The Mids were able to take care of Lafayette on Tuesday night 78-70 at Alumni Hall. The result means that seventh seeded Navy will now play Lehigh, the second seed, on Thursday night in the Patriot League quarterfinals on the road in Bethlehem, PA.
There is a look back at what the Mids did right to beat the Leopards:
1. Repeat the earlier performances against Lafayette - Pass
The key to earlier season defeats of Lafayette was efficiency from the field and Navy was on point again in this statistic on Tuesday night. The Mids were 25-of-51 from the field (49.0%) and 6-of-15 from behind the arc (40%). This was down from the 56% from the field that Navy shot when they last hosted the Leopards in January, but was still more than enough to carry the team to victory. One area the Mids must do better in if they hope to keep progressing in the Patriot League Tournament however is from the foul line. Navy was an awful 23-of-33 from the charity stripe, shooting just 66.7%.
2. Stay balanced on offense – Fail
Navy may have come into the game with four players averaging double digits in scoring, but it was the play of two of those stars that carried the Mids in this one. Tillman Dunbar had one of his best games of the season as he went for a team high 22 points and eight assists against the Lafayette defense. Dunbar was especially clutch from the line (the only Mid who was) as he hit 13-of-14 free throws to help extend his senior season by at least one more game. Shawn Anderson also had himself a monster game, going for 21 points on 9-of-13 from the field. Navy however will be looking for more from Will Kelly and Jace Hogan against Lehigh.
3. Put this out of reach early – Fail
Navy did not put this game to bed until the very end as Dunbar hit 4-of-4 free throws to hold on after a Monty Boykins three-pointer had pulled Lafayette within six points with 1:46 left on the clock. While Navy never fully took control of the game as the team would have liked, it is worth noting that the Mids led by six at the half and that Navy won both halves of the game. The big thorn in Navy’s side was Bryce Scott who hit seven three-pointers and finished with a game high 29 points. It seemed like any time Navy was about to make a run Scott would answer back and keep his team in it. Down the stretch though it was Dunbar and the Mids who made the clutch plays to take the win.