When they were both in the NBA, Patrick Ewing had an all-time record of 7-12 vs. the Admiral, David Robinson.
This is worth pointing out because it seems Ewing is accustomed to having his team lose to Navy men. And on Tuesday night in Washington, D.C., he added another tally to his loss column when facing Midshipmen.
Navy’s men’s basketball team stunned the Ewing-coached Georgetown Hoyas at McDonough Arena, winning 78-71.
It’s the first time Navy has beaten a Big East team since 1996, when the Mids topped Pittsburgh at Alumni Hall. It’s the first road win for Navy over a Big East team since 1986, when the Mids beat Syracuse at the Carrier Dome in the NCAA tournament, on their way to an Elite Eight appearance in Robinson’s junior season.
The win is an exceptional one for Navy head coach Ed DeChellis, who has the Mids off to a 3-1 start in his 10th season at the helm. It’s the best start for Navy since the 2008-09 season.
Here’s how they pulled off the upset vs. Georgetown:
Winning in the paint
Georgetown’s roster carries six players who are at least 6-foot-8 or taller. Navy is armed with just two of those players, both of which cap out at the minimum.
Still, the Midshipmen had their way in the paint, outscoring the Hoyas there 40-24. Navy shot 50% from the floor while Georgetown was held to a pedestrian 41.7%. The Mids also nearly matched Georgetown on the boards, 36-38.
Junior forward Richard Njoku did most of his work down low for the Mids, finishing with eight points, six rebounds, a block and an assist.
Navy also forced the Hoyas into 13 turnovers.
"We’re part of the greatest fighting force the world has ever seen and there is no fear in us regardless of who we’re playing...that’s something that we’re bred to do." @NavyBasketball captain @_CDavis31 following the Mids' victory over Georgetown. pic.twitter.com/q2uev5H30C— Phil Bergman (@PhilBergmanTV) December 2, 2020
The biggest difference between Navy and Georgetown was that one team had Cam Davis and John Carter Jr., and the other team did not. Fortunately for DeChellis, both players are on his side, and they put on a heck of a show.
Davis led all scorers with 28 points and also added three rebounds and two steals in 32 minutes of play. Carter racked up 20 points, eight rebounds and three assists.
A 6-foot guard from Battlefield, Missouri, Davis has been on a roll to start his senior season, scoring in double-digits in each of the Mids’ first four games. Davis did much of his work Tuesday from behind the arc, connecting on 5-of-7 three-point attempts. His scoring total vs. the Hoyas ties his career-high, when he scored 28 points at Army last season.
Carter — a 6-foot-3 junior from Spring Hill, Tennessee — has played well early on too this season, averaging 13.5 points and 4.7 rebounds per-game over his first four outings.
UPSET! @NavyAthletics knocked off Georgetown on @CBSSportsNet tonight! The Mids led at the half and rallied from a second-half deficit to improve to 3-1 behind a career-high 28 points from Cam Davis!@marchmadness | @Patriot_Gameday pic.twitter.com/nVlj3N8QnQ— Patriot League on ESPN (@PatriotLeagueTV) December 2, 2020
Tuesday was just the third time since 1978 that Navy had faced Georgetown in men’s basketball. Before Tuesday’s upset, the Mids last beat the Hoyas in the 1976-77 season — then just the fifth year on the job for the late, great John Thompson Jr.
Navy is off for a little while. The Mids’ next game is on Dec. 16, at home vs. Morgan State. Navy will then play Delaware on Dec. 21 to close out its non-conference slate.
The Mids and Army were the only Patriot League teams permitted to play non-conference matchups this season amid the pandemic. Army is off to a strong start too and faces Florida on Wednesday.