The Navy Men’s Basketball team showed off their impressive skills in their game against American on Wednesday night at Bender Arena in Washington, D.C. The Mids secured their seventh-straight victory, regardless of site, and their sixth road win in a row with a final score of 70-54.
Daniel Deaver (Sr., Falls Church, Va.) and Tyler Nelson (Sr., Monroe, N.C.) were the stars of the game, scoring a combined 26 points after halftime to match the second-half scoring total of the American team. Deaver led the Mids with 19 points, while Nelson followed closely with 18 points. The team’s impressive performance in the second half helped them secure their 10th win in their last 11 games.
The win also secured the Mids’ spot in the Patriot League Tournament, with Navy being either the Nos. 2 or 3 seed. If the Mids win against Colgate on Saturday, they will be the No. 2 seed, but a loss may drop them to the No. 3 seed.
Despite American’s early lead, Navy was able to catch up and tie the game at 26-26 with 42 seconds left before halftime. American controlled the glass in the early going and scored 10 second-chance points to take a 26-16 lead. However, the Mids quickly turned things around with a 10-0 run, with the last six points coming from back-to-back long three-point field goals from Christian Jones (Sr., Bowie, Md.). American made a layup just before halftime to lead 28-26.
In the second half, American opened the scoring and took a 30-26 lead, but the Mids quickly jumped ahead with a 10-point run, with Nelson scoring seven of those points and Deaver tallying the other three. The lead grew to 43-34 and later to 50-39, with Deaver converting his third three-point play of the second half.
The Mids held on to their lead, and American started to send the Mids to the foul line. Navy made 14 out of 14 shots from the charity stripe to keep a lead of at least eight points for the rest of the game.
Navy’s impressive performance in the second half was a stark contrast to their struggles in the first half, where they shot only 37 percent (10-27) from the field. However, they made 50 percent (12-24) of their field goal attempts after halftime, while American made 42 percent (11-26) of their first-half shots and 41 percent (9-22) of their second-half attempts.
The Mids made one more three-point field goal than the Eagles (5-4), but Navy’s 81 percent (21-26) free throw success rate outperformed American’s 53 percent (10-19) effort. Both teams ended the game with 32 rebounds, and each scored 17 second-chance points on the night.
Navy’s next game will be against Colgate on Saturday, and the game will be televised on the CBS Sports Network. Navy’s senior day ceremony will start at 3:30 p.m., followed by the game at 4 p.m.