ANNAPOLIS -- Navy gave a classic demonstration last night of how the loss of key players can devastate a team.
Chuck Robinson, a 6-foot-5 junior and Navy's third-leading rebounder, spent the night on the bench with a hip pointer, suffered two days ago in practice.
Nick Marusich, a 6-9 senior and the team's No. 1 rebounder, spent all but the first three minutes on the bench with an injured shoulder. He hurt it in practice, then aggravated it in the opening minutes and told coach Pete Herrmann he "couldn't go."
The result was that Navy lost to Lehigh, 106-86, in a Patriot League game before 1,207 at Alumni Hall.
It was the first time this season Navy (4-11, 0-4) surrendered 100 points and the first time Lehigh (8-9, 3-1) scored that many.
Freshman Mark Majick paced Navy with 20 points, followed by another freshman, Derrick Wall, with 17. Dozie Mbonu had 28 for Lehigh.
The Mids held a 58-56 halftime lead, despite the absence of Robinson and Marusich. But Lehigh went on an 11-2 run to start the second half and was never headed. Majick, who scored 18 first-half points on 6-for-7 shooting from three-point range, disappeared in the second half and scored two points.
Navy's John Haase acted as if it was going to be one-man show when he scored the game's first seven points. Lehigh quickly came back, its job made easier when Marusich left after picking up his second foul and re-injuring his shoulder.
Navy was forced to rely on underclassmen.
For the remainder of the half, the Mids usually had three freshmen on the floor, and at one point had four -- Larry Green, Kevin Kozak, Wes Cooper and Majick -- along with Haase, a junior.
The wonder of it was that Navy led by two at intermission, despite a three-pointer at the buzzer by Lehigh's Stephen Yaniga.