The Navy men’s basketball team suffered a 52-51 loss to seventh-seeded American (17-14) in the quarterfinal round of the Patriot League Tournament on Thursday night at Alumni Hall in Annapolis.

Despite taking leads of 20-9 and 25-15, Navy struggled offensively and allowed American to close the first half on an 18-2 run, giving the Eagles a 33-27 lead at intermission. American shot an impressive 65 percent from the field in the first half, limiting the Mids to just 39 percent.

“We played one of the worst games we played all year offensively. That was really, really frustrating. We just couldn’t make a basket. We missed some easy shots, couldn’t make a perimeter shot,” said Navy head coach Ed DeChellis.

Navy was able to cut the deficit down to three points at 47-44 and then to one possession at 49-46 when Christian Jones made two free throws with 1:19 left on the clock. However, American was able to come away with a basket on their ensuing possession, pushing their lead to 52-46 with just under five minutes to play.

The Mids staged a late rally, and Daniel Deaver drained a three-point shot with 19.1 seconds left, closing the gap to 52-51. But a turnover on a sideline play and a missed shot from midcourt by Jones sealed the victory for American.

Deaver led the Mids in points (18) and rebounds (9) and shared the team lead in assists (5). Despite collecting 11 offensive rebounds and committing just seven turnovers, Navy was unable to turn those extra opportunities into points.

“We fought back and gave ourselves a chance. We thought we had a play on the sideline and we turned it over, and the ball came bouncing out. That was the story of the day; nothing was really crisp, nothing was really sharp,” said DeChellis.

With the loss, Navy’s season comes to an end with an 18-13 record. American advances to the semifinals of the Patriot League Tournament.

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/EditorEditor-in-Chief

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...

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