ANNAPOLIS, Md. – A spot in the semifinals of the 2022 Patriot League Tournament lies in the balance on Monday night as the eighth-seeded Navy Midshipmen will go head-to-head with the top-seeded Holy Cross Crusaders at the Hart Center. This will be a rematch from just over two weeks ago in which the Crusaders (20-9) held on for a six-point victory over the upset-minded Midshipmen (9-20), 63-57 in Worcester. Monday’s quarterfinal matchup will also aim a spotlight on the Patriot League’s two major award winners, Navy’s Jennifer Coleman, the league’s Defensive Player of the Year, and Holy Cross’ Avery LaBarbera, who collected the league’s Player of the Year honor. Tip-off between the Mids and Crusaders is set for 7 pm and will be streamed live on ESPN+. The winner of Monday’s game will advance to play the winner of the #4 Bucknell and #5 Lehigh on Thursday in one of the semifinals of the league’s 2022 postseason tournament.
ESPN+ is a subscription-based streaming service that requires patrons to sign-up for monthly or yearly plans prior to tuning into the contest.
Navy in the Patriot League Tournament
The Mids are 27-26 all-time in Patriot League Tournament action and have won three league championships (2011-12-13) during the program’s 30-year history with the conference … Navy is 16-11 all-time in 27 quarterfinal contests; last picking up a quarterfinal win in the 2018 tournament over Loyola … This is the first Patriot League Tournament run for Navy under the guidance of second-year head coach Tim Taylor as the team did not participate in the 2021 tournament due to COVID-19 protocols.
Navy vs. Holy Cross
The Mids and Crusaders have met 69 times in a series that began on January 18, 1992 … All-time, Holy Cross leads Navy, 47-22 with a 25-9 advantage in games played in Worcester … The two teams had not ever met prior to the Mids joining the Patriot League in 1991-92 … The series has had multiple lengthy streaks in its history with Holy Cross winning the first eight games, followed by streaks of seven, 10 and 11 consecutive wins by the Crusaders, overall they won 36 of the first 40 games in the series (1992-2008); With the 2009-10 season, Navy swung the momentum in its beginning with sweeps of the 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2017 and 2018 season series… Over the last 10 contests, the series is tied 5-5 with Holy Cross winning the five most recent tilts.
Last 5 Games:
Feb. 19, 2022 (A): Holy Cross 60 – Navy 55
Dec 29, 2021 (H): Holy Cross 63 – Navy 53
Jan 29, 2020 (A): Holy Cross 57 – Navy 43
Jan 4, 2020 (H): Holy Cross 58 – Navy 49
Feb 13, 2019 (A): Holy Cross 47 vs. Navy 44
Most Recent Navy-Holy Cross Matchup ~ February 19 in Worcester
The Navy women’s basketball team went head-to-head and had the Patriot League leaders, Holy Cross, on the ropes before the host Crusaders put together a late 12-0 run in the fourth quarter to earn the 63-57 victory at the Hart Center on Saturday afternoon. Playing an efficient well-balanced brand of basketball in the first half, the Mids were plagued by an extended offensive slump in the third quarter and another over a four-minute stretch in the fourth as they fell in a hard-fought contest to the Crusaders .
Jennifer Coleman did her best to keep Navy in upset territory as she netted a game-high 17 points and grabbed eight rebounds in 39 minutes of action. Additionally, she assisted on six baskets and recorded three steals. Sydney Watts played an important role in the Mids’ fourth quarter comeback as she netted back-to-back three-pointers at one point as part of her 15-point outing. mimi schrader Navy gave three players in double-digits as she scored 10 points on 4-of-9 shooting off the bench.
Up five after one quarter of play, 16-11 the Mids quickly extended their lead out to seven points on a driving layup by Kristina Donza at 8:35. Addisyn Cross hit a three-pointer for Holy Cross on the ensuing possession to tighten the game back up to a 20-16 margin. After a two-minute lull in scoring, Ciera Hertelendy muscled her way through the paint for a physical layup that was followed up by a Coleman steal, and an offensive rebound and put-back by Lindsay Llewellyn at 6:24. That basket by Llewellyn gave Navy its largest lead of the game of eight, 24-16. An 8-4 run by the Crusaders over the next five minutes shaved four points off of their deficit. Each squad registered one field goal over the final 73 seconds of the half as the game concluded the first half with a 30-26 score for the Mids.
