Cold-shooting Navy beaten, 73-54 Richmond survives second-half rally

December 08, 1992|By Jerry Bembry | Jerry Bembry,Staff Writer

When Navy coach Don DeVoe saw his team fall behind by 15 points last night against Richmond, he saw his team get back in the game with aggressive defense. But when it came down to finding a player to go to in the crunch, DeVoe last night had no one to turn to on offense.

Having a hard time getting off a shot, Navy could do nothing right, hitting four field goals in the last 13 minutes, as Richmond ran away with a 73-43 win before 1,038 at Alumni Hall.

Poor shooting plagued the team the entire game. Navy shot 29 percent from the field in a performance that left DeVoe trying to think of ways to get Navy (0-3) on track.

"I've got to do a better job with this basketball team," DeVoe said. "There's a way to get these guys better shots. We're a basketball team struggling right now."

Navy shot equally badly the entire game -- 28.1 percent in the first half and 30 percent in the second half. No Navy player shot better than 50 percent, with the five starters hitting nine of 34 shots against an aggressive Richmond defense.

"I need to do a better job with this basketball team to get them relaxed and confident in our shooting," DeVoe said.

Navy could barely get off a shot early, falling behind 8-0 before James Norris scored on a layup five minutes into the game. Richmond led by as many as 15 in the first half before a rally pulled the Midshipmen to within 32-23 at the half.

Richmond was up 41-29 when Navy rallied in the second half with an 11-2 run that pulled the Midshipmen to within 43-40 with 12:40 left.

But after Navy forward Chuck Robinson missed a layup that could have cut the lead to one, Richmond went on a 16-4 run that gave the Spiders a 59-44 lead.

"When the game got close, I saw them go to their go-to guys," said DeVoe of Richmond's Chris Fleming, Kenny Wood and Michael Hodges, who scored 25, 15 and 12 points, respectively.

Robinson led Navy with 14 points but shot 4-for-14 from the field. He was the only Navy player in double figures.

The game ended in an ugly fashion, with Navy fouling Richmond continuously. The Spiders shot 24 free throws in the last 5:34.

"The play was ragged, very ragged," said Richmond coach Dick Tarrant. "At the end, it was all karate chops."

DeVoe was left wondering why his aggressive man-to-man defense isn't paying dividends.

"We've played hard for 120 minutes [three games], and still we haven't gotten the ball for a breakaway layup," DeVoe said. "We're not getting any points at all from our defense."

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