Stony Brook nips Navy, 80-78

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Stony Brook outscored Navy 7-0 over the final 1:30 of overtime to defeat the Midshipmen, 80-78 (OT), Saturday night at Alumni Hall in Annapolis. Navy (3-5) held a five-point 78-73 lead before the Seawolves (4-3) went on their run to claim their fourth win of the season. <i>NOTE: All photos are by Ed Kujat.</i>

Stony Brook held a four-point lead (68-64) with 29 seconds to go in regulation, but the Mids were able to chip it down to one (69-68) behind free throws by junior forward Matt Fannin (Lakewood, Ohio) and a tip-in by freshman Greg Sprink (Cardiff, Calif.). During that run, Stony Brook was just 1 for 4 from the charity stripe.

Freshman Antwan Hardy, who earned the start in the game because of a broken foot suffered by sophomore guard Mitchell Beauford at Rhode Island Wednesday, knocked down a pair of free throws with three seconds to play to put the Seawolves back up by three points. With time running out, Navy freshman Corey Johnson (Anderson, Ind.) knocked down a three-pointer to beat the buzzer and send the game into extra minutes. Johnson was just 1 for 10 from the floor before hitting the triple.

"At first when I shot it, I didn't think it counted," recalled Johnson. "I looked over at the ref and he had his arms up and he said it counted."

Navy outscored the Seawolves 7-2 over the first 3:30 of overtime, but a tip-in by Stony Brook's Mike Orfini triggered a run which held the Mids scoreless over the final 1:30. Orfini was responsible for five of the seven points in the run.

Five players scored in double figures for the Seawolves, led by Hardy's 19 points. Center Cori Spencer, who chipped in 16 points and nine boards, was one of three Stony Brook players to foul out of the game.

Stony Brook outboarded the Midshipmen 60-44, but Navy forced a season-high 21 turnovers by the Seawolves who entered the game averaging just under 13 turnovers per contest.

"Offensive rebounding was the key to the game," said Navy head coach Billy Lange regarding the 22-15 advantage the Seawolves held on the offensive glass. "We didn't execute that aspect of the game.

"We played one of our better games, but I was disappointed with our start in both halves," added Lange. "It's not bad players, it was bad effort. On a positive note, I felt like we were unselfish and had great stretches of team defense."

Navy was led by sophomore David Hooper's (Dale City, Va.) 23-point effort. He was 6 for 16 from the field and 8 for 9 from the charity stripe. Fannin turned in 18 points and 11 rebounds before fouling out late in the overtime period. Two freshmen also provided the Mids with fine performances. Ben Biles (Cramerton, N.C.) turned in four points and a career-high five rebounds, while Sprink tallied six points and added four boards and a team-high tying four assists.

While Navy shot just 33.8 percent (24-71) from the field, including 29.4 percent (10-34) in the second half, it showed much improvement at the line where the Mids made 72.7 percent (24-33).

The Mids have the week off for final exams, but return to the court next Saturday when they play host to Gettysburg. Game time is set for 7:30 p.m. at Alumni Hall.

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