Wake is too much for game Navy, 87-65

Long-range shooting by Deacons dooms Mids

College Basketball

January 08, 2002|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

Navy received its annual lesson in the power of Atlantic Coast Conference basketball last night at Alumni Hall.

The Midshipmen played with conviction and purpose, but couldn't match Wake Forest's raw ability, shooting prowess and athleticism.

Final: Wake Forest 87, Navy 65.

The victory was the seventh in eight games for the 19th-ranked Demon Deacons, who are seasoned and talented and will make trouble for Duke and Maryland in the ACC.

"I felt we had to hold them in the 60s to have a chance to win," said Navy coach Don DeVoe. "In the second half, we played the best 20 minutes against them that we ever have.

"But just when we were developing some confidence, they made the threes when they had to. That's what big-time teams do."

The Deacons finished 12 for 23 from long range, equaling the most ever against a Navy team. Craig Dawson led the way for Wake with 21 points, all on three-pointers.

Navy (5-10) hung around, trailing 58-47 with 9:50 remaining before Wake pulled away.

Darius Songaila started the streak with a conventional three-point play during a period in which the Midshipmen were in the midst of sinking nine straight shots from the field.

Then, three-point specialists Dawson and freshman Taron Downey sank four long-range bombs in a row while Navy settled for jump shots inside the line.

"I think we proved we can play against athletic clubs tonight," Navy's Jason Jeanpierre said. "But a couple times we couldn't find where he [Dawson] was and he had a hot hand and took advantage."

When the Midshipmen cooled off, Wake Forest (12-3) pulled away to an 81-57 advantage and the rest was formality en route to its second four-game winning streak of the season.

"They're just a superior team to us," said DeVoe. "Our team is still an enigma, giving up too many points. But I think the quality of opponents has something to do with it."

Navy's 22-point losing margin was actually an improvement from their past three meetings, when the Deacons won by an average of almost 30 points. The series is not scheduled for resumption.

Jehiel Lewis led the Midshipmen, who lost for only the second time in seven home games this season, with 14 points in their final tuneup for Patriot League play.

"I didn't want to play the game at this time after going to Brown Saturday, being here tonight and going to Holy Cross [tomorrow]. But we couldn't find another date," said DeVoe.

WAKE FOREST-Songaila 5-8 8-9 18, Scott 2-7 0-0 4, Hicks 2-5 2-4 7, Howard 6-13 1-2 14, Dawson 7-12 0-0 21, Downey 6-8 0-0 15, Levy 1-2 0-0 2, Danekius 0-0 2-2 2, Murray 0-0 0-0 0, Lepore 2-4 0-0 4. Totals 31-59 13-17 87.

NAVY-J.Lewis 5-11 2-2 14, Moore 2-7 0-0 4, Ebong 4-10 0-0 8, Jeanpierre 2-8 1-1 5, Shepard 2-8 4-5 9, Fernandez 0-0 0-0 0, McCreary 0-0 0-0 0, Charles 0-1 2-2 2, Long 2-3 1-1 5, S.Lewis 0-2 0-0 0, Cummings 1-1 0-0 3, Mathews 3-7 0-0 7, Nero 1-2 0-0 3, Barker 2-6 0-0 5. Totals 24-66 10-11 65.

Halftime-Wake Forest, 37-25. 3-point goals-Wake Forest 12-23 (Dawson 7-11, Downey 3-4, Hicks 1-3, Howard 1-3, Lepore 0-2), Navy 7-21 (J.Lewis 2-4, Cummings 1-1, Barker 1-1, Nero 1-2, Mathews 1-3, Shepard 1-4, Charles 0-1, Long 0-1, Jeanpierre 0-4). Fouled out-None. Rebounds-Wake Forest 39 (Songaila 12), Navy 34 (Moore 8). Assists-Wake Forest 20 (Dawson 6), Navy 12 (Moore 4). Total fouls-Wake Forest 16, Navy 19. A-3,551.

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