In first start, Hill paces Navy to 81-49 victory vs. Gettysburg

Mids' big men out-muscle Bullets during 24-4 run

January 03, 1999|By Alan Goldstein | Alan Goldstein,SUN STAFF

With his team getting unexpected competition from Division III Gettysburg for more than a half, Navy basketball coach Don DeVoe got an unexpected lift from lightly played sophomore power forward Josh Hill, making his first varsity start at Alumni Hall yesterday.

Hill, playing in place of team scoring leader Sitapha Savane, who is nursing a sore left knee, crammed 11 of his 15 points into the second half when the Midshipmen (10-3) pulled away from a shaky one-point lead with 16: 36 left to rout the Bullets, 81-49.

Hill teamed up with 6-11 senior center Josh Williams (19 points, nine rebounds ) to spark a 24-4 run that gave Navy a 60-39 cushion with 6: 47 left.

Said DeVoe, "With Savane resting, we needed a big game from Hill, and he really stepped up in the second half.

"We always thought he was a young man with the potential to be an outstanding player, but leg injuries limited his playing time with the JVs his plebe year.

"But he's the kind of player who has to be driven to go out there and growl a bit and use his big body and athleticism. He started to assert himself in the second half when he made some nifty post-up moves and made all his free throws [7-for-7]."

The strong inside play of Hill and Williams ignited the Mids against the smaller Bullets (6-4), who used their motion offense and patience to drive the Mids to distraction in the first half.

"The final score was very misleading," said DeVoe. "They spread the floor and exploited our man-to-man defense with their motion offense and got a lot of easy layups.

"It wasn't until we switched to a zone that we were able to turn things around. We made some steals, got a lot of blocks [six], and were able to push the ball up the floor."

After converting 42 percent of their shots in the first half, the Bullets made only six of 23 in the second half. It was just the opposite for the Mids, who, after going 10-for-29 from the field in the first 20 minutes, hit 69 percent (18-for-26) in the second half when almost all of their shots came from short range.

Hill, from Camarillo, Calif., obviously enjoyed his first significant playing time.

"I was a little flat and nervous at the start," he said, "but once I knocked down a few shots, I kind of relaxed, and this was a real confidence booster."

Despite the lopsided result, DeVoe was not totally pleased as his team begins conference play next week.

"We've got to do a better job handling the ball," he said, noting the Mids' 18 turnovers against a team that seldom used the press.

GETTYSBURG -- Pfeil 0-3 0-0 0, Davidson 3-7 1-2 9, Schreiber 3-9 4-6 10, Bowman 2-5 0-0 4, Carroll 3-8 2-2 8, Callahan 0-0 1-2 1, Natale 1-2 1-1 3, Napp 1-2 0-0 3, Bowers 1-2 0-0 2, Monroe 1-6 0-0 2, McNeil 1-2 0-0 3, Respress 0-2 0-1 0, Boyle 0-0 0-0 0, Rothensberger 1-1 2-2 4. Totals 17-49 11-16 49.

NAVY -- C. Williams 5-9 0-0 11, Hill 4-8 7-7 15, Josh Williams 6-7 7-8 19, Skipworth 2-4 0-0 6, Victor 3-10 2-5 8, John Williams 1-3 0-0 2, Reeder 4-8 3-3 11, Murray 1-2 0-0 2, Worthing 1-2 0-0 2, Lewis 0-0 0-0 0, Toton 0-0 1-2 1, Cunningham 1-2 2-2 4. Totals 28-55 22-27 81.

Halftime--N 33-29. 3-point goals--G 4-16 (Davidson 2-4, Napp 1-1, McNeil 1-1, Pfeil 0-3, Carroll 0-3, Natale 0-1, Bowers 0-1, Monroe 0-1, Respress 0-1); N 3-9 (Skipworth 2-3, C.Williams 1-2, Victor 0-2, John Williams 0-1, Worthing 0-1). Rebounds--G 19 (Schreiber 4); N 48 (Josh Williams 9). Assists--G 8 (Schreiber 3); N 23 (Victor 7). Total Fouls--G 21; N 12. A--1,015.

Pub Date: 1/03/99

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