Three Keys: Navy at Lehigh

The Mids finish their road season on Wednesday night when they travel to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania to take on Lehigh. This Patriot League match against the Mountain Hawks is the reverse of a January 30th defeat which was the Mids' worst conference loss of the season. Here are the three keys to turning that result around.

1) Get on top early

Ten days or so ago everything was looking good for Lehigh. The Mountain Hawks were 18-5, and 8-1 in Patriot League play, looking every bit an NCAA Tournament team in the process. Since then, however, the wheels have fallen off the Lehigh bandwagon and they have lost three straight falling to second in the league in the process. To put it simply, they are ready for an upset.

That is why the Mids need to come out the hottest that they have all season. We know that this Navy team is more than capable on defense, but in this game they need to hit some shots early and put that seed of doubt back in the minds of the Lehigh players. If, and it is a big if, the Midshipmen can get up by three or four baskets early then the Mountain Hawks will start to feel the pressure and could well tense up giving Navy a shot.

2) Get more from the bench

In the last meeting between the two teams the Mids were dramatically outplayed off the bench. Lehigh doubled the Navy bench production 32-16 and generally used their stronger depth to stifle anything the Midshipmen tried to do. If Navy is to stand a chance in this one the bench production needs to be much closer to 50/50. Whether this means more scoring from the Navy bench or less scoring from the Lehigh reserves doesn't matter, the Mids simply cannot lose the game when the starters leave.

3) Stop big runs

In most games Navy has lost this season it is because the offense has gone freezing cold for a stretch. In the latest game against Colgate for example the Mids used pressure defense to lead 27-22 at the break, but a 20-2 run after the interval put the game out of reach. Somehow the Mids need to find a way to make a basket or two to break these big runs teams are making against them and there is no better time than the present to start.

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