ANNAPOLIS, Md. —Andrew Funk scored 20 points, 13 coming in an electric start to the game, but Bucknell fell 60-59 at Navy on Wednesday night. Cam Davis scored 22 for Navy, which snapped a three-game losing streak while extending Bucknell’s slide to five in a row.
Walter Ellis tallied 11 points on perfect 4-for-4 shooting, and fellow reserve Kahliel Spear contributed nine points and four rebounds off the bench for the Bison. Bucknell outshot Navy 48 percent to 36 percent but was hampered by 17 turnovers.
The Bison (9-17, 5-8 PL) could not have gotten off to a better start, as Funk scored all of the points in a 13-0 burst to start the game. But the Midshipmen (13-11, 7-6 PL) quickly got back in the game, and even though they didn’t take their first lead until the opening moments of the second half, it was a tight contest the rest of the way.
The key sequence came after Spear’s 3-point play put Bucknell ahead 42-37 with 11:22 to play. The Bison managed only one more field goal – an Ellis three – over the next five minutes as Navy went on an 11-3 run. Six of those points came at the free-throw line, as the Bison were whistled for 11 of the first 14 fouls in the half.
Down 53-50 coming out of the under-4 media timeout, Avi Toomer had his 3-pointer go in and out, and then Davis answered with a three the other way for a six-point swing.
Ellis hit a jumper with a toe on the arc to cut Bucknell’s deficit to 59-56 with 46 seconds left, and then the Bison forced a Davis air ball on a great defensive possession to get the ball back down three. Funk curled to the right wing for a pass back from Sotos, but Funk’s three would not go. Tyler Nelson split two free throws with nine seconds left, and Ellis’ trey at the buzzer left Bucknell one short.
“I have to do a better job getting our guys to understand the value of every possession,” said head coach Nathan Davis. “We start feeling good about ourselves, and then we have a turnover where we give the ball away, or we miss a layup, or we take a bad three. Give Navy credit for being physical and making plays, but we have to be much better with the ball.”
There would be seven lead changes and three ties in the second half, the last coming on a Davis go-ahead free throw with 7:50 left.
Funk’s 20-point game was his third of the season and was two shy of his career high. John Meeks led the Bison with eight rebounds, but he was held in single digits in the scoring column for the first time in his 12 Patriot League appearances. Sotos led the way with six assists.
Navy finished with a 36-32 rebounding edge, boosted by 14 offensive boards to Bucknell’s six. But the Bison scored on all six of their offensive caroms and finished with a 12-11 edge in second-chance points.
The Bison were 8-for-21 (.381) from 3-point distance, including a combined 7-for-11 from Funk and Ellis. Navy hit six treys in 20 attempts (.300) but was aided by a 14-3 scoring edge from the foul line. The Mids were 14-for-20, while Bucknell finished 3-for-6.
Bucknell returns home on Saturday to face American at 2 p.m. It will be Alumni Day at Sojka Pavilion, and the featured guest will be seven-year NBA veteran Mike Muscala, who will have his jersey retired at halftime.
Navy 60, Bucknell 59
Andrew Funk 8-17 0-0 20; Paul Newman 3-5 0-0 6; Avi Toomer 1-5 2-4 5; John Meeks 2-3 0-0 4; Jimmy Sotos 1-6 0-0 2; Walter Ellis 4-4 0-0 11; Kahliel Spear 4-7 1-2 9; Malachi Rhodes 1-1 0-0 2; Xander Rice 0-0 0-0 0; Ben Robertson 0-2 0-0 0; Alex Timmerman 0-0 0-0 0.
24-50 3-6 59.
Cam Davis 6-17 7-8 22; John Carter Jr. 3-8 2-2 10; Greg Summers 2-10 1-3 5; Evan Wieck 1-5 0-0 2; Luke Loehr 0-2 0-0 0; Tyler Nelson 3-3 1-2 8; Richard Njoku 3-3 1-3 7; Dave Kasanganay 2-4 0-0 4; Jaylen Walker 0-1 2-2 2; Patrick Dorsey 0-1 0-0 0; Daniel Deaver 0-0 0-0 0; Sean Yoder 0-1 0-0 0.
20-55 14-20 60.
Halftime: Bucknell, 28-27. 3-point goals: Bucknell 8-21 (Funk 4-8, Ellis 3-3, Toomer 1-4, Meeks 0-1, Robertson 0-1, Spear 0-1, Sotos 0-3); Navy 6-20 (Davis 3-8, Carter Jr. 2-5, Nelson 1-1, Kasanganay 0-1, Yoder 0-1, Loehr 0-2, Summers 0-2). Fouled out: Toomer. Rebounds: Bucknell 32 (Meeks 8); Navy 36 (Summers and Nelson 7). Assists: Bucknell 15 (Sotos 6); Navy 13 (Summers 6). Total fouls: Bucknell 19; Navy 15. Technicals: None. A: 660.