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Game Recap: Navy defeats Furman 62-49

Furman's Shooting Struggles Continue Against Gritty Navy

Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports

-Tim Abruzzo came off the bench to score a career-high 16 points, while Tilman Dunbar and Jace Hogan chipped in 13 and 10 points, respectively, as Navy won its eighth game in its last nine outings with a 62-49 non-conference win over Furman Tuesday night at Alumni Hall.

The win improves the Midshipmen to 9-4 overall on the campaign, while Furman falls to 6-6 with its third loss in the past four games.

Abruzzo finished 5-of-9 from the field, with 15 of his 16 points on a 5-for-7 performance from beyond the three-point arc. Dunbar finished 3-for-9, including 1-for-2 from three-point range and was 6-of-9 from the stripe. Hogan, who came in as the leading scorer for Navy, at 12.5 PPG off the bench, posted his 10 points against the Paladins on 4-of-10 shooting from the field, and 2-for-4 from the line to go with eight boards. Tom Lacey led the Midshipmen on the glass, finishing with nine boards to go with his five points on the evening.

Shawn Anderson led Navy with four assists, while Will Kelly blocked three shots to lead the Midshipmen on the defensive end of the floor.

Navy held Furman to a season-low 49 points and 30.6% (15-for-49) shooting from the field, including 14.3% (3-for-21) from three-point land in the contest. In the last three losses to Gardner-Webb, Dayton and Navy, the Paladins are a combined 16-for-64 from three-point range.

Furman would get out to a strong start early in the contest, taking a 7-2 lead early, getting a three from John Davis III and buckets by Stephen Croone and Daniel Fowler at the 16:53 mark of the opening half of play.

Following a Devin Sibley lay-up, which gave the Paladins a 9-5 lead at the two minutes later, the Paladins would go ice-cold from the field for the remainder of the half, as Navy held the Paladins scoreless from the field for a period of 11 minutes to take a 29-11 lead before Fowler finally ended the scoring drought for the Paladins with a jumper at the 3:52 mark of the opening half.

Navy extended its advantage to as much as 22 in the opening half of play after Jace Hogan hit his second-straight jumper with 1:59 remaining in the opening half to give Navy its largest lead of the opening frame, at 35-13. Navy would take a 36-18 lead into the halftime locker room.

The Paladins would shoot just 30.6% (6-for-20) in the opening half, and went just 2-for-9 (22.2%) from three-point range, while Navy shot the ball at a 46.4% clip (13-for-28) from the field, and finished 4-for-6 from three-point range (66.7%) to finish out what was a strong shooting half for the Midshipmen.

Furman would close the gap early in the second half to within 14 points (36-22) after a Kris Acox layup with 17:42 remaining in the half, however, the Midshipmen would increase their lead to the largest of the night at 25, following a thunderous dunk from Kelly off a feed from Abruzzo to make it a 47-22 with 13:29 to cap an 11-0 Navy run after the promising start from the Paladins.

The closest the Paladins would be able to get in the second half would be 11 points with 2:38 to play, as Stephen Croone, who finished with 15 points and was the lone Paladin in double figures, converted a pair of free throws to make it a 58-47 game. Furman could only add two points the rest of the way, however, as Croone scored the final points of the game on a layup with 26 seconds remaining.

For the game, Navy shot it 41.7% (20-of-48) from the field, and connected on 53.8% (7-of-13) from behind the three-point line. The Midshipmen finished the game with a significant advantage in bench points (28-12), and posted a 21-9 edge in points from the perimeter. Navy held a significant 42-30 edge on the boards, as the Paladins have now been out-rebounded 83-50 in the past two games against the Midshipmen and Dayton. Navy finished with a 13-7 edge in second-chance points, while Furman posted a 24-18 advantage in points in the paint.

Croone finished the night connecting on 5-of-10 shooting from the field and was 5-for-11 from the line. The senior guard was 0-for-5 from three, as he continues to heal from a thumb injury suffered in the preseason. Croone also recorded two of Furman's four steals on the night. The Paladins managed to take good care of the basketball, turning it over just 10 times, while forcing Navy into 14 miscues. The 49 points allowed by Navy tonight was the lowest point total it has held a Division I foe to this season.

Davis, who earned his third start of the season, turned in his second-straight strong performance, posting seven points and four assists in 31 minutes. Kendrec Ferrara also added seven points and had a pair of blocks off the bench.

Furman will have a week off for Christmas before returning to action in a week, as the Paladins travel to Big South member UNC Asheville for a 7 p.m. tilt at Kimmel Arena. The Midshipmen will be back in action in eight days, traveling to preseason Patriot League pick Bucknell to open conference play.