For the second quarter in a row, Donza was an offensive spark for Navy early as she put her team up six with a layup at 8:43. The Mids reached their game-high of eight eleven again a little over a minute later when Coleman snagged a defensive rebound and went coast-to-coast at 7:25. Ahead 34-26 at that point of play, Navy’s momentum was stunted for the next 5:43 as Holy Cross went on a 10-0 run to re-take the lead. Schrader didn’t let her team trail for long as the next time down the court she slipped a screen and was found in-stride by Hertelendy for the easy back-down layup. With the score tied 36-36 at 1:42, the Crusaders rounded out the period with five of the final six points to take a four-point lead of 41-37 into the quarter break. As a team, Navy shot just 3-of-15 in the third stanza.
The Mids were quick to flush that poor shooting performance from the third quarter as they used good ball movement to find a host of open shooters as they turned a 44-39 deficit into a 47-45 lead during a 1:15 stretch from 6: 42 and 5:27. Coleman found Schrader for a free layup initially before Coleman was the facilitator once again as she swung the ball around the perimeter for an open Watts, who tied it at 44 by finding success from distance next time down the court. The streak concluded when Watts netted her second trey in as many possessions to give Navy the two-point advantage. The Mids kept clicking and scored four of the next six points to go back up four, 51-47 at 4:16. Unfortunately for a Navy squad that was looking to pull an upset over first-place Holy Cross, the hosts showed their home fans what makes them so good as they shut out Navy for the next 3:46 and scored 12 straight points. Trailing 59-51, Schrader helped end the Mids’ drought with a three-pointer with 29 seconds remaining. Another trey, this time from Coleman drew Navy within four, 61-57 with 15 seconds left before two more Holy Cross free throws iced the 63-57 victory.
For the game, Holy Cross outshot Navy across the board with a 41.2 percent (21-51) to 37.5 (24-64) advantage in field goal shooting, a 39.1 percent (9-23) to 30.4 (7-23) edge in three-point shooting and a 92.3 percent (12-13) to 50.0 (2-4) tally in free throw shooting.
Comparing the Teams
|(2021-22 Stats)||#8 Navy||#1 Holy Cross|
|Record / League-Only||9-20 / 5-13PL||20-9 / 14-4 PL|
|Home /Away/Neut. Record||6-11 / 3-9||12-4 / 8-5|
|Points Per Game||55.7 PPG||60.5 PPG|
|Points Allowed Per Game||63.2 PPG||56.0 PPG|
|Field Goal Percentage||35.9%||40.2%|
|Free Throw Percentage||68.8%||68.6%|
|Rebounds Per Game||35.3 RPGs||38.1 RPG|
|Assists/Turnovers Per Game||11.2 / 14.3||13.1 / 15.5|
|(2021-22 Stats)||Navy||Holy Cross|
|Points Per Game||Coleman, 21.9 ppg||A. LaBarbera, 16.2 ppg|
|Rebounds Per Game||Coleman, 10.8 rpg||A. LaBarbera, 9.8 rpg|
|Assists Per Game||Coleman, 5.0 pg||A. LaBarbera, 4.2 pg|
|Field Goal Percentage||Coleman, 40.4%||O. Ezemma, 52.2%|
|3-Point Percentage||Coleman, 38.2%||C. McCormack, 39.2%|
|Free Throw Percentage||Coleman, 72.9%||A. LaBarbera, 88.5%|
Coleman’s Record Watch
Already Navy’s single-season leader in points scored with 635 and most rebounds in a season with 312 caroms, Jennifer Coleman has turned her attention towards moving up the top-10 in the program’s record book for most assists in campaign and currently is in sixth with 144 helpers this year. Additionally, she has her eyes on the seventh-best scoring season in Patriot League history as she trails Holy Cross’ Amy O’Brien, who recorded 643 points in 1998-99. In the Navy’s all-time scoring list, Coleman is 12 points away from breaking into the top-10 and surpassing Bernie Boska’s career mark of 1,325 points.
