Navy rights itself in time, stops William and Mary

January 04, 1995|By Alan Goldstein | Alan Goldstein,Sun Staff Writer

Although his team was coming off a 37-point rout of Florida International and facing a winless team last night, Navy basketball coach Don DeVoe warned "there are no cupcakes on our schedule."

DeVoe's words proved prophetic for close to 36 minutes when William and Mary (0-7) sliced a 15-point deficit to eight.

But the Midshipmen (6-4), behind point guard Brian Walker, forward Wes Cooper and plebe Michael Heary, regrouped in the closing minutes to score an 86-70 victory.

"You have to win some games when you don't play particularly well, and this was one of those nights," DeVoe said.

It was an uneven performance by the Mids, who begin Patriot League conference play at Bucknell on Saturday. But they got help from some unexpected sources.

With Navy leading by only two late in the first half, DeVoe went to lightly played plebe Hassan Booker. The Los Angeles native, who is not even listed in the school's media guide, gave the Mids an instant spark with six rebounds and five points in three minutes to lift Navy's lead at halftime to 39-32.

In the second half, DeVoe got another timely boost inside from junior forward James Norris, who contributed nine rebounds and five points in 20 minutes.

With T. J. Hall (21 points) and Jim Hamilton hitting from outside and Heary continuing his solid free-throw shooting (10-for-10), Navy used a 12-1 run to gain a 71-56 lead with six minutes left, enough of a cushion to withstand William and Mary's final rally.

The Tribe was hurt when key reserve Carl Parker (17 points) drew a technical and his fifth foul with the score 59-55 and 10:15 remaining. Parker drew the technical for slamming the ball on the floor after being whistled for fouling Cooper.

Heary, who is getting more playing time each game, was an uncharacteristic 1-for-9 from the field. But he repeatedly cut the visitors' rallies short by drawing fouls with aggressive moves to the hoop.

"I've never had a free-throw shooter like this kid Heary [33-for-34 this season], and that's a tremendous asset to have in a close game," DeVoe said. "Even though he wasn't shooting his jumper well, he was doing a lot of positive things for us."

As was Walker, the fiery 5-foot-8 sophomore. He scored only six points, but grabbed a team-high 11 rebounds and dished out six assists, while keeping the offense under control.

Cooper turned in another solid performance with 15 points, making seven of nine shots.

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