Holy Cross ends Navy season, 59-41

Mids' 41 points are fewest in a Patriot tourney game

College Basketball

March 03, 2002|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

UPPER MARLBORO -- Navy's men closed their basketball season yesterday with a performance as drab as their 10-20 final record.

In the Patriot League quarterfinals at the Show Place Arena, the Midshipmen set a dubious record for the fewest points in the league tournament, falling to defending champion Holy Cross, 59-41.

It was the lowest point total by a Navy team since Feb. 10, 1979, a span of 673 games. Penn State won that defensive showdown, 43-40.

"This was really a bad game," said Navy coach Don DeVoe, whose team completed its worst season since 1992-93, when his first squad went 8-19.

"I couldn't find anything I liked about it except that it ended and the bleeding stopped. Holy Cross came in here off a big win over American, and we came in after losing the Star Game to Army.

"We were like two cars passing in the night, one going north and one going south. They're very disciplined, just a quality team."

Second-seeded Holy Cross (16-14) advanced to tonight's semifinals against Bucknell, which defeated Army, 70-59, last night.

The Crusaders' superior size, talent and offensive discipline were important elements in their sixth straight win over Navy and eighth in their past 10 starts this season.

Ranked 11th nationally in scoring defense, Holy Cross showcased that by holding Navy without a field goal for nearly 10 minutes to end the first half and the first five minutes of the second.

It marked the second consecutive game in which a Crusaders opponent (American had 44) failed to reach 45 points.

"The last week of the season we played exceptional defense, as well as we played it last year," said Holy Cross coach Ralph Willard.

The Midshipmen were within 17-16 when the offensive drought began. When it ended, they were down 36-19, an almost insurmountable margin against an opponent as resourceful and disciplined as Holy Cross.

On attack, Holy Cross wasn't very pretty, either, shooting 37.8 percent and going 1-for-11 from three-point range, but All-Patriot forward Tim Szatko (19 points, nine rebounds) and guard Brian Wilson (12 points, four steals) were sufficient to offset Navy's ineptitude.

"It didn't seem like we had one of our big runs," Szatko said. "The lead kind of just kept building and building."

The Midshipmen were never closer than 11 after halftime while finishing their first 20-loss season since 1991-92 with their eighth defeat in nine games.

They played without Jehiel Lewis, the leading scorer, but it wouldn't have made a bit of difference had he recovered from a concussion to dress.

The result denied DeVoe his 500th victory for the fifth straight game.

"This has been my toughest year at Navy in terms of us not having much going in the conference," he said. "We never bounced back from that loss to Lafayette at home [92-79 on Jan. 23] when they missed five shots in the second half.

"You have to bounce back from your low points or you're lost."

NAVY--Ikpa 1-3 1-2 3, Ebong 1-4 0-2 2, Long 4-6 0-0 8, Jeanpierre 4-13 0-4 11, Shepard 0-6 0-0 0, Ofori 1-3 0-0 2, Charles 0-0 0-0 0, S. Lewis 2-4 1-2 5, Cummings 0-1 0-0 0, Mathews 1-2 0-0 2, Bania 1-2 0-0 2, Nero 0-0 0-0 0, Barker 1 -5 0-0 2, Moore 0-4 2-2 2. Totals 16-53 4-12 41. HOLY CROSS--Szatko 6-10 7-10 19, Lufkin 3-8 1-1 7, Wilson 5-7 1-2 12, Serravalle 1-8 2-2 4, Meade 1-3 5-6 7, Sanchez 0-0 7-8 7, Jerz 0-0 0-0 0, Kinsey 0-1 0-0 0, Hurley 0-0 0-0 0, Smiley 0-3 0-0 0, Whearty 1-5 1-3 3. Totals 17-45 24-32 59. Halftime--Holy Cross, 28-19. 3-point goals--Navy 5-12 (Jeanpierre 3 -5, Long 1-1, Barker 1-2, Shepard 0-1, Cummings 0-1, Mathews 0-1, Bania 0-1), Holy Cross 1-11 (Wilson 1-2, Meade 0-1, Szatko 0-2, Smiley 0-2, Serravalle 0-4). Fouled out--None. Rebounds--Navy 30 (Ebong 9), Holy Cross 42 (Szatko 9). Assists--Navy 5 (Shepard 2), Holy Cross 11 (Meade 3). Total fouls-- Navy 25, Holy Cross 17. A--NA.

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