Third time a curse as Navy women fall

Midshipmen eliminated from Patriot tournament after 73-61 loss to Army

March 03, 2001|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

The third time was definitely not the charm for the Navy women's basketball team.

A two-time winner over archrival Army during the regular season, the Midshipmen couldn't do it again when it counted most yesterday, losing, 73-61, to suffer elimination from the Patriot League tournament at Alumni Hall.

"For us to have lost to this team three times is more than I could have handled," said Army coach Sherri Abbey-Nowatzki, a former Navy assistant. "We didn't play particularly well the last time down here, and no other game I can think of is like Army-Navy."

The fourth-seeded Black Knights earned a second-round matchup against No. 1 Holy Cross, an upset victim of Army in the regular-season finale in West Point, N.Y. They meet in the semifinals at 7 tonight.

Navy ended its season with a 10-18 record after losing five of its last six, the lone victory coming over the Black Knights.

Twenty-three percent shooting in the second half and a 16-rebound deficit doomed the Midshipmen, the top three-point shooting team in the league that was only 5-for-15 from long range yesterday.

"We didn't shoot well, missed too many easy ones," Navy coach Joe Sanchez said. "We got some great shots and just didn't finish. Even when we were down six, we had some good looks and the ball just wouldn't go down. Those things happen."

"It was just us," Navy's senior captain Jennifer Bombinski said. "When we lose, it's just because of us. We didn't convert."

Bombinski converted a conventional three-point play with 6:51 remaining in the game to keep the Midshipmen within 55-54. Then Army (19-9) took over, scoring the next five points and seven of the next nine to take a commanding lead. Two late baskets by Navy freshman Maile Shimoda weren't nearly enough to offset the 11-for-12 showing at the free-throw line by Army the rest of the way.

Domination in the post was another key factor for the Black Knights, who received a game-high 22 points from senior center Therese Kelley, a career-high 21 points and 12 rebounds from freshman forward Katie Macfarlane and 12 points and 11 rebounds from junior forward Halaevalu Helu.

"We knew we were going to win," Kelley said. "We worked a lot on pressure to take away their long shots and then hopefully, getting help on the drive."

"We limited their three-point shooting and out-rebounded them pretty significantly," Abbey-Nowatzki said. Nonetheless, Navy seems to have a brighter future with eight freshmen on the roster, including Courtney Davidson (21 points), a second-team All-Patriot League choice, and Shimoda, an all-rookie team pick.

NOTE: The Patriot League is expected to announce at a news conference today that its 2002 men's and women's basketball tournaments will be held at the Show Place Arena in Upper Marlboro.

The 5,800-seat facility is a 30-minute drive from Annapolis.

NAVY-Bombinski 5-10 2-4 13, Roseti 4-15 1-1 9, Maslowski 2-5 2-2 6, Shimoda 3-14 0-0 7, Davidson 5-9 8-8 21, Ball 0-1 0-0 0, Dunn 0-2 1-2 1, Flacke 1-2 2-2 4, Steinmetz 0-2 0-1 0, Zapf 0-2 0-0 0, Luchsinger 0-0 0-0 0, Herring 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 20-65 16-20 61. ARMY-Helu 4-10 4-4 12, Macfarlane 6-9 8-16 21, Kelley 7-10 8-8 22, Dempsey 1-5 3-4 5, Halfaker 2-5 4-5 8, McPhatter 0-0 0-0 0, Gassman 0-0 0-0 0, Canelli 1-3 1-2 3, Saal 0-1 0-0 0, Thomsen 0-0 0-0 0, McKinnon 0-0 0-0 0, Schaefer 0-0 0-0 0, Ruschak 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 22-44 28-39 73. Half: Navy, 35-32. 3-point goals: N 5-15 (Davidson 3-4, Bombinski 1-2, Shimoda 1-6, Ball 0-1, Steimetz 0-1, Zapf 0-1); A 1-7 (Macfarlane 1-2, Dempsey 0-2, Helu 0-3). Rebounds: N 30 (Roseti 11); A 46 (Macfarlane 12). Assists: N 8 (Bombinski 3); A 15 (Dempsey 7). Total fouls: N 30, A 18. Fouled out: Maslowski, Roseti. A: 615.

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