Navy dominates Bucknell, 89-67

Aggressive defense helps Midshipmen pull away in second half

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 I through the second half and coasted to its 22nd victory in 25 meetings with Bucknell at Annapolis.

John Williams nailed a three-pointer from the corner with five seconds left, giving Navy a 43-35 halftime lead.

A 10-0 run enabled Bucknell to overcome an early 13-9 deficit while the Midshipmen struggled with ball possession. With the Bison in the bonus situation at the free-throw line, they maintained that margin until Navy's Jehiel Lewis regained the lead for the Midshipmen.

They battled back-and-forth through another four minutes before two free throws by Reeder put Navy in front, 30-28, and Bucknell never regained the lead.

The shooting of Barker was a major factor for the Midshipmen. He sank two three-pointers and finished the half with 12 points, a figure matched by Bucknell's Boakai Lalugba.

Navy shot 50 percent in the half with Reeder aiding Barker with points and the Midshipmen dominated the backboards (20-12), including seven offensive rebounds.

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 did not suffer a concussion and returned in the second halt.

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