EMMITSBURG, MD., NOV. 28 -- Navy rallied from 15 points down to beat Mount St. Mary's, 80-75, tonight at Mount St. Mary's Knott Arena.
Senior guard Cliff Rees scored 28 points and forward Derric Turner had 23 to boost the Midshipmen (1-0), who trailed, 41-29, at halftime.
Mount St. Mary's guard John Moore hit four first-half three-pointers and it began to look like the young Midshipmen might be headed for an upset at the hands of the NCAA Division II Mounties.
But second-year Navy coach Pete Herrmann told the team at halftime to, "Dig down and earn the game." Herrmann moved Navy to a man-to-man defense for most of the second half.
"He definitely fired us up at halftime," said Rees. "We're a young team and we were a little rattled in the beginning. But we won with intensity, pride and man-to-man in the second half."
Mounties center Mike Grimes, from DeMatha High School, picked up his fourth foul a few minutes into the second half, allowing Navy to go to its inside players, Turner and forward Darren Morningstar.
Turner and Rees combined for 33 second-half points for the Midshipmen. Lee Hicks scored 18 points and Mike Tate had 19 for the Mountaineers (2-1), but the team shot just 35 percent in the second half after hitting 53 percent before intermission.
Turner scored five straight points late in the game to put Navy ahead for the first time in the second half. Down by 72-69 with 2:50 remaining, Morningstar missed the second shot in a one-and-one foul situation. That gave Turner the opportunity to tie the game at 72 by converting the errant shot.
Turner was then fouled by Lee Hicks as he grabbed a defensive rebound on the ensuing play and made one of two free throws. Then, with 1:40 left, Turner hit a left-handed jump shot in the lane off a pass from Rees, giving the Midshipmen a 75-72 lead that they never relinquished.