Navy Basketball - Mids Conclude Three-Game Roadtrip At American
NAVY (11-9 / 1-4) at AMERICAN (9-10 / 1-4)
January 24, 2007 - 8:00 pm (EST)
Bender Arena (4,500) - Washington, D.C.
RADIO: WNAV (1430 AM), WFED (1050 AM)
VIDEO STREAMING: www.patriotleague.com
Navy enters Wednesday's game at American with an 11-9 overall record and 1-4 in the Patriot League following Sunday's emotional 53-50 loss to Army. The game with American will cap off a season-long three-game roadswing for the Mids which, after Wednesday's contest, will have played four of their first six league games on the road. The Mids are aiming to avoid their fifth straight 1-5 league start.
Standing in the way will be an American squad that has had a rollercoaster season all year long. The Eagles are 9-10 overall and are a surprising 1-4 in the Patriot League. American was selected third in the Preseason Patriot League poll, even grabbing a first-place vote, but have limped out of the gates to its 1-4 start. The Eagles started the year 7-2, which included wins over Loyola (Md.), Longwood, Howard and NJIT. However, American is just 2-8 in its last 10 games, which included losses to Longwood, Yale, Maryland, Virginia and Bucknell.
American's most recent outing was a five-point overtime setback to league leader Holy Cross at Bender Arena, 69-64, on Saturday. In that game, Arvydas Eitutavicius scored 24 points off the bench and preseason All-Patriot League selection Andre Ingram added 14 points and six rebounds. American hurt itself with 21 turnovers, a minus-6 rebounding margin and shot just 1-of-8 (.125) in the overtime session.
Navy, meanwhile, suffered through its worst shooting performance of the year in a 53-50 loss to rival Army at Christl Arena on Sunday. The Mids, who trailed by 10 midway through the second half, took a two-point lead with just over five minutes to play, but Army's Corban Bates converted an old-fashioned three-point play and a three-pointer on back-to-back possessions to give Army the lead back for good. Greg Sprink, who led all scorers with 19 points, had a 27-footer at the buzzer rim out that would have sent the game into overtime.
Wednesday will be the 64th meeting between the two local rivals, the eighth-most frequently played rivalry among all Patriot League schools. Navy owns a slim 34-29 advantage, but has won just twice in the last 20 meetings, dating back to Feb. 20, 1988. Navy is just 1-9 in the regular season against the Eagles since American joined the Patriot League prior to the 2001-02 season, but the win came last year in Alumni Hall, 77-68, on Jan. 25. Navy's last win in Washington, D.C., came on Jan. 26, 1991, a 94-82 triumph. American has won the last five games in Washington, D.C., by an average of 12.8 ppg.