ANNAPOLIS -- After Navy's losing streak reached four games with yesterday's 82-73 loss to William & Mary, point guard Erik Harris tried his best to pin down what's going wrong.
"We've lost so much lately that we try not to lose instead oplaying to win," Harris said. "We try not to make mistakes instead of taking the chance to make the big play."
There were few big plays for Navy, especially in the second halfas the Midshipmen (6-16, 2-8 Colonial Athletic Association) lost for the ninth time in their past 10 games. Navy had a seven-point lead with 17 minutes, 58 seconds remaining, but wound up shooting just 35.8 percent from the field for the half in losing its second game this season to the Tribe (11-12, 4-6).
"We get in these offensive droughts, and we just have to shoot it with more confidence," said Navy coach Pete Herrmann. "We also have to make it more chaotic. With our style, we have to have an 80- or 90-point game to be effective."
Navy had a 44-37 lead after a layup by Harris (19 points, siassists), but a 14-5 run by William & Mary -- six of the points from Thomas Roberts (24 points) -- gave the Tribe a 51-49 lead with 12:46 remaining. The last lead by the Midshipmen came after a hook by Sam Cook made it 56-55 with 9:36 left. But Roberts scored six points during a 10-4 run and the Tribe led, 65-60.
Down the stretch, Navy went more than five minutes without field goal. Harris ended that with a layup with 55 seconds remaining, but by then William & Mary had a 76-66 lead.
The loss wasted a strong performance from Navy center NicMarusich, who scored 15 and grabbed 10 rebounds in 28 minutes and helped keep both Scott Smith (13.6 points per game) and Ben Blocker (8.8) scoreless in the first half. Thirteen of Marusich's points came in the first half, but a stomach virus limited his play in the second half.