- ISIL creates all-female brigade to terrorize women into following Sharia law
- ISTOOK: Obama wants to be impeached
- Obama to Latin leaders: Help with border
- Military bans troops from Baptist church event honoring ‘God’s Rescue Squad’
- ‘Pocket drones’: U.S. Army developing tiny surveillance tools for the next big war
- Belgian cafe posts sign: Dogs allowed, but Jews stay out
- Gen. Dempsey: Pentagon studying Russian readiness plans not viewed ‘for 20 years’
- John McCain: Botched, two-hour execution of murderer is ‘torture’
- House GOP ready to move border bill
- Bomb squad called after live WWII artillery washes on Cape Cod beach
Veazey comes up big
Question of the Day
ANNAPOLIS | Navy coach Billy Lange looked at his roster a week before Patriot League play commenced and knew the Midshipmen would need more from center Mark Veazey and point guard O.J. Avworo in the coming months.
He received plenty from both sophomores Wednesday at Alumni Hall.
Veazey scored a career-high 20 points, and Avworo had seven assists against one turnover as Navy turned back Holy Cross 74-68.
Veazey, who at 6-foot-11 towers over most of his conference competition, provided a crucial element for the Mids (14-5, 3-1 Patriot) against the rugged Crusaders (8-11, 3-1).
“You can sense it during the game that he’s the difference in the game,” Navy coach Billy Lange said. “The whole team was, but his role tonight was the difference in the game. If we don’t have Mark Veazey tonight, we don’t win the game. When I say that, I don’t mean physically. I mean him being mentally engaged.”
Chris Harris added 20 points for Navy.
The victory was Navy’s third straight against Holy Cross, a notable accomplishment since the Crusaders won the previous 17 meetings and controlled the Patriot League for much of this decade.
Stylistically, this year’s version of Holy Cross is quite similar. Forward Andrew Keister had 27 points and 14 rebounds for the Crusaders, who didn’t make a basket outside the paint until the final minute and failed to make a 3-pointer for the first time since 1996.
Avworo warrants some of the credit for the tepid play of the Crusaders’ guards. Yet Veazey enjoyed a breakout conference game against the most imposing front line Navy will face the rest of the way.
He did so with efficiency, not just deftly working around the basket but also hitting midrange jumpers with a soft touch. His 10-footer along the baseline with 5:21 left provided Navy with an 11-point edge.
“His face-up stuff has really gotten him a lot better,” Holy Cross coach Ralph Willard said. “He’s a totally different player than he was last year.”
In the end, the Mids needed to win without Veazey. He fouled out with 2:18 left while going for an offensive rebound far from the basket, and a little more than a minute later Holy Cross was within a possession.
The Crusaders closed within 70-68 on Adam May’s leaner with 23.3 seconds left, pulling things closer than at any other point in the final 15 minutes. But Harris doubled the lead with a pair of free throws, and Holy Cross’ Pat Doherty missed a driving layup with 10 seconds remaining. Kaleo Kina followed with a pair of free throws to clinch the victory.
It was a nervous stretch for Veazey as Navy was forced to go with a far smaller lineup the rest of the way. After the Mids secured the win, though, it was clear Veazey’s play was an even more impressive development than pulling within a half-game of league-leading American.
“It’s attacking the rim and knowing I can score 20 points in the game,” said Veazey, who also had a career-high four blocks. “That’s what I’ve been needing and really working on.”
About the Author
Patrick Stevens has covered Maryland and other Mid-Atlantic college sports for more than a decade. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- George Mason's defense dissipates in 84-74 loss to Northeastern
- Maryland's Pe'Shon Howard willing to let others put ball in the basket
- At 7-5, George Mason looks on the bright side entering CAA play
- Terps beat IUPUI, set for ACC after final tuneup
- Maryland's Jake Layman shows signs of progress in freshman season
Latest Blog Entries
Second- and third-stringers eye 2016 if front-runner stumbles
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- ISTOOK: Obama wants to be impeached
- 'Pocket drones': U.S. Army developing tiny spies for the next big war
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- Michelle Obama says money in politics is bad, asks donors for 'big, fat check'
- Ted Nugent loses second casino gig for 'racist remarks'
- Russia shipping sophisticated weapons systems to Ukraine separatists
- EDITORIAL: Detroit's water 'spigot bigots'
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine
- Let it roll: D.C. Council hits Las Vegas on taxpayer's dime, leaves $14,000 tab
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq