Colgate brushes off fading Navy, 67-54

January 16, 1994|By Bill Tanton | Bill Tanton,Staff Writer

A boycott might have been the best thing for Navy's basketball team yesterday against Colgate.

Unfortunately, scholarships -- the core issue in the threatened boycott by coaches -- are irrelevant in this case.

The Patriot League, of which Navy and Colgate are members, is a nonscholarship league.

Colgate's 67-54 win in Annapolis was Navy's third straight defeat and its eighth straight loss in Patriot League competition.

"In a nutshell, at this point in the season we're pitiful," said coach Don DeVoe, whose Mids fell to 5-7 and 0-2. "In the past week we haven't progressed at all."

In the past six days Navy has lost to Loyola, Lehigh and now Colgate.

Tucker Neale, a 6-foot-3 junior from Strongsville, Ohio, led the Red Raiders (7-6, 2-0) with a game-high 27 points -- 19 in the second half.

"Neale took over the game in the second half," said Colgate coach Jack Bruen, who previously coached in this area at Catholic University and as Morgan Wootten's assistant at DeMatha High. "No doubt about it -- Neale's a good player."

Navy, whose scoring was evenly spread with T. J. Hall high man with 12 points, led for the first 10 minutes.

The visitors took the lead for the first time at 14-13 when Neale hit a three-pointer from the top of the key. At halftime Navy trailed only 32-31, but Colgate forged ahead.

"We went from a four-point lead to four points down," DeVoe said, "because we couldn't get the ball up the floor. We'd be deficient in one area for a three-minute segment and then deficient in another area in the next three minutes.

"Some teams respond to conference competition, but we haven't. During the course of this game we got worse. I accept the responsibility for that. These kids have worked very hard, but I've got to be able to mold them a little better."

Colgate shot 46 percent from the field, Navy only 37 percent, but both teams shot very well from the free-throw line. Colgate, the No. 1 free-throw shooting team in the nation, was 20-for-23 (.869); Navy was 14-for-18 (.799).

Navy, which is the only team in the Patriot League without a conference victory, plays Brown at home Monday night.

"Brown is very athletic," DeVoe said. "I expect a real tough game."

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