Feb. 5, 2009
Navy Game Notes (2-5-09)
NAVY (15-7 / 4-3 PL) at BUCKNELL (5-17 / 2-6 PL)
Saturday, Feb. 7, 2009 7:00 pm (ET)
Lewisburg, Pa. Sojka Pavilion (4,000)
Television: WQMY - Scranton / Wilkes-Barre area (Tape-delayed Sunday; 7:00 pm)
Radio: WNAV (1430 AM / www.WNAV.com)
Radio Talent: Pete Medhurst
Live Video: NavySports.com (All-Access only)
Tickets: 570-577-1000 or available at game
Series: Navy leads, 31-25
Last Meeting: Jan. 10, 2009 (Navy, 71-67)
Scouting the Bison
Following a Wednesday bye, the Navy men's basketball team begins its second half of league play on Saturday night, traveling to Bucknell for a 7:00 pm in Sojka Pavilion in Lewisburg, Pa. Bucknell enters the contest with a 5-17 overall record and is 2-6 in the Patriot League, following Wednesday's 68-57 loss to Colgate. Navy, meanwhile, is 15-7 overall and 4-3 in the Patriot League, good for third in the league standings after the first half of league play. The game will be aired on WNAV (1430 AM) and will be streamed online as part of the Patriot League's All-Access package.
Bucknell enters the match-up with the Midshipmen having lost three games in a row and 11 of its last 13 games. The Bison started the year 1-6 with an overtime win over Old Dominion, then won two in a row against Binghamton and Drexel, but managed to lose eight in a row from Dec. 22 - Jan. 17. Bucknell won back-to-back league games against Lafayette (71-61; Jan. 21) and Colgate (64-62; Jan. 24), but has since lost its last three games by an average of 8.0 points per game, including two by double-digits.
The Bison are averaging 65.0 points per game while shooting just 38.4 percent from the field in all games played. The Bison rank fifth in the league in scoring offense, but is last in field goal percentage and seventh in free throw percentage, assists per game, steals per game and turnover margin. In league games only, Bucknell is averaging 61.8 ppg and shooting 38.0 percent from the field. The Bison are 5-4 at home, but are 0-13 away from Sojka Pavilion.
Meanwhile, Bucknell's defense is allowing 73.8 points per outing while foes are shooting 41.9 percent against the Bison to rank eighth in scoring defense and fifth in field goal percentage defense. Bucknell is forcing a league-low 12.0 turnovers per game.
Justin Castleberry leads a balanced Bucknell attack that sees four players average double-figures and another that averages 8.5 ppg. Castleberry is averaging 11.7 ppg, while ranking third on the team with 36 three-pointers and pacing the squad with 30 steals. He also chips in with a 3.6 rpg average and has 42 assists. In league games only, he is at 10.4 ppg, but is shooting just 22.6 percent (7-of-31) from three-point range.
Freshman Bryan Cohen is next at 11.6 ppg and is averaging 3.8 rpg and has 39 assists on the season. He is second on the team with 39 three-pointers (on 122 attempts). In league games, Cohen is also averaging 10.4 ppg, but is just 10-of-40 (.250) from three-point range.
Patrick Behan and G.W. Boon round out Bucknell's doubl-digit scorers at 11.6 ppg and 10.4 ppg. Behan leads the team in rebounding at 5.9 per game and is shooting 40.9 percent from the field. Boon, who scored 20 points against Navy in the first meeting, is shooting 38.8 percent from three-point range, making 40-of-103 three-point tries. He also averages 4.3 rebounds per game.
Darryl Shazier leads the Patriot League in assists (4.86).
Bucknell is led on the sidelines by first-year head coach Dave Paulsen, who was extremely successful at Division III Williams College. Paulsen won a national title in 2003, was the national runner-up in 2004 and won 170 games in eight years at the school. He replaced longtime success Pat Flannery, who resigned from the position last spring.
The Series vs. The Bison
Navy and Bucknell are meeting for the 57th time on Saturday, with the Mids holding a slim 31-25 advantage. The Mids won the first meeting this year (71-67 on Jan. 10 in Annapolis) and after a seven-game win streak in the series by the Bison, the two teams have split the last four meetings dating back to the start of last year.
The series dates back to a Jan. 31, 1920, meeting in Annapolis, won by the Mids, 15-13. The 28 points is the second-lowest combined score (Navy beat Yale, 11-9, in the 1911-12 season for the lowest combined score) in school history. The win would be the first of 10 in a row for Navy to start the series. Bucknell would not get into the win column until Jan. 12, 1962, a 73-59 decision in Lewisburg.
