Navy gets it only half right in loss

Up by two at break, Mids fall to Holy Cross, 76-61

College Basketball

January 25, 2003|By Kevin Van Valkenburg | Kevin Van Valkenburg,SUN STAFF

It wasn't so long ago that Navy, not Holy Cross, was the pride of the Patriot League.

And for the first 20 minutes last night, the Mids seemed poised to turn back the clock.

But a competitive first half only served to stoke the Crusaders' inner fire, as the defending Patriot League champions dominated the second 20 minutes, cruising to a 76-61 victory over Navy at Alumni Hall.

After trailing 39-37 at halftime, Holy Cross went on a 13-0 run to start the second half, led by point guard Jave Meade, who had 21 points and nine assists.

It was the seventh straight victory for Holy Cross(14-3, 4-0 Patriot League) against Navy (5-12, 1-3). The Mids haven't beaten the Crusaders since Feb. 19, 2000.

"We played about as well as we can play in the first half," said Navy coach Don DeVoe. "But we really struggled to maintain our focus and energy in the second half. Holy Cross really stepped it up defensively. We stopped getting the inside looks we were getting, and Jave Meade just dominated the game in the second half."

Meade and Patrick Whearty, that is. While Meade controlled the tempo from the outside, Whearty locked down Navy post players Scott Long and Francis Ebong on the inside.

Long, the Mids' leading scorer, scored 17 points but did it on 5-for-17 shooting, and after scoring 11 first-half points, Ebong put up just one shot in the entire second half.

"We knew from watching film that Navy has some very good inside players, but in the second half we didn't let them catch it so low," said Whearty, who had 13 points and seven rebounds. "I think we knew at halftime we were going to have to play harder if we wanted to win."

Smarter, too. Holy Cross turned the ball over nine times in the first half but had just five turnovers in the second.

Though preseason Patriot League Player of the Year Tim Szatko had a quiet night (10 points, seven rebounds), Holy Cross spread the ball out and beat Navy for several layups in transition. After shooting 55 percent from the floor in the first half, Navy went just seven of 29 in the second, letting the Crusaders slowly pull away.

"Obviously we played well in the first half, and hopefully we can build on that," said Navy's Jason Jeanpierre, who scored 12 points and had five assists.

"They did a great job of changing their defense, and we didn't adjust in the second half."

HOLY CROSS - Szatko 3-9 4-7 10, Whearty 5-9 3-4 13, Wilson 3-5 0-0 7, Meade 3-5 14-18 21, Kinsey 5-6 0-0 11, Hamilton 0-2 0-0 0, Hurley 0-0 0-0 0, Fingleton 3-4 2-3 8, Lufkin 2-3 2-2 6, Smiley 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 24-43 25-34 76. NAVY - Ebong 5-8 1-3 11, Long 5-17 7-8 17, Moore 3-5 0-0 6, Fernandez 1-6 2-2 4, Jeanpierre 4-7 1-2 12, Hooper 2-6 0-0 4, Ofori 0-0 0-0 0, Mathews 0-2 0-0 0, Fannin 2-4 3-4 7, Cummings 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 232-56 14-19 61. Half - Navy, 39-37. 3-point goals-Holy Cross 3-7 (Szatko 0-1, Wilson 1-1, Meade 1-1, Kinsey 1-2, Hamilton 0-) Navy 3-15 (Long 0-3, Moore 0-1, Fernandez 0-5, Jeanpierre 3-4, Hooper 0-2). Fouled out-Navy (Ebong). Rebounds-Holy Cross 33 (Szatko, Whearty 7), Navy 28 (Ebong 6). Assists-Holy Cross 17 (Meade 9), Navy 16 (Jeanpierre 5). Total fouls-Holy Cross 21, Navy 26. A-2,203.

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