Last Time Out: Colgate at Navy, Saturday, March 5 (Patriot League Tournament-First Round)
The Navy women’s basketball team advanced to the second round of the 2022 Patriot League Tournament on Saturday with a come-from-behind 60-55 victory over Colgate. Seeded eighth in the tournament, the Mids trailed the ninth-seeded Raiders for nearly 20 minutes, including at 54-53 with two minutes to go in the fourth quarter before closing out the win with a clutch 7-1 run.
Jennifer Coleman came out on a mission on Saturday afternoon at Alumni Hall as scored the Mids’ first 11 points on her way to a game-high 29 on 10-of-21 shooting from the field and a 7-of-10 outing at the foul line . Additionally, she grabbed nine rebounds and two steals, while assisting on eight made baskets. The duo of Lindsay Llewellyn and Sydney Watts aided Navy’s cause with 10 points each.
With the score 11-9, the Raiders closed the first period by registering five of the last seven points to take a 16-11 lead into the quarter break. After Coleman netted all of the Mids’ points in the first quarter, Kristina Donza and Llewellyn lightened Coleman’s load a bit to start the second period as they connected for a pair of a field goals over the opening two minutes. Trailing 19-15, Coleman made her presence de ella known with a quick 5-0 individual run as she started her streak with a steal and breakaway layup before coming back on the next possession and nailing a three-pointer from the top of the arch . The Raiders had a rebuttal for Coleman’s effort and recorded seven of the next nine points to flip the score from 20-19 Navy to 26-22 Colgate by the 1:37 mark. A free throw by Coleman with 51 seconds left concluded the first half with a 26-23 score in favor of the visitors.
In a three-minute run of play that Taylor regarded as a turning point, Navy opened the second half on a 7-0 run. The Mids’ never-quit effort was on full display as Coleman drew an offensive foul on Colgate’s Taylor Langan on the Raiders’ first possession before Llewellyn tied the game at 26-26 with a three-pointer at 9:02. Another basket by Llewellyn, a fast-break layup off of a Coleman defensive rebound and dish, put the Mids ahead by two. The run culminated with a block by Llewellyn and a 40-second possession that included offensive rebounds by Watts and Donza and two successful free throws by Ciera Hertelendy at 7:02. A three-pointer by Colgate ended that run before Navy countered with an offensive rebound and putback by Coleman and a crisp series of passes that found Donza wide open on the wing for a three-pointer. With the score 35-29, the Raiders fought back and evened the contest by 2:26 at 36-36. The game stayed close down the stretch in the third as Watts was a late spark for the Mids and scored all five of her team’s points.
Tied 41-41 through 30 minutes of play, the two combatants continued fighting to extend their season as the score was tied at 43-43, 46-46, 48-48 and 50-50 through the first five minutes of the fourth quarter. Coleman netted a pair of go-ahead baskets for Navy during that initial run of play. Following another layup by Coleman and an immediate response by the Raiders’ Taylor Golembiewski it was a 52-52 game with 3:45 left in regulation. The Mids briefly took a one-point lead for a minute before Colgate’s Morgan McMahon gave the visitors a 54-53 lead at 2:24. A clutch jumper by Watts at 1:52 flipped Navy back into the lead before the Mids’ defense reacted with a lockdown 30-second possession and forced Colgate into a shot clock violation. Coleman scored Navy’s next four points to give the Mids a 59-54 lead with 19 seconds remaining. The Mids held onto that five-point advantage and clinched a berth in the Patriot League Quarterfinals with a 60-55 victory.
For the game, Colgate outshot Navy from the field, 44.7 percent (21-47) to 36.2 (21-58) and from the foul line, 72.7 percent (8-11) to 66.7 (12-18), though the Mids ended with a slight edge in three-point shooting, 37.5 percent (6-16) to 33.3 (5-15).
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism