Navy makes big run, but can't bring home win Cold shooting costly in 58-53 loss

January 07, 1993|By Milton Kent | Milton Kent,Staff Writer

The moments to savor have been few for the Navy basketball team so far this season.

Last night's moment, a gritty, 14-2 run to close a 12-point halftime deficit to William and Mary, was about as good as the Midshipmen have had, at least at home.

But, like other good Navy moments this season, that run faded away, thanks to poor shots and mistakes, and Navy dropped a 58-53 decision to the Tribe.

"We play this game to win, and we missed another opportunity for credibility. And the season soon slips away when you don't grasp the opportunities you have," said Navy coach Don DeVoe.

Indeed, the Midshipmen (1-7) had more than a few chances to get their first home victory in four tries. They led by three points with 6:35 left.

But they missed crucial shots and turned the ball over, then watched as the Tribe (7-2) made their foul shots to steal the win.

"Things weren't going their way in the second half, and they found a way to win," said DeVoe. "I don't care if teams are four years older and six inches taller, you've got to win home games."

"We had momentum. We had things going our way, and then we made some mistakes and turned the ball over," said sophomore Thomas Jenkins, who had 12 points off the bench for Navy.

"If we had been able to take better care of the ball, we would have been able to take better care of the lead," said sophomore Wes Cooper, who led Navy with 13 points.

Trailing by 12 at the half, the Midshipmen made an impressive charge, with a 14-2 run to start the second half and tie the score with 14:59 left, thanks to a pair of three-pointers from Jenkins.

Jenkins' third three-pointer, coming with 8:41 left, gave Navy a 44-42 lead, and, with three Tribe starters fouling out, it looked as though the Midshipmen would get their first win at Alumni Hall this season.

But William and Mary hit eight of its last 10 free throws, and Navy connected just once from the field in the last 7:30.

"We had enough opportunities to win maybe two or three ballgames at the end. We didn't deliver, so we let another ballgame slip away," said DeVoe.

Thomas Roberts got the Tribe started with short jumpers in the interior to give William and Mary an early, 12-4 lead.

Jenkins and Victor Mickel responded with three-pointers for Navy to cut the lead to 16-12, but, from there, the Midshipmen's offense went south, as they failed to hit from the field for more than five minutes, before reserve forward John Haase hit from the top of the key.

But the Tribe failed to capitalize and went the last 5:15 of the half without a basket, surviving only on free throws. Still, since Navy was shooting 24 percent from the field, William and Mary was able to carry a 31-19 lead into halftime.

"Let's not kid ourselves. How can you be in the ballgame when you shoot like that?" said DeVoe.

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