Indiana can't hold lead in 31-30 loss to Navy


Indiana can't hold lead in 31-30 loss to Navy

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) For yet another week, Indiana's impressive passing attack rolled up yards through the air, while its defense was unable to shut down its opponent's offense. Thus, the Hoosiers again found themselves on the wrong end of a final score.

Against Navy on Saturday, Indiana led 30-21 with 12:18 remaining only to allow a field goal and then see Midshipmen freshman Keenan Reynolds complete a 4-yard touchdown pass to Matt Aiken with 2:02 left. Navy freshman kicker Nick Sloan added the extra point for a 31-30 win.

Parrish Gaines' interception with 1:38 remaining sealed the win for the Midshipmen (4-3), who beat a Big Ten opponent for the first time since 1979 when they won at Illinois 13-12.

Earlier in the game, Navy linebacker Jordan Drake's 24-yard interception return had cut the Hoosiers' lead to 17-14.

It was the fifth straight loss for Indiana (2-5) and came although the Hoosiers moved the ball almost at will for most of the first three quarters and gained 417 yards on 78 plays.

The Hoosiers led 17-7 after opening the game with scoring drives of 67, 50 and 72 yards.

Navy's defense rallied, however, holding Indiana without a first down on three of its five second-half possessions, including the series preceding and following the winning touchdown.

``We just needed to get the initial first down (on both series) and get it rolling. Maybe we put (quarterback Cameron Coffman) in a bad situation,'' said Indiana coach Kevin Wilson.

Coffman completed 25 of 37 passes for 244 yards, but threw two costly interceptions that made a big difference.

``Earlier in the game he had the interception on a batted ball, and at the end of the game he just made a poor choice,'' said Wilson. ``Our last five plays at the end of the game, we go the wrong way on a running play, we have a receiver run the wrong route, and then we have a pick.''

The Midshipmen led only once before the winning score, when they took a 21-20 lead on Darius Staten's 17-yard run with 7:37 to play in the third quarter.

Indiana countered with drives of 58 and 80 yards, yielding a 30-yard field goal by Mitch Ewald and a 3-yard run by Tevin Coleman.

Reynolds, starting just his second game, led Navy on scoring drives of 74 yards on 16 plays and 72 yards on nine plays to win the game.

The first of those drives ended in Sloan's 18-yard field goal as the Midshipmen were held at the 1 after a drive that lasted almost 7 minutes.

Then, after Navy held the Hoosiers on downs, the Midshipmen got the ball back at their own 28 with 4:48 to play. On the winning drive, Gee Gee Greene caught a 21-yard pass from Reynolds and added a 22-yard run to move the ball to the Hoosiers' 21.

Reynolds completed 8 of 13 passes for 96 yards and also rushed for 66 yards on 17 carries.

``He played with a lot of confidence today,'' said Navy slotback Bo Snelson. ``On that last drive he knew what (Indiana) would do. He just stayed true to the system.''

Greene had 88 yards on 15 rushes and caught two passes for 35 yards as Navy gained 353 yards, 233 in the second half.

Shane Wynn and Kofi Hughes each had seven catches for Indiana. The Hoosiers also rushed for 173 yards, led by Stephen Houston's 82 yards and D'Angelo Roberts' 50 yards and 3-yard touchdown run.

Houston has scored in all seven games this season and the Hoosiers have scored at least 24 points in seven straight games for the first time in school history.

On defense, the Hoosiers were led by Greg Heban's career-high 13 tackles, nine solo. They failed to get a turnover, however, despite forcing two fumbles, and were whistled for two very costly roughness penalties, both of which played big roles in Navy scoring drives.

``As good as we play, we always have mistakes,'' said Wilson. ``We had a couple critical ones at the point of attack that hurt us getting a first down at the end of the game.

``Even though we haven't won, we're doing a lot of things that winning teams do,'' Wilson added. ``It was a heck of a fight against a tough team.''

