Navy dumps Colgate, 81-70, moves into tie for 1st place

Midshipmen pull away with 16-4 run in 2nd half

January 28, 2001|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

A share of the Patriot League lead was the reward for the winner yesterday, and Navy pulled away in the final seven minutes to grab it.

With their 81-70 conquest of Colgate before 3,527 at Alumni Hall, the Midshipmen - preseason favorites to win the regular-season title - vaulted into a tie at the top with Holy Cross, which was idle yesterday after being upset at Lafayette on Wednesday night.

The game was a brief interlude at home for the Midshipmen (12-7, 4-1), who are in the midst of a stretch of six of seven games on the road, including five in the league.

"We haven't been playing all that well on the road," said captain Robert Reeder, one of six Navy players who scored in double figures. "If we want to host that championship game, we can't let any home games get away."

Colgate (9-10, 3-2) dogged Navy most of the way and was leading, 55-54, when Reeder (12 points, 9 rebounds) sank a jumper to put the Midshipmen ahead for good. A 16-4 run followed, with Reeder scoring six points and Jehiel Lewis (team-high 15) adding four.

A three-pointer by point guard Demond Shepard, normally a reluctant shooter, capped the run that pushed Navy ahead, 70-59.

"He had only made one three-pointer all season, so he doubled his output," Navy coach Don DeVoe said. "If there was one key basket, that was it. That's a shot he has to take."

The Red Raiders played the entire way without forward Howard Blue, the top freshman scorer in the league and the team's leading rebounder, and were forced to go about six minutes during the crucial portion of the game without All-Patriot forward Pat Campolieta. Navy's bench, especially in the front line, was too much for the small Colgate lineup.

"We played them even for a long time, but their depth and rebounding eventually caught up to us," said Red Raiders coach Emmett Davis, a former Navy assistant. "I thought we battled them as well as anybody has on their floor. We played them with four guards a long time and competed, but we didn't have enough gas in the tank at the end."

Colgate, plagued by 26 turnovers, stayed abreast by hitting 24 of 28 free throws and by shooting 58 percent from the floor in the first half.

Freshman guard Mark Linebaugh had a particularly strong afternoon for Colgate, netting 23 points.

Navy has won nine consecutive times against the Red Raiders, last losing in the series Jan. 11, 1997, and Davis is 0-6 against his former team. The Midshipmen are 39-4 at home against the league the past seven years.

"We just came out the second half with more intensity and more tenacity," Reeder said. "And we pounded them a lot on the boards [15 offensive rebounds]."

Lewis reached double figures for the fourth straight game. "Nothing in this league is going to be given to us," he said.

"This was an important win for us, and Colgate stressed us," DeVoe said. "The second half, we played a lot smarter and didn't get beat off the dribble as much. I hate to use that one-game-at-a time stuff but now we've got to get the job done at Lehigh."

COLGATE-Sullivan 2-3 6-6 12, Campolieta 5-11 2-3 12, Marek 1-5 0-0 3, Hardy 3-8 6-7 12, Green 1-2 2-4 4, Datcher 1-1 0-0 2, Linebaugh 8-12 6-6 23, Tuohey 0-3 2-2 2, Korn 0-0 0-0 0, Shirley 0-0 0-0 0, Akers 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 21-45 24-28 70. NAVY-C. Williams 3-10 8-10 14, Reeder 4-8 4-10 12, Cunningham 1-2 1-2 3, Shepard 4-6 1-2 10, J. Williams 3-4 3-3 10, Skipworth 1-3 1-2 3, Jeanpierre 0-0 0-2 0, Lewis 7-9 1-2 15, Ebong 1-2 0-0 2, Long 0-1 0-0 0, Barker 3-9 6-6 12. Totals 27-54 25-39 81.

Halftime-Navy, 35-34. 3-Point goals-Colgate 4-8 (Sullivan 2-3, Marek 1-2, Linebaugh 1-1, Campolieta 0-1, Tuohey 0-1), Navy 2-8 (Shepard 1-2, J. Williams 1-2, Barker 0-3, Skipworth 0-1, C. Williams 0-1). Fouled out-none. Rebounds-Colgate 26 (Campolieta, Sullivan, Green, Linebaugh 4), Navy 34 (Reeder 9). Assists-Colgate 8 (Hardy, Linebaugh, Kern 2), Navy 11 (Reeder, C. Williams 3). Total fouls-Colgate 25, Navy 23. A-3,527.

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