ANNAPOLIS, JAN. 2 -- Navy Coach Pete Herrmann figures his shoot-until-you-drop style is going to force opponents to adjust in one of two ways: Go with the flow or try to shut it down.
Lafayette harnessed the Midshipmen's perimeter attack tonight, but in the final minutes Navy came up with a 13-0 run, executing at both ends, in earning a 78-75 victory before 815 at Halsey Field House.
Navy (4-6) only attempted 13 three-point shots, 15 below its average, and at times struggled with the Leopards' deliberate play.
However, the Midshipmen's 13-point run and 11-for-12 free throw shooting in the final six minutes helped end Navy's two-game losing streak in its first home game in five weeks.
"It's nice to be home," said senior guard Erik Harris, who made nine free throws without a miss and led Navy with 18 points. "It's nice to eat something besides McDonald's."
Lafayette led by 69-62 with about six minutes left, but it went scoreless for 4:50, failing to convert on seven consecutive possessions as Navy intensified its defensive pressure.
"We knew they were not going to play up-tempo," Herrmann said. "At the end, we were extending our pressure against them. We just backed it out and forced them to shoot from the perimeter a little more and rely on our rebounding."
After Harris made two free throws, Chuck Robinson hit one of Navy's six three-pointers from about 22 feet and followed with a fast-break layup to tie it with 4:21 left.
While Lafayette continued to miss from outside, Harris made two more free throws and Michael Burd hit four in a row to give the Midshipmen a 75-69 lead with 2:02 to go.
The Leopards didn't get closer than three the rest of the way as Harris's last two free throws with 10 seconds left sealed it.
Navy, which was shooting 66 percent from the line before tonight, was 24 of 27 overall.
Larry Spigner had 22 points and Bruce Stankavage had 20 for Lafayette, which will be joined by Navy in the Patriot League beginning next season.
The Midshipmen will open their final Colonial Athletic Association season Saturday at home against East Carolina.
"This was a good win for us," Herrmann said. "We worked hard and we proved we can force a team to change its style."
Lafayette was expecting Navy to continue its long-range shooting based on the only Navy game films it saw: from Nov. 26, Navy's last home game, when it made 20 of 30 from three-point range.