Navy basketball unleashed 20 minutes of hell, then coasted in the second half to wrap up a 88-72 win over Longwood last night. Greg Sprink led the way with 28 points, eight rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 steals. Not that he should have been the Patriot League preseason POY or anything. Nolan Richardson used the phrase “40 minutes of hell” to describe the way his Arkansas teams played, and for the first half the Mids did their best vintage Razorbacks impersonation. Navy set a frantic pace to start the game, and Longwood just couldn’t keep up. The Mids went on a 36-14 run after the Lancers were clearly gassed, and never looked back.
The Good: There’s a lot of it.
-First and foremost was the Navy defense, which forced 22 Longwood turnovers. Fourteen of those turnovers were by way of Navy steals. Kaleo Kina had 5, while Sprink and Clif Colbert had 3 apiece. Man to man defense made its glorious return.
-Navy’s bench outscored Longwood’s, 34-21. Leading the way off the bench was Adam Teague, with 11 points and 3 assists in 27 minutes. Mark Veazey impressed in his collegiate debut, scoring 8 points and grabbing 5 rebounds in 17 minutes.
-Navy needs a scoring threat to take pressure off of Greg Sprink, and against Longwood 4 different Mids scored in double figures. In addition to Sprink and Teague, Chris Harris had 12 points and the Flyin’ Hawaiian, Kaleo Kina, had 11.
-Navy had a tough time adjusting to its own pace early in the game, and it led to 19 turnovers of its own.
-The Mids were outrebounded by Longwood, 37-36.
-Navy attempted 29 3-point shots. While they shot nearly 45% from behind the arc, there will be nights when those shots don’t fall.
Yes it was only Longwood, and yes, it was only one game. But it was a good start for a team with some challenging games ahead. The first of those games comes on Sunday against Drexel.