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Navy, Colgate start season on right foot; Leopards falter

10 November, 2007

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Greg Sprink kicked off his season in style, scoring 28 points to lead Navy to an 88-72 victory at Longwood. Sprink added 8 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals in a very good all-around effort. Chris Harris pitched in 12 points and Kaleo Kina 11, while Adam Teague poured in 11 points off the bench. Navy sprinted out to a 21-point lead late in the first half, and played Longwood even through the second half to hold off the Lancers. The Midshipmen shot 50.8 percent from the floor and hit 13 three-pointers; Sprink, Kina and Teague hit three treys apiece.

Navy went with Scott Brooks in the starting lineup but played only 13 minutes, giving way to Teague and freshman center Mark Veazey. Veazey finished with 8 points on 4-of-7 shooting, 5 boards, a block and a steal in 17 minutes in his first career game.

In the first home game for a Patriot League team, Colgate defended its home court with a 63-60 victory over Monmouth. The Raiders were in trouble in the closing seconds, with Monmouth having the ball down 1, but Colgate forced a missed shot by Jhamar Youngblood with 9 seconds left.

Kyle Roemer and Willie Morse scored 15 apiece to lead the Raiders. Morse was perfect from the floor, 3-of-3 from the three-point arc and 1-for-1 inside it. Roemer had a good all-around game in his first game back after missing all of last season with injury, contributing 5 boards, 5 assists and 2 steals.

Monmouth opened a 9-point lead with 12:05 remaining in the game, but Colgate went on a 10-0 run, capped by a Roemer three-pointer that reclaimed the lead for the Raiders. The teams stayed close until the final minutes, when Monmouth reduced their deficit to 1 on a pair of Youngblood free throws with 23 seconds to go. Morse then turned the ball over in the Monmouth press, leading to Youngblood’s miss. Colgate rebounded the ball, and Morse redeemed himself by sinking two free throws to give the game its final 63-60 score. R.J. Rutledge missed a prayer three at the buzzer that would have tied the game.

The Raiders won the game two places: The free-throw stripe and three-point line. Colgate was 8-of-16 and 17-of-25 on three-point shots and one-point shots respectively, while Monmouth shot 6-of-18 behind the arc and 8-of-16 from the stripe.

The Lafayette Leopards kept the Patriot League from a perfect opening day, dropping a 74-70 home game to Wagner. Durell Vinson scored a game-high 22 on 10-of-12 shooting from the floor to lead Wagner to victory.

The Leopards led 67-66 with 1:50 remaining after a Bilal Abdullah shot, but the Leopards managed just 1 point in their next four possessions, missing all three attempts from the field, while Wagner hit shots in the final two minutes to take the game.

Matt Betley led Lafayette with 17 points and 7 rebounds. Point guard Andrew Brown pitched in 14 points, 6 rebounds and 7 assists.

Wagner shot only 39.4 percent from the floor, but succeeded in getting to the free throw line frequently. They shot 19-of-32 from the charity stripe, compared to 8-of-12 for the Leopards.

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