It has been eight years since Navy won its first two Patriot League games, a feat the Midshipmen will try to replicate on Wednesday when they travel to Stabler Arena for a 7 p.m. game at Lehigh. Meanwhile, the Mountain Hawks are looking to avoid starting 0-2 for the second consecutive season. Navy (12-4, 1-0), which has won the last three meetings against Lehigh, is 4-4 in games away from Annapolis this season. The Mountain Hawks (10-5, 0-1) have won four in a row at home.
Behind Kaleo Kina (19.6 ppg) and Chris Harris (15.9 ppg), who rank first and third in the conference in scoring, respectively, the Midshipmen boast the highest scoring offense among Patriot League teams at 73.5 points per game. They might have trouble reaching their average against Lehigh, however. The Mountain Hawks hold their opponents to 64.1 points per game and have the league’s best field goal percentage defense (.383). They also grab on average nearly five more rebounds than their opponents.
Marquis Hall gave Navy fits last season. The junior guard averaged 22.5 points per game against the Midshipmen. But lately, Hall has been in a slump. He has missed 48 of his last 67 shot attempts, but still leads the league in assists at 4.8 per game. While Hall has struggled, Zahir Carrington has carried the Mountain Hawks. The junior forward has averaged 19.5 points and 11 rebounds in their past two games. Carrington is the league’s top rebounder at 7.5 per game.
Given last season’s game at Stabler, an 80-75 win by Navy, this could be another close contest, which would seem to favor the Midshipmen. Navy is 7-1 in games decided by five or fewer points this season, including its 71-67 win in Saturday’s Patriot League opener against Bucknell.
January 14, 2009; 6:25 AM ET
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