Navy Stuns Virginia As College Hoops Begins Again

While you were busy watching weeknight MAC football and playing your role in the over-hyped Taco Tuesday, the college basketball season started in earnest. And opening night gave viewers something they hadn't seen since Cliff Huxtable was delivering babies and Howie Mandel had a perm - the Navy Midshipmen bested a Top 25 opponent for the first time since the early '80s.

Navy ended up topping 25th-ranked Virginia in Charlottesville in convincing fashion, winning 66-58. The last time the Naval Academy took down a Top 25 team, they had a notable Admiral patrolling the paint, future Hall of Famer David Robinson. That was nearly 40 years ago, in March of 1986.

On Tuesday evening they didn't have Robinson, but they did have timely shooting from players like Sean Yoder and guard John Carter Jr., who led Navy with 19 points.

“They shot lights out and sometimes we were there, sometimes we weren’t,” said Cavaliers coach Tony Bennett after the loss. “And then any time we broke down, they kind of took advantage.”

Virginia didn't just struggle to defend, they were also out rebounded by Navy, which Midshipmen coach Ed DeChellis saw as the biggest reason for Navy's season opening win.

“We’re not the most vertical squad in the country,” DeChellis said. “I’m a big rebounding guy like in the sense that, you know, if you don’t rebound, you’re not playing. You’ve got to go rebound. ... I’m old school.”

Hopefully, you '80s babies set the the VCR, because at least for one night, the old school approach worked.


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