Midshipmen Falter in Second Half to Virginia Tech
Navy Midshipman #24 Kaleo Kina shoots a one-handed jumper during the Virginia Tech Hokies' 79-70 victory over Navy at the Verizon Center in Washington DC on Sunday December 7, 2008. David Lovell/DC Sports Box
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Navy Midshipmen poured it on in the first half of their opening game in this year's BB&T Classic, facing the Hokies of Virginia Tech at the Verizon Center. Navy outscored the Hokies 34-28 in the half, largely on the strength of a small but quick 4-guard offense that did not shoot terribly well, but edged the Hokies in this category by nearly 10%.

The Hokies struggled with their shooting in the half, only managing 30% from the field, and went 0-8 from beyond the three point line. The Midshipmen turned in only 38.9% but added 2 three-pointers on 14 attempts. Navy also benfitted from 11 Hokies turnovers in the half, including 5 steals by the Midshipmen.

Navy was led in the half by Kaleo Kina, who turned in a 12 point effort and added 7 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 steals while playing all 20 minutes. The Hokies were paced by the unusual play of guard Malcolm Delaney, who couldn't hit a thing from the field, going 0-3, 0-2 from three point range, but nailing 7 of 7 from the free throw line. Forward Jeff Allen also turned in 7 points in the half on a more conventional 3-of-7 from the field and one free throw.

The Hokies made the best of their half-time adjustments, and came out of the locker room with an entirely different frame of mind. They dominated the boards on both ends of the court, and forced a more physical game. They got in their shooting groove, knocking down 15 of 24 for the half, with two three-pointers and lights-out 19 of 22 shooting from the charity stripe.

Navy improved their shooting somewhat in the second half as well, but not nearly as much as the Hokies did, and not enough to hold on to their advantage. The Hokies wiped out Navy's halftime advantage in less than three minutes, going on an 8-2 run to start the second period. The Hokies got their turnovers under control, and managed 4 take-aways of their own. Virginia Tech went on to win 79-70. The Hokies travel to Georgia to face the Bulldogs on Tuesday December 9. The Midshipmen travel upstate to Emmitsburg to face Mount St. Mary's on Tuesday.