). Rebounds - Stony Brook 60 (McCollum 11); Navy 44 (Fannin 11); Assists - Stony Brook 13 (Santiago, McCollum 3); Navy 11 (Johnson, Sprink 4). A - 926.

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