The 2015-16 Navy men’s basketball season ended at the hands of a red hot Lehigh Mountain Hawks squad on Thursday night. The game was a strange and frustrating one for the Mids who erased a 19-point deficit before running out of steam and going down 65-63. Lehigh remain one of the hottest teams in the entire country with their 10 game win streak being the longest the school has seen since the 1925-26 season.
That being said here is a look back at where it went wrong for Navy on the night:
1. Share minutes around - Pass
Having played an extra game this week it was always going to be tough for Navy to run with Lehigh. The Mids Tuesday game certainly made a difference in terms of substitution patterns as Ed DeChellis worked hard to find rest time for his starters. This was obviously made more difficult when the Mountain hawks went up by 19-points, but other than Shawn Anderson (39 minutes) no Midshipmen really racked up monster minutes. At the end of the game Navy had eight players in double-digit minutes and this was overall a pretty good coaching job by DeChellis.
2. Stop the three ball – Pass
This was one of the better efforts down the stretch by Navy in stopping the opposition shooters dictate the outcome of the game. In the preview it was noted how when Lehigh beat Navy earlier this season the Mountain Hawks went 14-of-23 from behind the arc as the pressure and close outs on the shooters was pretty much non-existent. Knowing this the Mids brought a renewed effort to the fight defensively, holding Lehigh to just 3-of-14 (21.4%) from downtown. This was part of a great defensive effort overall by the Mids which kept Lehigh at just 38.2% for the game.
3. Offensive rebounds and points in the paint – Push
This is going down as a push as even though the Mids won the offensive rebounding battle 13-11 and the rebounding battle overall 41-38, the scoring in the paint was not consistent enough throughout the game. Will Kelly put up a solid 12 points, but overall most of the Mids scoring came from the guard position and Patriot League Player of the Year Tim Kempton was able to score too many easy buckets on his way to a 22-point night. Overall the Mids played well enough to win this game, they just dug a hole that was too deep to get out of.