Bucknell Dominates Navy, 78-57

There are two schools of thought when it comes to assessing Navy's 78-57 loss to Bucknell on Wednesday night. If you are of a positive mindset you will look at the result and point out that the Mids were almost guaranteed to have a letdown game after putting in their finest performance in half a decade the previous time out against Army.

Add in the fact that the game itself was disrupted by weather (it was pushed up by an hour to avoid SNOWPOCALYPSE 2014) and it makes sense that Navy was so summarily outplayed. If you are of a negative mindset, however. you will look at the result against Army as nothing more than an aberration at a point in the season in which Navy is going nowhere and you will expect crushing losses like this until the season mercifully ends.

The truth is probably somewhere between the two.

As well as Navy played against the Black Knights, they played equally as badly when facing the Bison. The Mids were schooled on the boards 38-27 and compounded that statistic by committing 18 turnovers. All this overshadowed what was another promising display from Brandon Venturini who was 5-of-8 from three point land and had six rebounds (from the guard position) to go along with his 15 points.

One of the more remarkable stats from the game is that 14 of the 18 Navy turnovers were actually forced by Bucknell steals. Watching the game this was as much to do with weak ball handling and slow ball movement as it was to do with Bucknell playing lights out defense. The Mids looked tired and out of focus on offense and as soon as Bucknell countered the six point Navy run to start the second half with an 11 point run of their own the game was over.

If this really was more of an Army hang over than anything else then the Mids have to come out fired up when they host Colgate on Saturday. The Mids were beaten decisively in the reverse fixture, putting up just over a point per minute to finish with 41 for the game. Any kind of slow start will just sow those seeds of doubt, so it is up to Navy to start hot and get the crowd into the game early.

With just five games to play before the tournament this contest with Colgate becomes crucial. A win will show that Navy still has some fight left in them, while a loss would basically equate to giving up on the season. It will be very interesting to see how things play out on Saturday.

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