Division III Gettysburg hands Navy 78-76 loss

December 10, 1992|By Jerry Bembry | Jerry Bembry,Staff Writer

They entered Alumni Hall resembling a team that might hav a hard time winning a CYO or YMCA championship. But when overtime ended against Navy last night, the Gettysburg Bullets were celebrating as if they had won a national title.

What Gettysburg, a Division III team, did last night was finish a job it thought it had accomplished in regulation in beating Navy, 78-76, before 647 at Alumni Hall.

Gettysburg (2-3), which made what appeared to be a game-winning layup at the buzzer in regulation only to have it waved off, won its second straight. Yes, Gettysburg, which started the season with losses to Wilkes, Philadelphia Pharmacy and Dickinson.

Navy (0-4) will have a long three weeks to ponder this loss before its next game, on Dec. 29 against Fresno State in the Fresno Tournament.

The last time Navy lost to a Division III team was in the second game of the 1987-88 season when Slippery Rock came to Annapolis and beat the Midshipmen, 89-81.

For Gettysburg, the last win over a Division I team was in 1979-80, when the Bullets won at home over Bucknell. Gettysburg coach George Petri should know -- he was an assistant at Bucknell then. "This is a big, big win for us," Petri said. "It shows what we're capable of doing."

After a horrendous opening five minutes during which it committed five turnovers and hit one of six field goals, Gettysburg finished shooting 50 percent. The Bullets trailed by nine early and seven in the second half, but fought back each time.

"I thought Gettysburg did a fine job hanging in and making the big plays," said Navy coach Don DeVoe. "Their ability to control the tempo and penetrate and score was really a great strategy."

Gettysburg had a 69-67 lead toward the end of regulation, but Chuck Robinson (23 points) hit two free throws with nine seconds left to tie the game.

Gettysburg's Mark Semerjian (17 points) shot an airball that Kevin Pearson rebounded and put in. But the trail official ruled the shot no good, despite the fact it appeared to be on the backboard when the buzzer sounded.

"I thought the shot was good," Petri said.

The overtime was back and forth, with a jumper by Semerjian with 43 seconds left giving Gettysburg a 77-75 lead.

After Robinson hit one of two free throws to pull Navy to within one, Gettysburg's Mark Borden hit one of two free throws for a 78-76 lead with 11 seconds left.

Navy had a chance to win, but a three-point attempt by Brian Cochran missed as the buzzer sounded, sending a disappointed team of Midshipmen off the court with some long faces.

Navy shot 37.9 percent from the field, 32.3 percent in the second half and overtime. James Norris (13 points, 10 rebounds) was the only Navy player who shot better than 50 percent from the field.

"The ball just didn't go in the basket for us," DeVoe said. "We probably have one of the lowest shooting percentages in the country right now.

"We're a basketball team that has to find itself," he said. "I haven't gotten the job done with this team. It remains to be seen whether I can get them ready for the conference."

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.