Senior forward Tyler Nelson scored 14 points and added three rebounds, two assists and a block as Navy men’s basketball bounced back to beat Bucknell, 81-63, Wednesday night at Sojka Pavilion in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania.
Senior center Richard Njoku totaled 10 points, five rebounds and three blocked shots for Navy (13-7, 6-3 Patriot League), which moved into a four-way tie for first place in the Patriot League. Loyola Maryland, Lehigh and Army West Point are also 6-3 within the conference following Wednesday’s action.
Junior forward Jaylen Walker came off the bench to also net 14 points as the visiting Midshipmen had four players score in double figures. Daniel Deaver provided 11 points off the bench, while fellow junior forward Patrick Dorsey grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds in a reserve role for Navy, which rebounded from Saturday’s devastating defeat to archrival Army in which it blew a 27-point lead at home.
“I’m really proud of our guys. Right from the opening tip, we played well,” Navy coach Ed DeChellis said. “After getting stung Saturday, this was kind of a test of who we are and what kind of team we have. I think they showed us tonight they have a great fiber to them. I trusted them and they were ready to play.”
Senior guard Andrew Funk scored 17 points to pace Bucknell (4-17, 1-8), which has now lost six straight meetings with Navy. The Midshipmen swept the season series, having beaten the Bison 73-55 at Alumni Hall on Jan. 7.
Nelson scored 11 of his points in the first half when Navy used a 12-0 run to build a 21-12 lead at the midway mark. Bucknell sliced the deficit to six on two occasions and trailed 35-28 at halftime.
John Carter (nine points) hit a big shot from beyond the arc early in the second half to spark Navy, which scored on 10 of its first 11 possessions to take a commanding 55-37 advantage.
Njoku made all four field goals he attempted during a stretch that saw the Midshipmen lead by as many as 25 points.
“We wanted to try and get the ball inside,” DeChellis said. “We haven’t started well in the second half, so that was a focus point. At practice the other day, I called timeout and made them sit down for a few minutes and then we went back at it trying to simulate halftime and coming out of the gate.”
The Midshipmen are now 4-0 on the road in Patriot League play but have lost three straight at home. Navy will try to snap that skid when it hosts American this Saturday at 2 p.m. at Alumni Hall.
Saturday, 2 p.m.
Stream: ESPN+ Radio: 1430 AM
Navy women’s basketball loses
Senior guard Jennifer Coleman recorded her 14th double-double of the season with 19 points and 11 rebounds, but Navy faltered down the stretch and lost to Bucknell, 53-43, at Alumni Hall Wednesday.
Coleman also dished off four assists and swiped two steals but did not get enough support from her teammates in what has become a familiar theme this season. No other player scored in double digits for Navy (6-13, 3-6 Patriot League), which holds eighth place out of 10 teams in the Patriot League.
Sophomore guard Kristina Donza scored all nine of her points from beyond the arc for the Midshipmen, who led 30-28 at intermission. Senior guard Taylor O’Brien totaled 16 points to lead Bucknell, which outscored Navy 15-7 in the third quarter to take control.
Navy was within four points with less than 30 seconds remaining but Bucknell went 6 for 6 from the free throw line the rest of the way to secure the road win.
“We had shots all game, we just didn’t make them,” Navy coach Tim Taylor said. “We had looks from three that we liked, we had some wide-open layups, but we just didn’t make them. So many of our shots were short tonight.”
Saturday, 2 p.m.