Three Keys Revisited: Navy at Lehigh

The 2012-13 road season finished just as too many road contests have this year with the Mids being blown out by a superior team. Though it was always going to be difficult to go into Lehigh and escape with a victory Navy just made mistakes far too frequently against a championship contending team who were not in the mood to lose a fourth straight game. Here is how the three keys broke down.

1) Get on top early

The Mids were never able to put a marker down early as they struggled to contain a Mountain Hawk team who were lights out from the floor in the first half. On their way to a 36-17 lead at the interval Lehigh shot a scorching 54 percent from the field distributing the ball to open shooters in a way which Navy has not often seen this year. That Navy gave up such a high shooting percentage is a testament to the Mountain Hawk ball movement, as for all the problems the Mids have had this year defense has not been one of them. On this day though Lehigh were able to dish out 20 assists and score at will on a beleaguered looking Mids squad.

2) Get more from the bench

With the game out of hand Navy played a deep bench in this one with 15 players seeing the floor. After being destroyed in bench scoring last time out against Lehigh the Mids actually kept the scoring from the reserves much closer this time with the Mountain Hawks only having a 22-17 advantage in this area. The problem this time was with the Academy's starting five who combined for just 26 points. That number is bad, but it looks even worse when you consider that Worth Smith put up almost half (11) of that number himself. Lehigh, by contrast, had four players scoring in double digits. Whatever Navy does the rest of this season they simply must find a way to score the basketball next year.

3) Stop big runs

The first half felt like one giant big run for most of it and the Mids appeared shell shocked and unable to contain the Mountain Hawks shooters. One key to stopping the big runs is by battling and winning for rebounds, but Lehigh had 11 offensive boards creating countless second chance scoring opportunities. Navy never led in this game and has to do a better job of containing the opposition three point attack, Lehigh hit nine threes at 35 percent, to slow down teams when they get rolling.

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