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With another low shot total for Otto Porter, Coach Brooks says Porter needs to do more to help himself

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With another low shot total for Otto Porter, Coach Brooks says Porter needs to do more to help himself

After a night in which Otto Porter Jr. only took nine total shots, just two of them in the second half, many questions from Wizards reporters in the postgame locker room centered on how the team can get him more involved. This came on the heels of a seven-shot, zero-three outing for Porter against the Heat on Thursday and a preseason in which getting him more attempts was a persistent storyline.

It sounds like some are tired of talking about it. Point guard John Wall, who is part of the equation as the team's main distributor and highest usage player, put it in relatively strong terms.

"This will be the last time I talk about Otto Porter getting threes," Wall said. 

Wall went on to explain how it's a combination of defenses taking away the three-point line for Porter and the flow of the game creating better shots for others. It's a common explanation Wall has given on the matter in recent weeks, and it's understandable.

Head coach Scott Brooks has admitted his own role in Porter not getting enough shots, how more plays could be called for the small forward. But after the loss to Toronto, one in which Porter played just south of 25 minutes, he was a bit more blunt in his assessment.

Brooks believes Porter can be doing a lot more to help himself.

"Gotta get yourself open," Brooks said. 

When asked about Porter playing fewer minutes than usual, Brooks went on about the need for guys to play hard. That warranted a follow-up, as it seemed Brooks was questioning Porter's hustle.

Brooks explained what he meant by that in detail.

"You've got to move. You've got to set yourself up. You've got to run the floor. We got a fast point guard. I don’t know if you guys know that but he’s fast and if our wings aren’t running, what good is it when you’re going to have a one-man break? What makes teams play with pace is guys running." 

"I love Otto. You guys know that. But he has to play faster. He has to. Physically, he’s not going to jump over anybody and dunk over everybody, but he has to get himself into position. He’s a big-time player for us. He’s a glue guy. He makes winning basketball plays. He gets in plays but he has to do that consistently for us. He can’t do it for a half. He has to do it for the entire game. The guy can do it. I’ve seen it. He didn’t do it tonight but he’s going to bounce back. He didn’t do it the first two games but he’s going to bounce back and do it. And we need it.”

Porter, 25, was the Wizards' most efficient player last season, but averaged only 11.5 shots per game. With one of the best three-point shots in the NBA, the numbers suggest he should have a larger role.

The Wizards insist they are trying to get him more involved. In their eyes, it's time for Porter to do his part.

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Bradley Beal honored to pass Gilbert Arenas on all-time three-pointer list

Bradley Beal honored to pass Gilbert Arenas on all-time three-pointer list

Saturday night produced a link between some of the best players in recent Wizards/Bullets franchise history.

With a fourth-quarter three, Bradley Beal surpassed Gilbert Arenas on the franchise list for career triples

Beal, an All-Star last season, has already established himself as one of the best to play for Washington in decades. Afterwards, he paid homage to the man whose record he broke.

"I was always a fan of Gil. He was Agent Zero," Beal told NBC Sports Washington. 

"I loved everything about him; his confidence, his swagger on the floor. Granted, everyone talks about his off-the-court stuff, but what he did on the court is just untouchable. It's untouchable. He's a legend, for sure. Part of me wishes I could have played with him and just learned from him in a lot of ways. That's an accomplishment for me. I'm happy I was able to surpass it because he is a legend, in my opinion anyway."

Arenas' tenure with the Wizards was epic for its highs and lows. At his peak, he was arguably the most dangerous scorer in the NBA. But his downfall both on the court and off has left him as a notorious figure in the game's recent history.

John Wall, who has assisted on many of Beal's three-pointers, played with Arenas back in the 2010-11 season as a rookie. He is happy for his current teammate, who now has a distinct place in the team's history books.

"He's probably the best shooter I've ever played with in my eyes, so it's great to see him accomplish that," Wall said. "He's going to keep setting the bar higher and higher."

Beal passed Arenas in just the second game of his seventh NBA season. He's only 25 years old, so odds are he will keep adding to his franchise record for many years to come.