Sean Yoder (Sr., Dublin, Pa.) led a fast final 30 minutes of the game for the Navy (11-10, 4-5) men’s basketball team that boosted it to a 63-46 victory over Bucknell (8-14, 1-8), Wednesday night at Sojka Pavilion in Lewisburg, Pa.
The victory was Navy’s third in a row this season, the fourth in a row for the Mids over the Bison in Lewisburg and Navy’s eighth-straight victory in the series.
Navy had a slow start to the game as it fell behind, 11-4, midway through the first half. The Mids tied the game at 13-13 as part of a 21-7 run to close the half. That gave Navy a 25-18 lead at halftime. Nine of the 10 Mids who played in the first half scored.
“Really, really proud of our guys,” said Navy head coach Ed DeChellis. “We didn’t start off the game really, really well offensively, but we defended and then at the end of the half we went on that 21-7 run, which was really important for us to take the lead at halftime.”
The Mids came out strong at the start of the second half to separate from the Bison. Navy opened the frame on a 17-3 run to take a 42-21 advantage. Those three points for Bucknell came at the foul line. The Bison did not make their first field goal of the half until the 12:23 mark. Following that initial basket for the Bison, the Mids scored on each of their next four times down the floor to take their largest lead of the game at 50-23 with 10:38 remaining.
“We challenged the guys to come out at the start of the second half with some energy and try to make a statement,” said DeChellis. “And they did. We made some shots, defended, got the ball out in transition and scored in transition.”
The advantage remained at least 20 points until three minutes were left on the clock.
The Mids outscored the Bison, 59-35, over the last 30 minutes of the game. That included a 46-12 advantage from the 10 minute mark of the first half until the 10 minute mark of the second half.
Navy made 16 second-half field goals, shooting 55.2 percent from the floor, and Bucknell made just six second-half baskets, shooting 23.1 percent for the stanza. The Bison were 13-19 from the foul line after halftime in contrast to the 2-2 effort from the free throw line by Navy.
The Mids also held a 21-14 edge on the glass in the final 20 minutes of the game and a 41-29 advantage for the game.
“I’d like to give our guys credit,” said DeChellis. “Defensively we were pretty solid. Bucknell had a tough night shooting the ball. Hopefully we had something to do with it.
Navy scored 42 of its points in the paint and limited Bucknell to 14 points in the paint for the game.
A total of 11 Mids scored in the game.
Yoder was 3-3 from three-point range and 4-4 from the floor overall after halftime. He ended the game 7-8 from the field with those three three-point field goal attempts in scoring a game-high 17 points, all of which came in the last 30 minutes. He was joined in double figures by Daniel Deaver (Sr., Falls Church, Va.) with 12 points and nine rebounds.
Navy returns home for a 2 p.m. game Saturday against American.