Want to know The Good, The Bad and The Ugly from the local teams last night? Here's a hint: Navy had 12 points in the first half and extended the nation's second-longest losing streak.
This is the first installment of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, a semi-regular series focusing on the area's college basketball teams. I want to thank Mike Prada and Sam Chamberlain for giving me the opportunity to bring this feature to you. The first game on our list, American's 69-47 win over Navy, was a game short on good and heavy on the ugly for long stretches.
American's Offense: The Eagles shot 54.2 percent (13-24) in the first half. They were led by Charles Hinkle (6-6, 4-4 from 3), who single handily out-scored Navy in the first half (16-12). American also benefited from only turning the ball over twice. The Eagles were able to take advantage of Navy by using a multitude of screens and lots of off-the-ball movement. When all else failed, Hinkle created his own shot with ease. Either way, American led 36-12 at the half and had the end of the bench in with more than eight minutes to go.
American's Defense: American held Navy to just 31.8 percent shooting for the game (14-44), but the Eagles did their best work in the first half, when they held the Midshipmen to just 21.7 percent shooting and forced 7 turnovers. Navy was constantly running ball screens to get shooters open towards the end of the shot clock, but were lackadaisical in setting picks and screens and American defenders easily ran over the top of the screens to catch up to the shooters. This forced contested shots all game from Navy.
Navy's Second Half: Honestly, this could go in the "Good" category. Navy actually outscored American 35-33, but the Middies really weren't much better on defense than in the first half; allowing American's center Tony Wroblicky to complete a double-double (13 points, 12 rebounds). Navy did improve their shooting on offense (42.9 percent in the 2nd half compared to 21.7 percent in the first), but a lot of Navy's makes came once American's starters were long gone from the game.
Navy's Lack of Timeouts: Ed DeChellis had a few opportunities to stop American streaks (specifically, the 10-0 start to the game), but chose not to use his timeouts. A curious strategy, but if he wanted to get out of DC as quickly as possible -- well, he accomplished that.
Navy's Losing Streak: It's reached 18 games. Fortunately Navy fans, we're nowhere near Towson territory.Yet. Equally fortuitous for the Midshipmen, Binghamton doesn't seem to want to relinquish their "crown." Binghamton's losing streak sits at 26 games after Wednesday's 70-56 loss to UMBC on Wednesday.
The crowd at American was pretty good tonight, considering the opponent -- 1,219 people. However, I'd say about half the students left after the halftime announcement of which fraternities and sororities got their points for being at the game. Covering Maryland for the last 3 years, I don't think I've ever seen that kind of exodus - even in a blowout.