Navy Basketball Shakes the Losing Trend

There is a quote that you hear quite often in sports. It occurs when a team is down on their luck, can't quite seem to do anything right, and as a result the losses start to pile up. Suddenly though, from almost out of nowhere, that team rises up and puts in a dominating performance that nobody saw coming.

Simply put, Navy got sick of losing.

The story here is not the 57 points to which the Mids limited the Black Knights. We have seen all season that when Navy is on its game defensively even the best teams in the Patriot League are given fits when they try to score. It is worth noting though that this was one of the two or three best defensive efforts the Mids have had all year due to the fact that there was no let down until the game was safely out of reach.

No, the story is the offensive explosion which the Mids experienced on their way to their joint largest points total of the season (in regulation) against a Division 1 opponent. In order to understand just how unexpected this haul of points was you need to look back at the six game losing streak which Navy just broke. Here are the Mids point totals in that streak: 41, 66 (overtime), 52, 52, 54, and 48. To call that offensive output anemic is probably being far too kind.

Again though, Navy got sick of losing.

You could see the difference in body language from the start on Saturday. This game, on rival territory, was going to be different. The Mids started at a decent pace, pretty much matching Army in the early going as the two teams lightly sparred for position with neither doing enough to get a sustainable lead. Then, down by one point with 2:36 left in the first half, the Mids flipped the switch in a way we haven't seen in months.

A 12-0 run at the start of the second half was part of a 42-15 assault which took the Mids to a 72-46 lead and the game was effectively over. When you get sick of losing you typically need a player to stand up and take over the game. For Navy in West Point that man was Worth Smith. Smith scored seven of his game high 23 points during that early second half run and spent most of the game showcasing the range of scoring he has in his game.

Whether this is a one game change of fortune or a sustained push to the end of the season is yet to be seen. Let's just hope that Navy doesn't have to be sick of losing again before they put in the next performance of this nature.

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