Area Men

Navy Tops Howard In Double Overtime

By Steven Goff
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, December 5, 2006

The Navy Midshipmen were badly outrebounded and did not shoot well after halftime. They let a seven-point lead slip away in the second half and failed to seal the game in the first overtime.

But when the final seconds ticked away in the second extra period last night at Alumni Hall, securing a 79-75 victory over Howard, all that mattered to the Midshipmen was that they had won their third straight and continued their best start in eight seasons.

Kaleo Kina scored 20 points and Corey Johnson added 17 for the Midshipmen (7-2), who survived their second overtime game in four days by scoring the first seven points of the decisive session.

"We're fortunate, very fortunate," Coach Billy Lange said. "We did not play a smart basketball game. I'm very disappointed in our intelligence on the floor. And that's who we are. We don't do that, then we're going to be very fortunate to win another game."

The Bison (4-4) had a chance to win the game in the first overtime and extend their winning streak to four, but Julius Hearn missed a 17-foot jumper. In the second overtime, Howard did not make a field goal until seven seconds remained. By that time, the Midshipmen had converted 11 of 16 free throws after Kina's go-ahead jumper.

"I thought our opportunity was when we had the ball at the end of the first overtime," Bison Coach Gil Jackson said. "Going into the second overtime, it was going to be a little tougher for us. We've got to take advantage of those opportunities, and I thought it slipped away."

Darryl Hudson had 26 points and 13 rebounds for Howard, which overcame a seven-point deficit in the final 7 1/2 minutes of regulation. The Bison stayed in the game on the strength of 15 offensive rebounds and a 42-30 overall rebounding advantage.

They also did a quality defensive job on Greg Sprink, Navy's leading scorer, who managed just nine shots and missed all five three-point tries. Nonetheless, Sprink was able to contribute 15 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists. Likewise, the Mids contained Howard's Eugene Myatt, who scored 41 points against Virginia Military and was averaging 20.9 per game. He finished with 10 points on 4-of-13 shooting.

Navy -- whose only losses were against St. John's and Villanova -- appeared in good shape after taking a 51-44 lead with 7 minutes 28 seconds to go in the second half. But the Bison's defensive pressure helped tie the game a few minutes later. Myatt's free throws with 35 seconds left and Johnson's miss in the lane forced overtime.

"We definitely had our lapses," Johnson said. "We played well at times, we didn't play so well at times, but Howard played a great game."

Hearn's baseline shot with 14 seconds remaining in the first overtime tied it again, but after the Bison forced a midcourt turnover, Hearn missed the potential game-winner.

"We've got to start to realize that people are going to now say, 'Okay, well, Navy is 7-2' and they're going to have a game plan for us," Lange said. "Before, they could probably just come in here and if they played half well, there would at least be a chance to win. . . . It's good to pull out wins."

ยท AMERICAN 60, LONGWOOD 49: Brayden Billbe and Andre Ingram each scored 13 points as the Eagles held on for the home win.

Longwood (3-6) had cut American's lead to 50-45 with just over six minutes left when Husein Pistoljevic banked a three-pointer and sunk two free throws. The Lancers never got any closer to the Eagles (6-2), who ended the game on a 6-0 run.

Derrick Mercer added 12 points and five assists for American, which led by as many as 18.

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