BOSTON, Mass. –– Tyler Nelson (Sr., Monroe, N.C.) was 9-9 from the foul line in scoring a career-high 25 points during a 75-58 victory by the Navy (8-5, 1-0) men’s basketball team over Boston U. (7-7, 0-1), Friday afternoon at Case Gym in Boston, Mass.

The victory was Navy’s fifth in a row in league season openers.

“It was a very physical game,” said Navy head coach Ed DeChellis.  “I thought our kids played really hard and played pretty well on both ends of the floor.  Boston is averaging 84 points a game at home this season and we held them to 58.  It was a really good defensive effort.  Our zone was pretty good tonight.  Tyler had a big game offensively and everybody else pitched in.

“I’m really proud of our guys.  It was a great road win to come up here after a nine-hour bus ride and some drama getting here.”

Boston jumped out to a 9-2 lead and still led, 12-8, when Navy went on a 23-6 run to take a 31-18 advantage with just under five minutes remaining in the first half.  The Mids went into the locker room holding a 36-28 lead.

Navy limited Boston to a 33 -percent shooting effort in the first half, including a 3-18 showing from three-point range.  Conversely, the Mids made 52 percent of their first-half field goal attempts and were 5-14 from beyond the arc.

Nelson paced the Mids with 15 first-half points.

Credit: U.S. Naval Academy

The Mids built a 10-point lead three times in the early stages of the second half only to see the Terriers close to within three points at 45-42.  Both teams had empty possessions, then Sean Yoder (Sr. Dublin, Ohio) was fouled while sinking a three-point basket.  He converted the four-point play to push the lead to 49-42 with 12:09 remaining.  The margin again grew to 10 points when Nelson made his fourth triple of the game to make the score 54-44.

It didn’t take long for the Terriers to slice the lead down to four points at 56-52 with 6:34 left on the clock.  Austin Benigni (Fr., The Woodlands, Texas) answered with a basket and foul shot to make it a multiple possession game at 59-52, then Patrick Dorsey (Sr., Raleigh, N.C.) made a jumper to give Navy a 61-53 advantage with 5:27 showing on the clock.

From there, Navy went to the foul line on each of its next four possessions.  The Mids were 8-9 from the stripe — Nelson was fouled while attempting a three-point basket and made all three foul shots — to extend the lead to 69-55 with 2:11 left to play.

Navy was 14-16 from the foul line in the second half and 21-23 from the charity stripe in the game.  Conversely, Boston U. was 6-14 from the free throw line on the afternoon.

Navy’s shooting percentage from the foul line of 91.3 percent ranks sixth in school history for the highest in a Patriot League game.

“We scored just enough points,” said DeChellis.  “More importantly, we made our free throws down the stretch to keep the game at a distance.”

The additional foul shots combined with the Terriers holding a 17-7 edge in offensive boards allowed Boston to attempt 62 field goals to 50 for the Mids.  However, Navy made more field goals than Boston U., 23-22.  Navy was 8-20 from the three-point line and Boston U., was 8-36.

Nelson’s 25 points bettered his previous career-best of 20.  Yoder contributed 17 points and snared a team-high six rebounds.  

Navy will open the home portion of its Patriot League season Monday when it plays host to Holy Cross.


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