Pirates come back from big deficit to beat Navy 79-75
PHILADELPHIA (AP)—Brian Laing had 27 points and nine rebounds, John Garcia grabbed 19 rebounds and Paul Gause scored 13 points to keep Seton Hall unbeaten in a 79-75 win over Navy on Friday night in the Philly Hoop Group Classic.
The Pirates (4-0) play the winner of the No. 23 Virginia-Penn game on Saturday in the Independence championship game in the inaugural eight-team tournament at the Palestra. The tournament is broken up into two brackets, so there is no undisputed champion and a third-place game will also be played on Saturday.
Greg Sprink scored 23 points, Adam Teague hit six 3-pointers to score 18 and Chris Harris added 11 points for the Midshipmen (2-4), who built a 16-point lead in the first half but collapsed in the second. Only a couple of 3-pointers in the final minute kept the score close.
The Midshipmen went nearly four minutes without a basket midway though the second half, turning a 58-57 lead into a 65-60 deficit. They went from six turnovers in the entire first half to 11 in the first 13 minutes of the second, ending with 22 overall.
Kaleo Kina’s runner in the lane made it a one-point game, but the Pirates scored four straight points to give them a five-point cushion and some needed wiggle room down the stretch.
Harris and Teague each hit 3s in the final minute but played loose with the ball on their other possessions. The Pirates sealed the win from the free-throw line, where they went 23-for-40 overall.
Seton Hall started hitting shots after a dreadful first 20 minutes and Laing’s tough layup midway in the second gave the Pirates their first lead since early in the first half, 59-58. Laing added a thunderous dunk that sent the Pirates into a timeout with a 64-58 lead.
Teague and Sprink stunned the Pirates in the first half with one big 3-pointer after another. Teague hit 3 straight in one stretch, including one from about 40 feet out that left his teammates on the bench laughing in amazement. Mark Veazey’s underhanded layup bounced twice on the rim before it plopped through the net to give the Midshipmen a 37-21 lead.
The Pirates used a 10-0 run to pull to 43-39 at halftime.