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Navy men’s basketball remains unbeaten in Patriot League play

The Mids are off to their best start since the 1983-84 season.

NCAA Basketball: Navy at Virginia Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Navy’s men’s basketball team improved to 9-1 this past weekend after notching a pair of victories over American University. The Mids beat the Eagles by scores of 87-86 and 71-59, respectively.

The Mids continue to have an impressive campaign in head coach Ed DeChellis’ 10th season on the job. It’s Navy’s best 10-game start since the 1983-84 season — when the Admiral, David Robinson, was a freshman. And Navy’s eight-game winning streak is its best since the 1999-00 season, when the Mids won 13 straight.

Senior guard Cam Davis led Navy to its first win over American by scoring a career-high 34 points on 22 shot attempts. The Battlefield, Missouri native also tallied three rebounds and two assists, and had zero turnovers in more than 40 minutes of action. The Mids needed overtime to beat the Eagles on Saturday, but free throw shooting was the difference. Navy built itself a comfortable cushion in the final 90 seconds of play, with Davis and John Carter Jr. knocking down six straight charity stripe shots. In all, Navy made 40 trips to the free throw line and connected on 29 of them. American was just 6-of-9 from there.

“We found a way to win the game,” DeChellis said. ”It was a gutty performance by our team.”

In the rematch on Sunday, Greg Summers stuffed the stat sheet for the Mids with a career-high 21 points, six rebounds, three assists, two steals and a block. Patrick Dorsey came off the bench to add in 11 points, five boards, five assists and three steals. Navy outscored American’s bench 27-12.

Defensively, Navy forced American to turn the ball over at least 20 times in both games. In the second game, the Mids also held the Eagles to 23.8% shooting from behind the arc.

“I thought we played pretty well on both days,” DeChellis said. “Feeling really proud of the team. It has been different, but we have embraced everything about it. The players have done a really good job of embracing everything we are about, and what the schedule is about.”

The Mids are currently ranked 167th in KenPom; the second-highest for a Patriot League team (5-1 Colgate is 107th). Navy received votes in the latest Other Top 25 poll at Mid-Major Madness.

Navy’s next games are at home against Army. Saturday’s game will count for the Star Series and will tip-off at 2:30 p.m. EST on CBS Sports Network. Sunday’s 3 p.m. tip can be streamed on ESPN+.

It’s been a rough season for Navy’s women’s basketball team, but they too had something to cheer about on Sunday.

The Mids’ 70-67 win over American was the first career victory for Tim Taylor as a Division I head coach.

“I tell people I’ve been doing this a long time, honestly I’m more excited about this win for the kids,” Taylor said. “The adversity that they’ve been through; not being able to go home for such long stretches of time and with all of the COVID protocols that they have to deal with. Earlier this week was the first time we’ve had 10 healthy players at practice all year. We’ve been trying to control what we can control each day. I’m really excited for them.”

Kolbi Green notched a season-high 25 points, while Jennifer Coleman tallied 17 points, six rebounds, a season-high seven assists and three steals to lead Navy to their first win of the season.

Navy (1-5; 1-1 PL) plays at Army this weekend. Both games will be on ESPN+.