The Bison won seven games in a row from 1967 to 1993, with all but one of the games being decided by seven points or fewer. Since joining the Patriot League in 1991-92, Navy is 19-21 against the Bison.
Since Valentine's Day in 2003, the Bison have won 11-of-14 meetings, with seven of the wins coming by 11 or more points. The Bison handed Navy its worst Patriot League loss, an 87-46 setback, on Jan. 17, 2004.
Navy won the last meeting, 71-67, in Alumni Hall on Jan. 10. The Mids led 31-30 at halftime and after Bucknell took a brief one-point lead, 32-31, Navy responded with a 10-1 run to grab a 41-33 advantage with 17:03 to play. Bucknell would cut the lead to two (63-61) with 1:27 to play, but Adam Teague hit a huge three-pointer to push the lead to five and Navy would make 5-of-7 free throws down the stretch to secure the victory. Kaleo Kina led four players in double figures with 25 points, while G.W. Boon had 20 points and seven rebounds for the Bison.
Navy Quick Hits
Navy is 4-3 in league play for the first time since the 2001-02 season. Last year, Navy made its push towards the top of the league standings during the second half of the league season, winning six games in a row from Feb. 9-27. Navy is also guaranteed of a .500 record this year, recording back-to-back .500 or better records for the first time since 1999-00 (23-6) and 2000-01 seasons (19-12).
Navy was 3-4, 1-6, 1-6 and 3-4 after seven league games in Billy Lange's first four seasons at Navy.
Navy continues to the lead the Patriot League in scoring (72.5 ppg). Navy has led the league in scoring in three of the past four years. Despite leading the league in scoring, Navy has surpassed the 80-point barrier just twice this year (102 vs. William & Mary; 81 vs. Longwood), but has been over 70 points 13 times. In games that Navy scores 70 or more points, the Mids are 11-2 with the losses coming to Virginia Tech and Army.
In all games played on the defensive side, the Navy defense ranks sixth in scoring defense (70.1), second in field goal percentage defense (.414), first in three-point percentage defense (.306) and third in turnover margin (+0.14).
However, in league games only on the defensive end, Navy has struggled. The Mids rank eighth in scoring defense (69.3), seventh in field goal percentage defense (.434) and seventh in rebound margin (-3.0). The Mids do lead the league in turnover margin (+2.86).
The Mids rank in the top 100 nationally in three-point percentage defense (25th), free throw percentage (58th), three-pointers per game (62nd), field goal percentage defense (88th) and scoring offense (100th).
Navy ranks 250th or lower in field goal percentage (262nd) and personal fouls per game (315th).
Navy has had at least three players score in double figures in each of the last 10 games. In the team's first 12 games, Navy had three players score in double figures just six times.
Navy has been held to 46.0 percent or lower shooting from the field in all seven league games. Meanwhile, Lafayette and Army shot season highs in percentage from the field against the Mids.
Navy has held two straight opponents and five-of-seven league foes to 69 or fewer points. In games this year that Navy holds foes to 69 or fewer points, the Mids are 11-2 with losses to Canisius and American.
Navy has had five different players lead the team in scoring this year, including four different leaders in the last three games. Adam Teague (16) paced the squad against Army, Kaleo Kina (26) led the team against American and Chrid Harris (17) and Mark Veazey (17) led the team in scoring against Colgate.
Navy has played extremely well at Alumni Hall, posting a 9-1 record, with the lone loss coming to American on Jan. 28. The Mids were undefeated at home in conference play, recording a 7-0 mark. Navy's best record ever at Alumni Hall came in 1996-97 (13-1 record). The Mids are outscoring foes by 7.8 ppg at Alumni Hall and shooting 44.1 percent from the field, 34.7 percent from three-point range and 69.0 percent from the free throw line. Defensively, Navy is giving up 65.8 ppg and opponents are shooting 39.9 percent.
However on the road, Navy is 6-6 and is getting outscored by 2.1 ppg (73.7 to 71.6). The Mids are shooting just 39.3 percent away from Alumni Hall and just 32.0 percent from three-point range. Opponents are at 42.6 and 28.9 percent, respectively.
One area that Navy shines at on the road is one that is the hardest to do -- free throw shooting. The Mids are shooting a sizzling 75.7 percent from the charity stripe in 12 games away from Alumni Hall. In the four league games away from Annapolis, Navy is shooting 80-of-100 (.800) from the free throw line.
# GO NAVY #