Navy’s best start since David Robinson suited up for the Midshipmen came to an end on Sunday when the Blue and Gold lost, 79-70, to Virginia Tech in the BB&T Classic at Verizon Center. The setback snapped a seven-game win streak.
“You have no margin for error when you’re in the Naval Academy and you’re playing against Virginia Tech in this venue,” Navy Coach Billy Lange said. “You can preach that all you want as a coach, but sometimes you maybe got to take this loss and take this experience and move forward.”
Navy has no choice but to move forward. The Midshipmen (7-2) play the last game of their five-games-in-11-days stretch on Tuesday at Mount St. Mary’s (2-4). The trip to Emmitsburg, Md., will be their third consecutive road game.
“It’s our Northeast version of the Maui Classic. That’s what we’re telling these guys,” Lange said with a laugh. “To try to fit 15 nonconference games in two months with an 11-day exam period is a hard task, but I think we’re up for it.”
Lange hadn’t planned on playing this many games in such a short time period. But when John Feinstein called to ask Navy to play in the BB&T Classic, it was an offer Lange couldn’t refuse – even if it meant almost no time to practice between games.
“For us, honestly, it’s more beneficial for us as a coaching staff – I’m being anti-coach here – but we’re going to learn more about ourselves in games at this point with the experience we have than we actually are in practice,” Lange said. “Now I would say after Tuesday we need some practice time to tighten some things up that we’ve seen.”
After Tuesday’s game against Mount St. Mary’s, Navy won’t play against until Dec. 20 at Canisius.
"This is a big stretch for us because we’re playing good teams and a bunch of it is on the road,” guard Chris Harris said. “Going to Penn and winning, coming [to Verizon Center] and competing, learning from our mistakes, it is definitely a critical stretch for us.”
December 7, 2008; 11:20 PM ET
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