Navy bumps Stony Brook, 81-63, in break from Patriot schedule

Chris Williams' 18 points push Mids to 18th victory

February 13, 2000|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

Navy's basketball team continued its drive toward a third 20-win season in the past four years by routinely turning aside Stony Brook, 81-63, yesterday at Alumni Hall.

It was a break from the Patriot League schedule that coach Don DeVoe didn't exactly welcome, but the Midshipmen didn't underestimate its importance, rolling to a 12-2 lead, then reeling off a 25-3 streak to soar into a 25-point bulge 4 1/2 minutes before the half.

"We're not taking anybody lightly," said Chris Williams, who topped Navy (18-5) with 18 points. "One by one is how we have to go. We're on a mini-roll right now and playing together well as a team."

Stony Brook (6-20) is taking on its first year of Division I basketball under Nick Macarchuk, who left the Atlantic 10 for a measure of security. Growing pains are a necessary part of the team's development.

The Seawolves have been averaging only 56 points a game and in their first meeting ever against Navy, their hottest recent scorer, Pablo Porras, was restricted to two points.

"I was apprehensive of this game, considering where it is," DeVoe said. "All of us in the league have blind dates and we need to play games. I'd prefer to start in early January and play straight through the conference."

Not to worry. Navy's lead players were ready, shooting 62 percent in the first half, monopolizing the rebounding and playing their usual crunching defense.

The second half was another matter. "There were far too many out-of-control plays by so many of our inexperienced players," DeVoe said. "There are times we have to rely on less experienced players to win."

One exception was Jehiel Lewis, a starter at the beginning of the season, but absent much of the season because of two concussions. He contributed a solid 13-minute stint, scoring eight points.

"Of all the subs, he was the most under control," DeVoe said.

The victory extended Navy's winning streak to eight, the longest in three years, and stretched its home-court string to 13.

"Right now, we're playing pretty well at the beginning of games," Williams said. "But we've had a problem staying focused toward the end. Still, it's good to see the other guys [reserves] in there because that means to us [starters] that we've done our job."

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