Navy's finishing touch trounces Lehigh, 83-50

Victor, Williams make strong Alumni Hall exit

February 18, 1999|By Alan Goldstein | Alan Goldstein,SUN STAFF

In what may very well have been their last home-court appearance, seniors Skip Victor and Josh Williams went out in fitting style at Alumni Hall last night as Navy handed injury-riddled Lehigh its 17th straight loss, 83-50, in a Patriot League contest.

Victor, the team captain and inspirational leader, scored 24 points, dished out six assists, grabbed five rebounds and had three steals. Williams, the 6-foot-11 center, scored all 14 of his points in the second half and added a game-high four blocks.

At one point in the second half, the two seniors had outscored the Mountain Hawks, 34-32.

This was a repeat performance for the Midshipmen (19-6, 8-3), who had ripped Lehigh in Easton, Pa., 75-45, three weeks ago.

A good indication of why Lehigh (5-20, 0-11) has not won since beating Hobart on Dec. 19 was seeing former Patriot League scoring leader Brett Eppeheimer and fellow starter Pete DeLea at courtside broadcasting the game because of injuries.

The Mids limited Lehigh to six field goals in gaining a 34-20 halftime lead. With Victor and Williams doing most of the scoring, Navy scored the first 17 points of the second half. Victor left the floor with 7: 41 left to a standing ovation from the crowd of 2,911.

"I was just having a lot of fun and I was very relaxed out there," said Victor, a California native who made nine of his 11 field-goal attempts. "I was practicing my jump shot before the game and really felt great shooting the ball."

Williams, who has struggled throughout his varsity career on the offensive end, came to life in the second half when his teammates seemed to make a point of getting him the ball.

He exhibited several quick spin moves out of the post and consistently beat Lehigh's big men down the floor for fast-break layups.

But it was his defensive work that drew praise from Navy coach Don DeVoe.

"Josh did an excellent job of taking Lehigh, even their guards, out of their normal shooting pattern," said DeVoe. "Actually, I thought he had more than four blocks. He got his hand on a lot of shots. All year, he's been a force for us defensively, helping out his teammates."

The rout allowed DeVoe a chance to play his entire roster. Sophomore guard Chris Worthing continued to make a strong case for more playing time by hitting four of five shots.

"He's a point guard with a shooter's mentality," said DeVoe.

Navy closes its conference play at Colgate on Saturday. Last night, the Red Raiders upset first-place Lafayette, 47-46, dropping the Leopards into a tie with Bucknell.

If the Mids win, they finish no worse than third in the league.

"We've got to go up to Colgate and play our `A' game," said Victor.

Pub Date: 2/18/99

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