A great defensive effort by the Navy men’s basketball team held Boston U. to 25 points below its season average in a 63-45 victory by the Mids (9-10, 2-5) over the Terriers (9-11, 2-5), Wednesday night at Alumni Hall in Annapolis.
“I thought we played ‘Navy defense’ tonight,” said Navy head coach Ed DeChellis. “I haven’t been happy with it (defense) at all. We changed a couple of things tonight. This was the best defensive output we have had for 40 minutes in the league all year. I was happy about that.”
Navy built a little separation in the latter stages of the first half. The Mids held a 12-10 lead before closing the frame on a 17-6 run to take a 29-18 advantage at the break.
Navy was aided in the first half by forcing 13 Boston turnovers. The Mids scored 13 points after those miscues while the Terriers scored five points after five Navy turnovers.
The Mids took a 32-20 lead in the early moments of the second half and extended it to a 13-point lead at 41-28. The Terriers drew to within seven points at 42-35 and had a possession to cut even more into the margin. Boston missed a field goal attempt on that trip down the floor, then Patrick Dorsey (Sr., Raleigh, N.C.) made a three-point shot on the other end to make it a 45-35 Navy lead with nine minutes left on the clock.
Sean Yoder (Sr., Dublin, Pa.) registered a steal to end the next BU possession, then Daniel Deaver (Sr., Falls Church, Va.) made two foul shots for the Mids. A missed shot by the Terriers led to a layup by Mike Woods (Fr., Upper Marlboro, Md.) to give Navy a 49-35 lead with just under seven minutes remaining. A three-point basket by Boston was followed by Yoder converting a three-point play on a basket and foul shot and then sinking a three-point shot to stretch the advantage to 55-38 with a little more than five minutes showing on the clock.
Offensively, Navy shot 50 percent from the field after halftime and 43.4 percent from the floor for the game. The Mids also were 8-21 (28.1%) from three-point range on the night and made 9-14 (64.3%) foul shots. Defensively, Boston shot 37.8 percent from the field, including just a 3-14 (21.4%) effort from beyond the arc. The Terriers also were 8-9 (88.9%) from the charity stripe.
Boston turned the ball over 23 times in the game, which was well above its previous season high of 15. Navy scored 22 points following those turnovers. The Mids committed 12 turnovers, leading to 11 points for the Terriers.
“We kept the ball out of the paint,” said DeChellis as to why the defense was successful. “They didn’t get a lot of drives. And we did a good job of keeping them off the offensive glass. They had 17 offensive rebounds in the game up there We didn’t block them out. That was a point of emphasis for us. They had seven offensive rebounds tonight.”
Yoder led the Mids in scoring with 14 points, while Deaver posted a box score line of 13 points, eight rebounds and four assists. He was 3-4 from the field and 7-10 from the foul line. Also scoring in double digits was Dorsey with 11 points. He also added three steals.
Navy’s bench totaled 14 points — eight by Christan Jones and six by Woods — but contributed in far more ways than scoring.
Woods was 3-3 from the field and played strong defense in his nearly 20 minutes of playing time after he entered the game having played 26 minutes all season. Jones added a solid defensive effort and Aidan Kehoe (Fr., Montvale, N.J.) registered a big block and Navy was +9 in scoring with him on the floor.
“We had great play off the bench,” said DeChellis. “Mike Woods, Christian Jones, Aidan Kehoe off the bench; we had great play by those guys. I thought it was a great team effort.”
Navy will play the first of back-to-back road games Saturday when the Mids play at Army at 1:30 p.m. The game will be televised on the CBS Sports Network and carried locally on WNAV and WFED.