Navy finishes season on same, sad note

62-43 defeat by Bucknell is 5-23 campaign in nutshell

Patriot League women

March 04, 2000|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

EASTON, Pa. -- A dreary season for the Navy women's basketball team came to an appropriate end yesterday at the Allan P. Kirby Center.

In the quarterfinals of the Patriot League tournament, the Midshipmen couldn't do anything right in the first 10 minutes, fell woefully out of contention, and lost to second-seeded Bucknell, 62-43.

Navy, the seventh seed, had no rally to overcome a start in which it missed its first nine shots and committed eight turnovers while Bucknell vaulted to a 12-0 lead in its quest for its first opening-round victory since 1995.

The closest Navy (5-23) could come the rest of the game was an 11-point second-half deficit.

"The bottom line was the way we started," said Navy coach Joe Sanchez. "We didn't shoot well, and that put us in a predicament right off the bat. We were in such a hole, we couldn't get out. Our nemesis all season was our lack of offense. We have to have balanced scoring, and we didn't get it."

Motivation was on the side of the Bison (14-14), who had lost four straight games entering the tournament and five of six.

"I was proud of the intensity we brought to this game," said Bucknell coach Kathy Fedorjaka. "I thought the mental aspects were going to be as important as the physical. Our defensive effort throughout the first half was the most important factor."

A layup by Holly Fryberger with 10: 05 remaining in the first half finally put the Midshipmen on the scoreboard, but Bucknell didn't relent much and went into intermission with a 17-point cushion.

"I just thought we weren't being aggressive enough," said Navy senior Erica Hayes, an all-Patriot first-team pick who completed her career with 1,406 points (sixth on the career list) and 450 free throws (No. 1).

"You can see it happening before your eyes, and there's nothing you can do about it."

Navy had not lost in its opening tournament game since 1993 and had some hope entering yesterday's game, because Hayes was healthy after a knee injury and sophomore Hilary Goodrich was on an offensive roll.

Hayes had a team-high 14 points on 6-for-13 shooting, but Goodrich and the rest of her teammates shot 8-for-32.

Bucknell advanced to play Colgate with senior all-league guard Lori Houck (15 points, eight assists) in clear control of another otherwise young squad.

"She did a good job of settling the team down and rallying the troops when Navy got to within 12," Fedorjaka said. "Never letting it get any lower was a big factor."

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