A career-best effort by Daniel Deaver (Sr., Falls Church, Va.) that has not been seen since David Robinson was on The Yard sparked the Navy (13-11, 6-6) men’s basketball team to an 86-68 victory over Holy Cross (8-17, 5-7), Saturday afternoon at the Hart Center in Worcester, Mass.

“I’m really proud of our guys,” said Navy head coach Ed DeChellis.  “It was a slugfest the first half and then we found our rhythm offensively, knocked a couple of balls loose defensively and Tyler Nelson (Sr., Monroe, N.C.) had a big dunk that kind of ignited us.  Defensively, I thought we were pretty good the whole game, and we rebounded the ball well.  That was a focus for us on offense and that gave us second-chance opportunities.  

“That’s our fourth-straight road win, which is hard to do in college basketball.  These kids have been very resilient, and I am very very proud of them for their effort here today.”

Deaver posted career highs of 35 points and 16 rebounds to record the first double-double of his career.  The last Mid with at least 30 points and 15 rebounds was Robinson, who went for 33 and 15 against George Mason on Feb. 9, 1987.

Navy raced out to an 8-0 lead, but Holy Cross soon used a 9-0 run to take a 22-19 advantage.  The Mids responded with the next six points to regain a 25-22 lead and went into halftime holding a 30-29 edge.

Deaver was 6-11 from the floor in scoring 14 points to go along with nine rebounds in the first half.  Bo Montgomery scored 11 of the first 13 points for Holy Cross, but was held scoreless the remainder of the half.  

Holy Cross quickly scored the first six points of the second half to take a 35-30 lead.  Navy tied the game at 40-40, and the score would again be tied at 47-47, 49-49, 51-51 and 53-53.  

Christian Jones (Sr., Bowie, Md.) made baskets on the next two Navy possessions, then Deaver grabbed an offensive rebound and scored while being fouled the next time the Mids had the ball.  He converted the three-point play to make the score 60-55 with 6:41 showing on the clock.  The Mids kept scoring and a Patrick Dorsey (Sr., Raleigh, N.C.) jumper made the score double figures at 67-57 with 5:14 remaining.

The run eventually became 14-straight Navy possessions with at least one point to stretch the advantage to 75-61 with 3:21 remaining.  

“We were clicking offensively,” said DeChellis.  “Sean Yoder (Sr., Dublin, Pa.) had a great game for us.  Obviously Deaver had an unbelievable night.   We put those two in a lot of two-man games and they were very good with passing and sharing the ball.  Deaver was outstanding in the post offensively.  They didn’t have a whole lot of answers for him.  We kept giving him the ball and he kept scoring.”

Deaver was 8-11 from the floor after halftime to help the Mids to a 63.6 percent shooting effort in the second half.  While Deaver made eight second-half field goals, the Navy defense limited then Holy Cross team to 11 field goals as part of a 39.3 percent shooting mark in the stanza.

Navy held a 46-28 advantage on the glass, an overall mark that included a 16-8 edge in offensive boards.   The Mids also were 16-18 from the foul line while the Crusaders were 15-19.

Deaver, who entered the game with career highs of 25 points and 12 rebounds, was 14-22 from the field and 7-7 from the free throw line.  His 35 points ranks fourth by a Mid in a Patriot League regular season game and his 16 boards are tied for eighth by a Mid in a league game.  Additionally Deaver was the first Mid to score at least 35 points in a game since Chris Harris scored 40 at Lehigh on Feb. 10, 2010.

“We were just getting it (the ball) moving,” said Deaver.  “We knew to attack.  They (Holy Cross) are not the biggest team but they are really physical.  I have to shout-out Sean, right off the bat.  He had nine assists and just dropping dimes to me the whole game.  But just getting the ball moving, going inside and out were the keys on offense.”

Deaver was far from the lone Mid to score with the ball as Yoder, Jones and Tyler Nelson (Sr., Monroe, N.C.) each scored 13 points.  Jones scored 10 of his points in the second half to help the Mids to a 56-point frame, which ranks fourth for the most points in a half by a Navy team in a Patriot League game.

After playing four of its last five games on the road, Navy opens a span of back-to-back home games Wednesday night when it plays host to Bucknell.

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