ANNAPOLIS, MD -- Slippery Rock went on a 27-9 run over the last 13 minutes of the first half and cruised to a 79-56 decision over the Navy men's basketball team in an exhibition game on Sunday at Alumni Hall.
Slippery Rock was picked second in the NCAA Division II PSAC Conference, one of the top leagues in the country, and features a roster that consists of seven seniors and many players that ranged in ages from 23 to 27 years old.
"We obviously didn't play very well, but we I thought we got accustomed to the speed of the game in the second half and started to make some shots, but overall, we weren't happy with our performance," said Navy head coach Ed DeChellis. "Slippery Rock is a very, very good basketball team. They have very good, athletic players that can score and shoot the basketball. They are a very experienced, older team that have played a lot of basketball together. We wanted to play a team that would challenge us with their athleticism and physicalness and they exposed some things that we know we need to get cleaned up."
Navy trailed just 14-11 with 13:08 to play in the first half, but went just 3-of-23 from the field in the last 13 minutes of the opening half as Slippery Rock ended the stanza on a 27-9 run to take a 41-20 halftime lead.
The Midshipmen shot just 7-of-37 (.189) from the field and missed all 10 of its three-point attempts in the first half. Slippery Rock, meanwhile, shot 15-of-27 (.556) from the field to take its 21-point halftime lead.
"You have to make shots. We need to get each other shots and I think sometimes we force some shots," said DeChellis. "I thought we did a decent job on the offensive rebounding end, but we just didn't get anything off of them. We just didn't shoot well tonight."
Navy grabbed 16 offensive rebounds, but turned those chances into just 11 second-chance points and were outscored 26-14 in the paint.
Navy played much better in the second half, shooting 12-of-29 (.414) from the field while making 6-of-13 three-point attempts, while the Midshipmen were outscored by two points, 38-36, in the second stanza.
Leading Navy's offense was freshman Kendall Knorr(Concord, N.C.) with 12 points. Knorr made 4-of-7 three-point attempts and grabbed four rebounds in 15 minutes of action.Thurgood Wynn (Jr. / Bethesda, Md.) added 10 points and seven rebounds.
"Kendall can shoot the ball, and if we can get him shooting it well and Brandon Venturini (So. / Allandale, Mich.) to shoot it the way he has been shooting in practice, then we got something. That allows Brennan Wyatt (Jr. / Greensboro, N.C.) and Dunbar some room to break down the defense and drive and kick to those guys," said DeChellis.
Venturini was just 1-of-6 from the field, but has had a great preseason camp shooting the basketball, and figures to be counted on significantly.
Freshman Tilman Dunbar (Woodbridge, Va.) added nine points, five assists and four rebounds in 24 minutes of action. Dunbar had five points, all five of his assists and one rebound in 14 second-half minutes. Dunbar did had four turnovers in the contest.
"We have been consistently inconsistent at the point guard position, and I think Tilman shows that," said DeChellis. "We just need him to tighten things up with the ball. He needs to break some habits, but he is a freshman and has some ability."
Navy also played without Will Kelly (Fr. / Mount Laurel, N.J.), who figures to see significant action on the interior. Kelly has been nursing a groin injury and DeChellis decided to hold him out of action today.
Navy's starters went just 8-of-35 (.229) from the field for 18 points in 93 minutes of action. The Midshipmen bench accounted for 36 points while shooting 11-of-31 (.355) from the field in 107 minutes.
"We are in the mix of trying to figure some guys out and their roles and how much they can play," said DeChellis. "We started a more-experienced lineup tonight just to get accustomed to game speed, but the lineup is not set. We are still trying to figure things out with the lineup."
For the game, Navy went 19-of-66 (.288) from the field, 6-of-23 (.261) from three-point range and 12-of-21 (.571) from the free throw line. The Mids were guilty of 13 turnovers and were outrebounded by a 47-42 margin. Slippery Rock led the country (NCAA Division II) a year ago in rebound margin.
The Rock went 29-of-56 (.518) from the field, 5-of-17 (.294) from three-point range and 16-of-26 (.615) from the free throw line. Slippery Rock was guilty of 16 turnovers.
Navy will host Marymount in the season opener on Friday, November 9, in Alumni Hall, beginning at 7:00 PM. For ticket information, visit online at NavySports.com or call 1-800-US4-NAVY.
• This game does not count toward the season record.
• Slippery Rock went 17-10 last year and has several transfers on this year's team.
• Freshmen accounted for 23 points, nine rebounds and six assists against four turnovers in 53 minuntes of action ... The trio of Knorr, Dunbar and Jerome Alexander (Radford, Va.) went 7-of-16 from the field and 4-of-8 from three-point range.
• Thurgood Wynn's seven rebounds would have been a career high had it been a regular-season game ... his career high is four rebounds, set against Elon last year.
• Navy missed its first 12 three-point attempts, but made six of their last 11 three-point attempts.
• Knorr also had a three-pointer waved off at the halftime buzzer ... the shot was ruled good, but was waved off after officials used the new replay system installed this year by the Patriot League. Officials ruled that Knorr's shot was released just after the halftime buzzer.
• Nine different players scored for Navy.