ANNAPOLIS, Md. – The American University men's basketball team ran into a hot-shooting Navy Midshipmen squad on Wednesday night in Alumni Hall. The Mids shot 76.5 percent in the first half, taking a 3-point lead into the break and used a 14-4 run to begin the second before securing the win, 64-54.
American shot well in the contest as well, registering a 54.8 mark, but foul trouble in the first half and no 3-pointers in the second kept the Eagles from mounting a comeback.
Navy senior Worth Smith scored all of his game-high 19 points in the second half after playing only two minutes in the initial stanza with two fouls.
"Navy was very good offensively tonight and our defense was not," said head coach Mike Brennan. "I thought we were ok with the ball, but they were making shots. It was a quick turnaround for us and in this league any team can win if you don't execute both offensively and defensively."
Senior center Kevin Panzer had a career game on the offensive end, scoring an AU-best 18 points on 6-of-10 shooting with a 3-pointer and five free throws. The first-year transfer for Nevada also grabbed two boards and added two assists and a block.
Panzer was AU's only double-digit scorer however. American also went cold from distance in the second half. After going 5-of-9 from distance in the initial period, the Eagles went just 0-of-4.
Navy senior Brandon Venturini added 17 points for the Midshipmen, knocking down three triples as eight different Mids scoring in the contest.
American trailed by six in the early going, 16-10, but took the lead and built a seven-point advantage thanks to an 19-6 run than spanned over eight minutes.
It was all Navy from there on out as the Mids ended the half on a 14-4 streak before duplicating the stretch at the start of the second to make it a 28-8 run over 11 and half minutes.
The Eagles trailed by as many as 16 points coming with 5:23 to play. AU ended the game on a 8-2 run and shot 50 percent in the second half but could not overcome its 13 turovers.
American looks to get back on the winning track next Monday at Holy Cross in a contest televised live on the CBS Sports Network.