Cold-shooting Navy falls against Richmond, 73-54 2nd-half rally loses steam

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

When the object of the game is to put the ball through the hoop, chances are you won't win too many games shooting 29 percent. Navy found that out the hard way last night.

The Midshipmen were equally bad from the field in both halves -- 28.1 percent in the first half and 30 percent in the second half -- in losing to Richmond, 73-54, before a crowd of 1,038 at Alumni Hall.

Despite the poor shooting, Navy was able to cut a 15-point deficit to three nearly midway through the second half but managed four field goals in the final 13 minutes.

Chuck Robinson (14 points) was the only player to score in double figures for the Midshipmen (0-3). Richmond, led by Chris Fleming with 25 points and Kenny Wood with 15 points, improved to 2-0.

In a game that was never pretty, Richmond was fouled continuously in the late going and shot 24 free throws in the last 5:34 of the game.

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

The ugly ending came after a spirited Navy comeback in the second half. The Midshipmen pulled to within 43-40 on two free throws by Robinson with 12:40 left.

But that was the last the crowd had to cheer. Richmond reserve forward Michael Hodges converted a three-point play that started a 9-0 run to increase the lead to 52-40. The closest Navy would get was 52-44 on Robinson's two free throws.

Richmond outscored Navy 30-14 in the last 12:40 of the game. During that span, the Midshipmen made four field goals and went nearly 6 1/2 minutes without scoring against an aggressive Richmond defense.

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

It was uneven play from the outset for Navy, which failed to score until five minutes had gone by in the game, when Brad Cougher scored on a layup that got the Midshipmen to within 8-2.

A three-pointer by Fleming with just under five minutes left in the half gave Richmond a 29-14 lead and seeming control of the game.

But Navy went on a 9-0 run and pulled to within 29-23 after Robinson scored on a short jumper with 2:38 left in the half. But Richmond scored the last three points of the half on a jumper by Kass Weaver and a free throw by Jeremy Metzger to take a 32-23 halftime lead.

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