ANNAPOLIS -- Former University of Maryland player Steve Hood scored 29 points and ignited a nine-point tear late in the second half, as James Madison University defeated Navy, 81-80, last night at Halsey Field House.
It was Navy's fifth straight loss, dropping the Midshipmen to 5-12 overall, 1-5 in the Colonial Athletic Association. James Madison, which leads the CAA with a 5-0 record, improved to 10-6.
"I think we've deserved better over the last 10 days," Navy coach Pete Herrmann said. "We've lost two games by one point and one by three points."
Erik Harris led Navy with 19 points and Eddie Reddick added 13 for the Midshipmen, who wore new gold uniforms. James Madison wore American flags on its uniforms to honor the Allied soldiers fighting in the Persian Gulf.
"We couldn't find any of the little flags in Harrisonburg, Va.," James Madison coach Lefty Driesell said. "We found some up in Annapolis. Every American is concerned about the war, about what is going on in the world."
The Midshipmen led, 68-60, when center Nick Marusich was called for his fourth foul and went to the bench with 10 minutes, 9 seconds remaining. James Madison chipped away at the deficit, and finally pulled ahead on a 9-0 tear to an 81-75 lead with 2:43 left.
But the Midshipmen rallied to within 81-80, with 1:54 remaining after Harris made two free throws, Marusich hit a foul shot, and Reddick converted a follow. Navy's Lance Reinhard stole the inbounds pass after Reddick's basket, but Harris' three-point try fell short, and Navy never got the ball back.
"I thought we had a little something going for a second," Harris said. "On the three-point shot, I thought I was fouled. I couldn't believe it."
Driesell said he was relieved to escape with a victory.
"I thought we were very fortunate to win," he said. "We did a good job coming back. We played their game in the first half, we fell into their trap by running. Finally, we were able to get the lead and win."