Weary Mids defeat sharp-shooting Bucknell, 60-57 Navy tops league favorite despite delays, foe's 82.4% 2nd-half shooting

January 11, 1996|By Doug Brown | Doug Brown,SUN STAFF

Navy called it Snowball Special Night, admission $1. It was fitting, since the Mids had a snow tale to tell.

They also had a basketball game to play, against Bucknell in the teams' conference opener.

In a battle that was close from start to finish, Navy (6-6) shocked Patriot League favorite Bucknell, 60-57, last night at Alumni Hall.

Navy, which led at halftime, 24-20, held off the Bison (7-6) despite being out-shot from the field in the second half by an astonishing 82.4 percent to 75.

"I've never had a team shoot 82 percent against me and not win," Navy coach Don DeVoe said.

Sophomore Eddie Lucas, averaging 9.1 points, led Navy with 17.

It was Navy's home game, but the Mids felt almost like visitors.

For one thing, Bucknell, which bused through the snow from Lewisburg, Pa., arrived in town only a few hours after Navy, on Tuesday at 10:30 p.m.

Navy had been snowbound in North Carolina, where it lost Saturday night to Davidson, 87-58, its worst defeat since a 93-64 hammering administered two years ago by, of all teams, Bucknell.

The Mids were scheduled to fly home immediately after the Davidson game, but the afternoon snow turned to ice and the airport was closed. They spent the next two days watching game films, NFL games on TV and practicing twice, courtesy of Davidson.

"It helped team unity," Lucas said of being stranded. "The coaches were on us after the loss. Being down there gave them more time to pick on us. We watched film for what seemed like two times a day."

On Monday night, DeVoe decided not to wait any longer for the airport to open, since the Bucknell game was only 48 hours off.

The team chartered a bus Tuesday morning, and a ride that normally takes 7 1/2 hours took 9 1/2 . In Virginia, the bus got stuck in the snow at a McDonald's and the team pushed it out. The driver had a TV on board and had the foresight to bring a lot of movie tapes.

The Navy women had their own snow tale to tell. They felt even more like visitors for their game against Bucknell. They didn't return to the academy until 2:30 a.m. yesterday from a nine-day trip to Los Angeles that was supposed to be six days.

"We're rushing home to play an away game at home," coach Joe Sanchez said dryly, whose team left the academy for California on Dec. 31.

After absorbing their first defeat of the season, to Loyola Marymount, the women beat California State-Northridge in overtime to raise their record to 13-1. They were scheduled to take the red-eye Saturday night to BWI, but their flight was canceled.

They took the red-eye to Pittsburgh instead and spent two nights in a motel, but did get in two practices at nearby Robert Morris. On Tuesday the Mids were told they could get an 8 p.m. flight to BWI. It left at midnight.

BUCKNELL -- MBoya 2-6 0-0 5, Wenk 2-3 0-1 5, Hamer 5-9 0-1 12, Gilliard 0-0 0-0 0, Steigerward 2-4 1-2 6, Holden 1-3 1-2 3, Welch 1-1 0-0 2, Golden 2-3 2-3 6, Anderson 7-12 2-4 18. Totals 22-41 6-13 57.

NAVY -- Lucas 6-7 3-5 17, Walker 3-7 2-4 9, Schuknecht 3-7 0-0 6, Sladky 1-3 0-0 2, Heary 1-4 0-0 3, Height 1-5 0-0 2, Booker 2-3 1-6 5, Green 1-1 4-4 6, Kohnen 5-6 0-0 10. Totals 23-43 10-19 60.

Halftime--Navy, 24-20. 3-point goals--B 7-12 (Anderson 2-2, Hamer 2-4, Wenk 1-1, MBoya 1-2, Steigerwald 1-2, Holden 0-1); N 4-8 (Lucas 2-3, Heary 1-2, Walker 1-2, Sladky 0-1). Fouled out--None. Rebounds--B 23 (Welch 4); N 29 (Schuknecht 6). Assists--B 15 (Wenk 7); N 15 (Green, Walker 4). Total fouls--B 17, N 16. A--1,595.

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