Late run gives Ohio 80-74 win over Navy

Mids lose intensity, then lead as Bobcats ride 10-2 close to opening win

College Basketball

November 27, 2001|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

Transfer Sonny Johnson poured in eight points during a late 10-2 run that carried Ohio University to an 80-74 victory over Navy last night at Alumni Hall.

The final Division I team to open its season, Ohio trailed through most of the game and was behind 51-42 before its offense and rebounding prowess shifted into high gear.

Five lead changes ensued through the stretch before Johnson, who became eligible yesterday, hit two free throws to tie the game for the final time at 67.

He followed with a tap-in, a driving basket and two free throws before Brandon Hunter scored on another putback to give the Bobcats a 75-69 advantage. Navy never got closer than three points.

"The game completely turned on us after the media timeout," Navy coach Don DeVoe said. "We didn't take care of the ball and the turnovers resulted in Ohio U. getting their confidence up. We were unable to take control when we had the lead, and then the turnovers came."

Navy (2-2) played ferocious defense in the first half and was behind only once (17-16). With a minute remaining, the Midshipmen had a 35-26 lead but the Bobcats scored the final five points of the half to close to within four.

Navy's edge was restored to nine (51-42) on a three-pointer by Jehiel Lewis before Johnson, Patrick Flomo and Hunter went to work inside with their muscle.

In the end, Navy was out-rebounded 40-35 and committed 20 turnovers, not appealing figures for a DeVoe-coached team.

Navy center Francis Ebong (19 points, six rebounds) had a stellar game but didn't receive much assistance.

"They kept getting inside and beat us on the boards," DeVoe said. "The points they scored in the paint were so critical. They outfought us for the ball."

Said Ebong: "We really didn't know much about this team. They hadn't played and had a new coach [Tim O'Shea], so all we could do was come out and play hard. They had a big, strong front line and they came after us."

Hunter, an All-Mid-American Conference preseason pick, topped the Bobcats with 19 points and Johnson, who came from Cleveland State, collected all 18 of his in the second half.

DeVoe was not pleased with the dropoff of intensity by his team after halftime, the ball-handling and Ohio's ability to dominate in the paint.`They were on the road for their opening game and we had three games on them," he said. "We didn't take advantage of those things."

Both teams had 27 field goals and Navy scored five more three-pointers, but the Bobcats had an 11-point edge at the foul line, thanks to their persistence inside.

It was the sixth straight opening-night win for the Bobcats, who finished 19-11 last season and returned three starters and a part-time starter.

OHIO-Esterkamp 5-13 4-6 14, Hunter 7-15 5-6 19, Flomo 5-9 6-9 16, Crawford 1-2 0-0 3, Harris 0-1 2-2 2, Kiekow 1-6 1-2 3, Bridgewater 1-3 0-0 2, Johnson 6-11 6-9 18, Sanderson 1-2 0-0 3, Liatsos 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 27-62 24-34 80. NAVY-McCreary 3-8 0-0 6, Moore 2-2 0-0 4, Ebong 8-9 3-5 19, Jeanpierre 3-7 1-3 9, Charles 3-6 0-0 7, J.Lewis 5-12 3-5 16, Shepard 2-4 2-3 6, S.Lewis 0-1 0-0 0, Cummings 0-0 4-4 4, Mathews 0-1 0-0 0, Nero 0-1 0-1 0 0, Barker 1-7 0-1 3. Totals 27-58 13-22 74. Halftime-Navy, 35-31. 3-point goals-Ohio 2-7 (Crawford 1-1, Sanderson 1-1, Esterkamp 0-2, Hunter 0-2, Harris 0-1), Navy 7-15 (J. Lewis 3-6, Jeanpierre 2-3, Charles 1-2, Barker 1-3, Nero 0-1). Fouled out-None. Rebounds-Ohio 40 (Johnson 9), Navy 35 (Charles, Ebong 6). Assists-Ohio 9 (Esterkamp, Harris, Kiekow 2), Navy 18 (Ebong, Jeanpierre 4). Total fouls-Ohio 20, Navy 26. A-1,434.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.