Mids stymie Coppin State, 67-39 Eagles score 10 in 2nd half

Navy advances to final to play Mount St. Mary's

Navy Classic

December 21, 1997|By Alan Goldstein | Alan Goldstein,SUN STAFF

Navy women's coach Joe Sanchez never stops preaching defense, and his halftime message came through loud and clear as the Mids limited Coppin State to 10 second-half points in rolling to a 67-39 victory in the fifth annual Navy Classic opening game at Alumni Hall last night.

The Mids (8-1), who suffered their only loss to Wisconsin-Milwaukee a month ago, advanced to today's championship game against Mount St. Mary's, which held off a second-half rally by Morehead State to win, 81-74.

Led by senior captain Becky Dowling (16 points, 15 rebounds), Navy outscored Coppin State, 20-2, during an eight-minute stretch in the second half to take a 58-38 lead.

"We got out of our zone and really went after them defensively," said Sanchez. "I went to a smaller lineup to add some intensity and increase our offensive tempo."

The strategy worked to perfection. Sophomore guard Liesha Mitchell, who had kept Coppin (2-4) in contention through most of the first half with 12 points, including 2-for-3 from three-point range, was limited to six points in the second half.

"We got in their face on every shot," said Sanchez. "If Mitchell was going to score, we made sure she'd have to do it strictly from outside.

"But they came in here averaging about 70 to 80 shots a game. We limited them to 56 and only 16 field goals. We shut them down inside and made sure they got only one shot a possession."

This was mainly due to the ball-hawking of senior guard Joanne Groth (12 points, 13 rebounds, three steals) and the strong rebounding of the 5-foot-11 Dowling, who consistently boxed out.

Navy out-rebounded Coppin 47-31, grabbing 28 rebounds on the defensive end.

Dowling said the loss to Wisconsin-Milwaukee in a Thanksgiving tournament, gave the Mids a new attitude.

"We're much more composed now," said the all-purpose forward. "We finally understand what the coach is trying to get us to do. We were actually running our plays all the way through and taking advantage of all our options. When we do that, we can beat anybody."

In the second game, Mount St. Mary's (3-5) had a much tougher time putting away Morehead State.

The Mountaineers led, 45-30, at halftime, but the outside shooting of senior guard Crystal Parker (17 points) and the strong inside post moves of senior center Tori Crosby (14 points) turned it into a tight contest in the second half.

Three times, the Eagles pulled to within a field goal, the last time at 66-64, with 5: 22 remaining.

Morehead was still very much alive when Vetta Robinson's free throw made it 73-69 with 2: 32 left.

But the Mountaineers regrouped, building a 79-69 advantage before Morehead (2-6) scored again with only 16 seconds left.

Mt. St. Mary's was forced to play most of the second half minus their top scorer, center Megan Gardiner, who was hampered by early foul trouble.

But the Mount got a major offensive lift from a pair of freshmen, Kia Williams (16 points, 10 rebounds) and 5-foot-3 Margaret Carey (11 points).

Williams' contribution was somewhat expected since she is averaging 16.6 points. But Carey came into the game averaging less than a point.

"Give Carey a lot of credit," said Mount coach Bill Sheahan. "She's a walk-on, but tonight she really hit some big shots for us."

Navy 67, Coppin State 39

COPPIN STATE -- Falline 1-5 0-0 2, Allen 0-11 1-2 1, Adams 1-2 0-1 2, Mitchell 8-17 0-0 18, Jones 3-7 0-0 7, Adair 1-11 0-0 3, Scott 1-1 0-0 2, Schley 0-1 0-0 0, Webb 1-1 2-2 4. Totals 16-56 3-5 39.

NAVY -- Hayes 4-5 4-4 12, Dowling 7-16 2-6 16, Coffey 4-10 0-1 8, Melofchik 1-2 2-2 4, Groth 4-11 4-6 12, Harris 0-3 2-2 2, Bombinski 1-1 0-0 2, Stephan 2-3 0-0 5, Rogoli 1-1 0-0 2, Graham 1-2 1-2 4, Majchrzak 0-1 0-0. Totals 22-55 15-22 67.

Halftime--Navy, 36-29. 3-point goals--CS 4-12 (Allen 0-1, Mitchell 2-3, Jones 1-4, Adair 1-4), Navy 2-10 (Dowling 0-3, Coffey 0-1, Melofchik 0-1, Harris 0-2, Stephan 1-2, Graham 1-1). Fouled out--Schley. Rebounds--CS 31 (Adams 6), Navy 47 (Dowling 15). Assists--CS 9 (Mitchell 3, Jones 3), Navy 13 (Dowling 6). Total fouls--CS 31, Navy 13. A--562.

Mount St. Mary's 81,

Morehead State 74

MOREHEAD STATE -- Robinson 6-14 1-4 14, Brazley 4-9 1-2 9, Crosby 6-11 2-2 14, Webster 0-1 0-0 0, Swisher 1-10 2-2 5, Parker 5-10 2-2 17, Mitchell 1-4 0-0 3, Elliot 1-7 2-2 4, Boyd 3-8 2-8 8. Totals 17-74 12-22 74.

MOUNT ST. MARY'S -- Butters 6-7 5-7 17, Gardiner 6-9 1-2 13, Menichini 1-2 0-1 2, Nance 1-6 4-4 6, Carey 4-5 1-2 11, Williams 7-14 2-2 16, Henson 0-3 2-2 2, Williamson 0-0 4-8 4, Chapman 4-8 2-2 10. Totals 29-54 21-30 81.

Halftime--Mt. St. Mary's 45-30. 3-point goals--Morehead St. 8-20 (Robinson 1-2, Webster 0-1, Swisher 1-4, Parker 5-8, Mitchell 1-3, Elliot 0-2). Mount 2-10 (Nance 0-2, Carey 2-3, Williams 0-2, Henson 0-3). Fouled out--Brazley, Swisher, Menichini. Rebounds--Morehead St. 35 (Mitchell 8), Mount 48 (Gardiner 10, Williams 10). Assists--Morehead St. 17 (Swisher 7), Mount 13 (Carey 4). Total fouls--Morehead St. 27, Mount 21. A--562.

Pub Date: 12/21/97

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