Midshipmen Stave Off Late Citadel Rally in 79-74 Victory
ANNAPOLIS, MD -
Navy guard Tilman Dunbar scored a career-high 28 points including 10 inside the final three minutes of play to lead the Midshipmen to a 79-74 victory over The Citadel on Wednesday evening in Alumni Hall.
Dunbar proved to be clutch down the stretch for the Midshipmen, hitting 8-of-10 from the free throw line to go along with a jump shot from the top of the key to help Navy (5-3) withstand a late Citadel rally.
The Citadel (3-7) fell behind by 17 on three occasions, the latter coming at the 11:40 mark when Kendall Knorr hit a pair of free throws to put Navy ahead 52-35, before mounting its comeback.
Freshman Brian White knifed past the Midshipmen defense to score a layup and following a 3-pointer by Raemond Robinson less than a minute later The Citadel had moved within 12.
Dunbar answered with a series of scores for the Midshipmen to push the lead to 56-40, but three straight inside buckets by the Bulldogs cut the deficit to 10. Among those three buckets included a thundering dunk by Quinton Marshall, who brought The Citadel bench to its feet with the slam.
A Koopman foul allowed Navy to momentarily push the margin to 58-46, but Marshall Harris III converted the second of three second half 3-pointers to draw the Dogs within single digits at the 7:06 mark.
Highlighted by a pair of Zach Fong treys, Navy outscored The Citadel 8-2 over the next 1:38 of the contest to move back in front by double figures, 66-51.
However, the Bulldogs rally continued as Harris knocked down three straight free throws and Matt Van Scyoc hit a jumper in the paint to make for a 68-56 score.
The Citadel scored the next four points including a 3-pointer by Harris to slice the margin to 68-60 with 3:26 left on the clock.
The Midshipmen used Dunbar's 10 points over the final 2:45 of play to complete their sixth victory in the all-time series between the two schools.
Harris scored 19 points, all in the second half, to finish with top offensive honors for the Bulldogs. He knocked down 5-of-8 from the field, 3-of-6 from beyond arc and 6-of-7 from the free throw line to tie his career-high.
Joining the junior point guard in double figures for The Citadel was White (15 points) and Van Scyoc (14). C.J. Bray made his presence felt on the boards with 10 rebounds, the most since his return two weeks ago.
The Citadel found its shooting touch in the second half, hitting 16-of-28 (57.1%) from the floor and 5-of-13 (38.5%) from 3-point range. The Dogs also managed to hit 11-of-16 (68.8%) at the free throw line.
Navy's offense was led by the trio of Dunbar (28 points), Worth Smith (17) and Knorr (13). The Midshipmen closed out the game hitting 25-of-56 (44.6%) from the field and 7-of-19 (36.8%) from beyond the arc. The biggest difference came from the charity stripe, where Navy knocked down 22-of-30 (73.3%) attempts.
Navy took a 41-26 lead into the locker room behind a 15-point scoring effort from Smith. Smith knocked down 7-of-10 from the field, including one trey and closed with three rebounds. He was joined in scoring by the backcourt tandem of Knorr and Dunbar who finished with eight points apiece.
The Midshipmen knocked down 16-of-35 (45.7%) from the field and converted 5-of-13 (38.5%) from beyond the arc. Navy also had a decisive advantage (23-17) on the glass, outrebounding the Bulldogs by three (8-5) on the offensive end.
Van Scyoc took high marks in the first half for The Citadel with 10 points on 4-of-7 shooting. The sharpshooting sophomore managed to hit 2-of-3 from 3-point range and was the lone Bulldog shooter with multiple treys.
White anchored the Dogs' post with eight points and a team-high four rebounds. He was also a perfect 4-of-4 from the free throw line.
After surrendering the first four points of the game on layups by White and Koopman, Navy put together a 14-2 run over the next 3:47 to assume a 16-6 lead.
Bray and Van Scyoc combined for the next four Citadel points as the Dogs reached double figures, 16-10. However, the two teams split the next 18 points of the contest as Navy maintains its six-point lead with 7:32 remaining.
Just under a minute later Van Scyoc buried a trey from the left wing cut the lead in half, 25-22.
However, the Bulldogs would pull no closer as Navy put together a 15-4 run over the remaining 6:18. The Navy scoring spurt was highlighted by five straight 3-pointers including two each by Knorr and Vermeer.
The Citadel makes its returns to action at McAlister Field House on Saturday afternoon at 2 when it hosts Gardner-Webb.
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