Navy swamps Colgate, 80-52 Midshipmen use defense to gain 2nd blowout in row

January 11, 1998|By Christian Ewell | Christian Ewell,SUN STAFF

In its 80-52 loss at Navy yesterday, Colgate was in the game, if only for a moment.

Chad Wiswall hit a jumper to bring the Red Raiders into a 2-2 tie 1: 20 into the game.

The remaining 38: 40 failed to live up to any expectations brought by Wiswall's jumper as the Midshipmen (7-6, 2-0) scored their second blowout victory in as many games.

"This Navy basketball team really impressed me today in the first half," Navy coach Don DeVoe said. "I couldn't ask for any more; it seemed like everything came together for us after the 18-minute mark. We really picked up and we scored with abandon."

This game was supposed to be a tough game for Navy. Not only had the Red Raiders played well against Big East teams Syracuse and Seton Hall -- losing by a total of nine points -- but they were coming off a win at Bucknell, considered (along with Navy) a co-favorite for the Patriot League championship.

Plus, Colgate (5-8,1-1) was still playing on emotion less than a month after the death of its coach, Jack Bruen, on Dec. 19.

No matter, Navy was more than prepared for anything and everything that Colgate showed up with.

"I think this just says that we're a focused team right now," said Navy forward Hassan Booker, who scored a game-high 14 points. "We knew that they would try to come out hyped and ready to play. But we had to come out with a purpose."

Like the women's team, the Midshipmen found themselves confronted by a pressure defense that they conquered easily.

At the same time, Navy made it just about impossible for Colgate to score for most of the first half, allowing the Red Raiders to make only 27 percent of their field goals.

This meant that for healthy chunks of time, Colgate did not score: Between Wiswall's basket and Eric Gorden's driving layup, Colgate went 4: 46 without a basket as Navy took a 13-4 lead.

After another basket by Gorden cut Navy's lead to 23-9, the rims ignored Colgate wishes for another stretch of 5: 22, during which Navy extended its lead to 35-9 with 4: 25 left in the half.

Navy's defense not only forced poor shooting on the part of Colgate, but also denied the opportunity to take shots. In the first half, Navy had eight steals (on the way to 13 for the game), with Booker, Skip Victor and Chris Williams contributing two apiece.

Meanwhile, Navy's offense, though not spectacular, provided enough contrast to Colgate's to help make the game ugly in a hurry.

The Midshipmen hit 50 percent of their first-half shots (44 percent for the game), and eight of their 24 first-half rebounds came on the offensive end.

Down 46-18 at halftime, Colgate made a mini-charge, with Seth Schaeffer's three-pointer whittling Navy's lead to 60-42 with 8: 20 to go, but Navy went on an 10-2 run that pushed the lead to with 4: 40 left.

Schaeffer, who came into the game as Colgate's leading scorer with 16.9 points per game, was held to nine.

Pub Date: 1/11/98

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