Dec. 13, 2014
PRINCESS ANNE, Md. – Maryland Eastern Shore (5-7) erased a 13-point deficit and outscored Navy 19-2 over the final 8:50 for a 53-46 win over Navy (3-8) on Saturday at the Hytche Athletic Center.
Navy held a 44-34 lead with 8:54 left in the second half, and had previously led 40-27 with 11:33 remaining, but the Hawks ramped up the defensive pressure and limiting Navy to just two free throws in the final 8:50 of the contest in the come-from-behind win.
“We did everything we could do to put ourselves in a bad situation in this game,” said head coach Ed DeChellis. “We got ourselves a nice lead, but then we had some crucial turnovers, we made silly plays and we couldn’t make any shots. They got into us defensively and we didn’t handle the pressure well.”
Senior guard Brandon Venturini led Navy with 13 points and five assists.
Maryland Eastern Shore was paced by 17 points from Devin Martin and 15 points from Michael Myers.
The first half saw 11 lead changes and Navy made a run when Venturini’s second 3-pointer of the first half put Navy ahead, 16-15. Maryland Eastern Shore answered right back with a 3-pointer from Devin Martin but the Mids were then able to close the half on an 11-4 run.
The spurt began when Venturini buried another 3-pointer and then converted a fast-break layup. Sophomore Edward Alade made a layup and then junior guard Tilman Dunbar found sophomore James Hemphill for a layup. Freshman Shawn Anderson grabbed an offensive board and went back up to put Navy ahead by five at the break at 27-22.
Freshman Daniel Noe knocked down a 3-pointer and Alade scored inside as Navy went up 10 to open the second half at 32-22. Junior Will Kelly had a block on the defensive end and then ran the court and was rewarded with a fastbreak layup as Navy pushed its lead to 11 at 36-25. Dunbar scored on a fast-break layup off a dish from Venturini and then Navy caught UMES sleeping when Venturini broke free off a halfcourt inbounds pass to put the Mids up 13 at 40-27.
Navy eventually extended its lead to 44-34 after a Dunbar layup, but the Hawks went on a 12-0 run over the next four minutes to retake the lead at 46-44. Anderson would eventually break Navy’s drought with two free throws, but UMES would get a second-chance layup by Dominique Elliot and a pull-up jumper from Travis Trim, along with three free throws to hold on for the 53-46 final.
Navy was 0-5 from the floor with five turnovers over the final 8:50 of the contest.
Maryland Eastern Shore shot 51 percent from the floor while Navy shot 38 percent. The Hawks were 7-of-15 on 3-pointers, while Navy was just 4-of-19. Navy outrebounded Maryland Eastern Shore, 28-23.
“This was a game we could have won,” said DeChellis. “We had a big lead, but we let it slip away.”
Navy will have nine days off before returning to action at home on Monday, December 22 against Towson for its final non-conference game of the season.