Navy stays hot, comes back for 53-50 win over Lafayette

January 21, 1993|By Tara Finnegan | Tara Finnegan,Contributing Writer

A second-half comeback last night gave Navy its fourth victory in five games, a 53-50 win over Lafayette.

With both teams struggling to make the big shot in the game's final minutes, junior guard Victor Mickel came through for Navy.

With the Midshipmen leading 51-50, Mickel got the ball, faked and collided with the Leopards' Keith Brazzo. Brazzo fell and with no whistle coming from the referees, Mickel squared up and nailed the 12-foot jumper with 13 seconds remaining.

"At that point I thought they would call a block, the charge was nowhere in my mind," Mickel said.

Lafayette had a chance to tie with three seconds left, but Larry Spigner's three-pointer bounced off the rim.

The victory was the first for Navy (5-8, 3-1) over Lafayette (3-11, 0-3) since a 78-75 home victory in 1991.

Navy forward John Haase gave the Midshipmen a 51-48 lead on a jumper with 2:55 left. Lafayette's Jon Norton (career-high 18 points) answered with a layup with 1:58 left to bring the Leopards within one.

"Our older players, Victor Mickel, John Haase, and Michael Burd really came through for us," Navy coach Don DeVoe said.

The Leopards had a chance to go ahead with 58 seconds remaining as Craig Kowadla was fouled on a shot, but missed both free throws.

John Haase scored seven points during a 11-4 scoring run that rallied the Midshipmen from a 40-33 deficit.

He capped the run by following a missed layup by Mickel to tie the score at 44 with 5:40 left for the only tie of the second half.

Haase, who started for Navy early in the season but had not seen much time until last night, scored five points and assisted on two of Wes Cooper's baskets in the run's four-minute span.

"John has a lot more confidence playing against a zone defense so we put him in," DeVoe said.

"[DeVoe] said to me to be sure and get in there and get warm but our focus was still to push it inside," Haase said. "If we couldn't get it in there, we would nail the jumper."

Cooper, who had averaged 19.7 points and 10 rebounds in his last four games, finished with 17 points. Freshman James Norris pulled down a career-high 11 rebounds.

Navy got off to an 8-2 lead in the first half on Chuck Robinson's three-pointer with 17 minutes, 30 seconds remaining.

The Leopards rallied to take a 15-13 lead on Geoff Schoeneck's layup with 8:15 left in the half.

Sophomore Thomas Jenkins, who was brought up from the junior varsity before Christmas, hit a three-pointer with 6:22 left in the half to give Navy a 20-16 lead.

LAFAYETTE -- Kowadla 2-3 0-2 5, Carter 0-1 0-0 0, Brazzo 5-12 0-0 10, Norton 5-6 8-8 18, Scott 2-6 1-2 5, Azzinaro 1-1 0-0 2, Spigner 2-6 1-2 6, Frank 0-1 0-0 0, Schoeneck 1-4 0-0 2, Jens 1-2 0-0 2. Totals: 19-42 10-14 50.

NAVY -- Butler 3-9 0-0 7, Torerimson 0-0 0-0 0, Norris 0-5 0-0 0, Burd 1-3 0-0 2, Robinson 4-11 0-0 9, Green 0-0 0-0 0, Jenkins 1-3 0-0 3, Haase 3-6 0-1 7, Mickel 3-5 0-0 7, Cougher 0-0 1-2 1, Cooper 8-14 1-1 17. Totals: 23-56 2-4 53.

Halftime--Lafayette, 28-22. Three-point goals--L 2-3 (Kowadla 1-1, Spigner 1-2); N 5-17 (Mickel 1-1, Butler 1-3, Jenkins 1-3, Hasse 1-3, Robinson 1-5, Burd 0-2). Rebounds--L 26 (Scott and Jens, 5); N 34 (Norris 11). Assists--L 16 (Jens 5); N 19 (Mickel 6). Total fouls--L 12, N 15. Fouled out--None. Technical fouls--None. A--1,402.

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