Here is a look back at what Navy did right, or wrong, against Loyola:
1 – Keep Shawn Anderson hot - Fail
Shawn Anderson had arguably his worst game of the year on Wednesday night, but the Mids survived and won anyway with very little help from the guy who has been their leading scorer in conference play. Anderson had 16 or more points in each of the first four conference games, but that streak ended with a crash as he put up just eight points against the Greyhounds. Anderson was 3-of-8 from the field, but his real struggles came from the free throw line. Anderson was a 66-percent free-throw shooter last season, but against Loyola, he was an abysmal 2-of-8 from the line for just 25-percent. Anderson is a way better shooter than those numbers suggest and it will be vital going forward that he is able to knock shots down with more frequency from the charity stripe.
2 – No hangover from Saturday - Fail
Navy was ok in the first half against Loyola, but ok almost saw the Mids get upset before they were able to rally late in the game. Navy started the game with a 5-0 run, but the passes in the first half were a little delayed and, as a result, the shooting was a little off. The net result was that Navy hit just 7-of-24 from the field, scoring 22 points with a shooting percentage of under 30-percent. The good news was that the Navy defense did not take the first half off. The Mids were forcing bad passes, challenging shooters and causing Loyola enough problems that the visitors could not take advantage of Navy’s struggles on offense enough to build a big lead. Loyola was held to 8-of-26 from the field, for 26 points at a 30.8-percent shooting clip.
3 – Slow down Andre Walker – Pass
The key with volume scorers is to make them miss a lot of shots by challenging everything they put up and that is exactly what Navy did to Andre Walker on Wednesday night. The sophomore point guard had averaged almost 17 points per game in league play and Navy was able to keep him just under that average with 15 points. The key though was that Walker did this on 4-of-14 shooting from the field while also committing four turnovers. It was only his play from the free throw line (where he was 6-of-8) that made his final stat line look at all convincing. Streaky shooters like Walker are always a threat as four or five times a season they can go off and singlehandedly win a game. Navy, however, stopped that happening on this day with the dedicated and determined defense on Loyola’s best scorer.