Hot Navy runs into cold spell and falls 70-62 loss to Lehigh brings end to best season

March 03, 1997|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

BETHLEHEM, Pa. -- When your all-conference frontcourt duo makes only six of 27 field-goal attempts, your guards have to compensate.

Navy's backcourt couldn't make up the lost production yesterday and the Midshipmen bowed to Lehigh, 70-62, in the semifinals of the Patriot League women's tournament at the Stabler Center.

It was a disappointing ending to Navy's best season ever (22-6) as third-seeded Lehigh, the host school for the tournament, advanced to the final Thursday here against arch-rival Lafayette, which upset No. 1 Holy Cross yesterday.

Navy center Adria Schneck, the Patriot League scoring champion, went 3-for-15 from the fieldr against smothering defensive coverage, and forward Becky Dowling was 3-for-12.

"It was just one of those days," said Schneck, who was often double- and triple-teamed down low. "The baskets were kind of weird," said Dowling.

The Midshipmen got off well with a 14-4 lead in the first four minutes and had a 28-15 rebounding advantage after a half in which they led by two (37-35).

But a 4 1/2 -minute Navy drought midway through the second half enabled the Mountain Hawks (14-14) to take control at 60-52 and the margin never shriveled to fewer than four points afterward.

"The bottom line is we needed to answer that cold spell and didn't," said Navy coach Joe Sanchez. "We missed too many shots and didn't hit the offensive boards [in the second half] the way we should have. We had the shots; we just didn't score."

Lehigh coach Sue Troyan substituted liberally to keep the pressure on Schneck and Dowling. "We wanted a wear-them-out presence," she said.

Offensively, the Mountain Hawks broke quickly with every opportunity with freshman Danielle Baldwin usually orchestrating the movement.

"She's a freshman who plays like a senior," said Sanchez of Baldwin. "At times, she's the best point guard in the league."

Kelly Collins, daughter of NBA Hall of Famer Doug Collins, topped Lehigh with 18 points, but forward Jen Hendrix was the key offensive player down the stretch, scoring 14 of her 16 in the second half.

LEHIGH -- Hendrix 6-7 4-6 16, Deakin 2-8 3-4 7, Madden 2-6 1-2 5, Baldwin 6-12 1-1 13, Collins 5-10 6-6 18, Sims 2-6 1-2 5, Bevington 1-2 0-0 2, Henry 2-3 0-0 4. Totals 26-56 16-21 70.

NAVY -- Groth 8-15 1-2 17, Dowling 3-12 3-4 9, Schneck 3-15 6-8 12, Dalmau 1-5 0-0 3, Melofchik 5-8 0-2 10, Hayes 4-6 1-1 9, Graham 1-3 0-0 2. Totals 25-64 11-17 62.

Halftime-- Navy 37-35. Rebounds-- Lehigh 33 (Madden 6); Navy (43 Dowling 12). Assists-- Lehigh 15 (Baldwin 4); Navy 7 (Schneck 3). A--NA.

Pub Date: 3/03/97

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