In their last outing, the Navy Midshipmen overcame a 25-point deficit at halftime to take down the Bryant Bulldogs, 76-74.
Three nights later, the Midshipmen were back on their home floor, this time taking on the Columbia Lions. Led by Luke Petrasek, the Lions would give the Midshipmen everything they could handle on the hardwood.
Columbia took the first lead of the game, a 2-0 advantage on a layup from Petrasek. Navy responded with an 8-0 run, capped off by a layup from Shawn Anderson, and the Midshipmen were off and running once again.
The 2-0 lead was the only one that the Lions would take in the game, and the Midshipmen stretched their lead to as many as 13 points in the opening half. Navy took a 40-30 lead into halftime, and never looked back the rest of the way.
Navy built their lead in the second half, and cruised to the 69-54 win over Columbia.
Shawn Anderson scored a game-high 21 points for the Midshipmen, going 7-of-10 from the floor on the night. He also added 5 rebounds and 3 assists.
On the game, three Navy players scored in double-figures, including Anderson. Forward Tom Lacey scored 12 points and pulled down 7 rebounds, while Bryce Dulin added 13 points and 7 rebounds in the win.
Luke Petrasek was held to just 2 points on the night, and they were the first two points of the game. Nate Hickman scored a team-high 16 points, while Mike Smith added 15 points of his own in defeat.
A 13-3 run for Navy, highlighted by 6 points from Anderson, extended the lead to 16 points for the Midshipmen. They led 61-44 with 6:25 to play in the game when the run was complete.
Navy forced the Lions into committing 19 turnovers on the night, while only committing 13 turnovers themselves. They also held a slim rebounding advantage over Columbia, 37-36.
With the win, the Navy Midshipmen (5-6, 0-0) improved to a sparkling 5-1 on their home floor to open the year. They will go for their third straight win on December 22nd, when they head on the road to take on the Hartford Hawks.
The loss was the third straight, and fourth in the last five games, for the Columbia Lions (3-5, 0-0). They will look to put an end to their losing streak on Sunday afternoon when they take on the Manhattanville Valiants.
– T. Bennett