Navy dominates Bucknell, 89-67

Aggressive defense helps Mids pull away after break, rebound from loss

College Basketball

January 11, 2001|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

Preseason prognosticators made Navy the favorite in the Patriot League men's basketball race and last night the team showed why.

The Midshipmen gave a stern lesson to a young Bucknell squad after 10 minutes and romped to an 89-67 victory at Alumni Hall to serve notice that the ranking wasn't a fluke.

Captain Robert Reeder, Chris Williams and sophomore Kyle Barker led the offense as Navy (8-6, 1-0) steadily pulled away in the second half by using its aggressive defense, rebounding might and improved shooting.

Bucknell (7-7, 0-1) lost four starters from the team that finished third in the league last season and had an opening lineup that featured four sophomores. They couldn't keep pace with Navy, which was coming off a discouraging 14-point loss at Stony Brook Saturday.

With the Midshipmen frantically hounding the ball on defense and the Bison responding with one turnover after another, Navy built its margin to 23 points midway through the second half and coasted to its 22nd victory in 25 meetings with Bucknell at Annapolis.

Barker scored 18 points to top the scoring and had more field goals inside the arc (five) than at any time in his career.

Williams added 17 points, and despite going 4-for-11 from the field, compensated by hitting eight straight foul shots and Reeder pitched in 14.

Reeder believed Navy's experience was a factor.

"Some of us older guys haven't been playing as well as we should have," he said. "At Stony Brook, we got our butts kicked so we picked up the intensity all week. I haven't been to the NCAAs since my first year and I want to get back."

Navy started sloppily, the victim of poor ball control and sub-par shooting, but took a lead it wouldn't relinquish on two Reeder free throws and pulled into an eight-point halftime lead on John Williams' buzzer-beating three-pointer.

"As the game progressed, we kept pressure on them defensively and kept limiting them to one shot," coach Don DeVoe said. "Our ability to keep the game going at an up-tempo pace worked for us and we got it done."

Navy had a 40-30 edge on the backboards, grabbing 14 offensive rebounds and limiting Bucknell to 44 shots.

Barker, the team's three-point specialist, noted that Navy "was rushing a little on offense" during the first half, "but we started getting a lot inside the arc after that."

Chris Williams, the preseason Patriot Player of the Year, needs to be more selective with his shooting, DeVoe said.

"Chris is not Oscar Robertson and we're not the Cincinnati Royals," said the coach. "We're not going to live and die on anybody's one-on-one moves."

Guard Jason Jeanpierre of Navy went down with 6:32 remaining in the half after absorbing a knee in the face and a concussion was the original fear.

However, he returned in the second half after the injury was determined to be less serious.

BUCKNELL-Werner 5-10 1-2 11, Herdenburgh 2-3 0-0 5, Lalugba 5-9 4-7 14, Blankenship 1-4 4-6, Bailey 5-8 10-14 20, Skornik 0-1 0-2 0, Nyambi 0-0 0-0 0, Santos 0-0 2-4 2, Webber 1-2 1-2 3, Quinn 0-0 0-0 0, Namvou 0-4 0-0 0, Slater 2-2 0-1 4, Bennett 1-1 0-0 2, White 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 22-44 22-38 67.

NAVY-C. Williams 4-11 8-8 17, Reeder 4-6 6-9 14, Cunningham 2-2 0-0 4, Shepard 2-5 2-2 6, J. Williams 3-5 0-0 8, Fernandez 0-0 0-0 0, Skipworth 1-1 0-0 2, Charles 1-1 0-0 2, Jeanpierre 3-5 0-2 6, Lewis 1-2 3-7 5, Ebong 0-2 1-2 1, McCreary 0-0 0-0 0, Long 3-5 0-0 6, Barker 7-14 2-2 18, Higgins 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 31-60 22-34 89.

Half - Navy, 43-35. 3-point goals - Bucknell 1-3 (Hardenbaugh 1-1, Blankenshio 0-1, Slater 0-1), Navy 5-13 (J. Williams 2-3, Barker 2-6, C. Williams 1-3, Jeanpierre 0-1). Fouled out - Santos. Rebounds - Bucknell 30 ( Hardenbaugh, Lalugba 4), Navy 40 (Lewis 7). Assists - Bucknell 7 (Werner, Bailey 2), Navy 8 (C. Williams. Reeder, J. Williams, Skipworth, Jeanpierre, Lewis, Ebong, Barker 1). Total fouls - Bucknell 28, Navy 29. A - 2,117.

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