Navy Advances in Patriot League Tourney

The Mids booked a Thursday date in Hamilton, New York, with a thrilling come from behind win over Army in the first round of the Patriot League Tournament on Tuesday night. In a game which featured no fewer than 14 lead changes, Navy made just enough baskets when needed to beat Army for the third time this season.

There were a number of huge performances by Mids players, but none bigger than that of junior center Will Kelly. Kelly had 13 points and seven key rebounds, but it was his eight blocks, and numerous other altered shots, which kept the Black Knights scoring output at just 52 points. The 56-52 victory marks the lowest score which Navy has won with this season, and if the offense can get going to go along with this suddenly dominant defense then there is no reason that the Mids shouldn't upset #2 Colgate later this week.

The win was the Mids first in the Patriot League Tournament since 2001 after losing 14 straight in the showpiece event. The big shot on the night came from sophomore guard Zach Fong. With the game tied at 50 Fong drifted to the left wing on a set play with just under a minute to play and drained a three which looked good from the second the ball left his hands. It was the Mids only make from behind the arc all night, but it was a dagger three which was a body blow that the Black Knights just could not recover from as Navy pulled away late.

"It was a typical Army-Navy game," said head coach Ed DeChellis. "It was very physical, a lot of emotion. Zach Fong made the big shot tonight, the only three we made all night. That was the difference in the game. It was a slugfest out there. Both teams were grinding it out. I'm really proud of our kids."

Despite the Mids awful record in the Patriot League Tournament, Navy is now 10-2 at home in tournament games. They are also 5-1 against Army in post season play. Holding Army to just 35% shooting, and just 19% from three point range, was the key to turning the losing streak on its head. A similar performance defensively will be required on Thursday in Hamilton.

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