Navy defense does job as Army misfires, 66-40 Heary, starting at point for first time in career, responds with 21 points

January 08, 1998|By Alan Goldstein | Alan Goldstein,SUN STAFF

One can only hope the West Pointers shoot better with their rifles.

The Cadets were limited to 15 field goals on 43 shots by an aggressive Navy defense as the Midshipmen romped, 66-40, in the teams' Patriot League opener at Alumni Hall.

It marked Navy's 14th victory in the past 15 meetings with their service rivals. The Midshipmen lead the all-time series, 50-35.

This one was settled in the first five minutes of the second half when the Mids used a 14-3 run to gain a 44-24 cushion.

The Cadets (5-7) then scored seven straight points, but that was their final run. Navy (6-6) answered with a 12-3 spurt to end any suspense for the crowd of 5,363.

Navy senior swingman Michael Heary, who has been struggling on offense, shooting 31 percent from the field, appeared rejuvenated when coach Don DeVoe gave him his first career start at point guard.

Heary responded with a game-high 21 points on 7-for-12 shooting and did an excellent job of distributing the ball.

DeVoe said he made the move to Heary out of desperation.

"After trying everyone else, it was apparent to our coaching staff we had to give Heary a shot running the team," DeVoe said. "We were struggling just trying to get the ball up the floor.

"But I'm convinced Heary is our best point guard, and he also happens to be our best shooting guard."

If nothing else, controlling the ball made it easier for Heary to get off his shots or work give-and-gos with forward Hassan Booker.

"It allowed me to be more selective," said Heary, who had been forcing most of his shots. "But I think the whole team is getting better ball movement. We've got a lot of good ball-handlers on this team."

That was borne out last night. Navy was credited with 19 assists to only three for Army, which committed 29 turnovers.

"We still have to pick it up offensively," DeVoe said. "But I believe our defense is already there."

The 40 points allowed by Navy were the fewest since it held the Cadets to 39 in their second meeting in the 1992-93 season.

Army, under new coach Pat Harris, who played for the Cadets in the late 1970s, had a difficult time getting any shots off in the paint.

The chief intimidator was 6-foot-11 junior center Josh Williams, who accounted for four of the Mids' seven blocked shots.

Williams, who has been a major project since he first put on a Navy uniform, also contributed 10 points and seven rebounds.

"This was Josh's best overall game in three years," DeVoe said. "He's starting to play with confidence and stamina. He really stepped it up on defense. Even the ones he didn't block tonight, he made the Army big men alter their shots."

DeVoe also had to be encouraged by the play of two varsity newcomers. Sophomore Sitapha Savane, a native of Senegal who played for the junior varsity last season, scored seven points and blocked two shots in 14 minutes. Freshman Chris Williams, coming off knee surgery, showed potential with four points and four rebounds.

ARMY -- Barrett 2-5 2-6 6, Clark 0-3 0-0 0, Pearson 4-11 1-1 9, Kwasniak 3-6 0-1 9, Tatum 3-8 1-3 7, Kyle 0-0 0-0 0, Dempsey 0-1 0-0 0, McFarland 1-2 0-0 2, Crawford 0-1 0-1 0, Gurush 2-3 0-0 6, Johnson 0-3 0-0 0, Westfield 0-0 1-2 1. Totals 15-43 5-14 40.

NAVY -- Sladky 2-9 0-0 5, Booker 3-6 1-1 7, Josh Williams 4-6 2-4 10, Heary 7-12 4-4 21, Victor 1-6 0-0 2, Hickmon 0-1 0-0 0, Skipworth 0-0 0-0 0, Savane 3-5 1-4 7, Schuknecht 1-1 0-0 2, Toton 0-2 0-0 0, Smith 1-2 0-0 2, C. Williams 2-2 0-3 4, John Williams 0-1 0-0 0, Reeder 2-3 0-0 4, Lookabill 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 27-58 8-16 66.

Halftime--Navy 30-21. 3-point goals--Army 5-13 (Kwasniak 3-5, Gurush 2-2, Clark 0-3, Tatum 0-2, Johnson 0-1), Navy 4-13 (Heary 3-5, Sladky 1-6, Smith 0-1, Lookabill 0-1). Fouled out--None. Rebounds--Army 31 (Barrett 9), Navy 39 (Josh Williams 7). Assists--Army 3 (Tatum 2), Navy 19 (Booker 5). Total fouls--Army 17, Navy 16. A--5,363.

Pub Date: 1/08/98

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