Navy led 48-40 early in the second half when Greg Sprink — who led all scorers at the time with 18 points — picked up his fourth personal foul and went to the bench. With Sprink sidelined, Bucknell would outscore its guests 23-8 over the next 10-plus minutes to turn the eight-point deficit into a 63-56 lead. Jason Vegotsky got the run going with a pair of three-pointers, and John Griffin capped off the spurt with six straight points, including a four-point play at the 7:37 mark.
Key sign it was over
Kaleo Kina’s three-pointer drew the Midshipmen to within 77-70 with 1:50 left, but Justin Castleberry was perfect on two attempts from the line. Griffin blocked Chris Harris’s three-point attempt, and though a Rob Thomas turnover gave the ball back to Navy, Kina was off the mark this time from the outside. An offensive foul on Justin Castleberry gave the visitors a glimmer of hope, but Sprink misfired on a three, and two Vegtosky free throws gave Bucknell a double-digit lead at 81-70 with just 33 seconds left.
Stephen Tyree had an excellent all-around game for the Bison, finishing with 10 points on perfect 4-for-4 shooting, while tying for a game high with seven rebounds and posting a game-best six assists in 30 minutes, during which time he committed just one turnover.
In the second half, Bucknell found its shooting touch, going 14 of 25 (56.6 percent) from the floor and 5 of 11 from three. By contrast, Navy struggled mightily with its shooting, connecting on just 10 of 34 attempts (29.4 percent) and 5 of 18 (27.8 percent) from the outside.
- Sprink and Kina led Navy with 26 and 24 points, respectively, but the pair combined to shoot just 18 of 45 (40.0 percent) from the floor and 8 of 23 (34.7 percent) from three.
- Justin Castleberry led Bucknell with 19 points, while Vegotsky added 14 and Griffin finished with 13.
- The Bison didn’t do themselves any favors at the line, where they were just 18 of 30 (60.0 percent).
- Rob Thomas returned from injury to score six points and recorded four rebounds and three assists in 15 minutes.
- The win extended Bucknell’s league home winning streak to 36 games.
- The Bison will welcome American to Sojka Pavilion on Wednesday, January 16, for a 7:00 pm ET tipoff, while the Midshipmen play their league home opener against Lehigh scheduled for the same date and time.
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