Colgate scores last 7 to deal Navy `absolutely pitiful' loss

Frustrated DeVoe unloads after 53-48 home setback

January 27, 2003|By Kevin Van Valkenburg | Kevin Van Valkenburg,SUN STAFF

Frustrated and lacking answers, Navy basketball coach Don DeVoe was uncharacteristically blunt when asked to describe his team after yesterday's 53-48 loss to Colgate.

"We were just absolutely pitiful today," DeVoe said after watching his team turn the ball over 27 times. "We did a miserable job taking care of the basketball today. This is just the pits."

Things didn't go well early for Navy, as Colgate opened the game with a 16-4 run and hit eight of its first 11 shots from the floor. Howard Blue, a 6-foot-7 junior forward from Washington, led the way, muscling inside for 10 first-half points, as the Raiders looked poised to run away.

But after getting down 28-13, the Mids finally showed some life. Francis Ebong ignited the crowd with an open-court dunk after a steal, and freshman Matt Fanin scored six points during a 13-6 run that pulled Navy within 32-26 at halftime.

"We jumped out to a great start early, but you can't expect to keep a team down the entire game," said Blue, who led all scorers with 19 points. "We had a big letdown. Even though we were up six going into the locker room, it really felt they were in control."

The feeling wouldn't last. Though Navy (5-13, 1-4 Patriot League) continued to pound the ball inside to Ebong (15 points) and Scott Long (15 points), sloppy guard play eventually did in the Mids. Navy's second-leading scorer, Jason Jeanpierre, got in foul trouble and didn't score a point, and replacements Kwame Ofori, Jeff Charles and Marcell Cummings combined for 12 turnovers and just five points.

"We just don't have anybody who is comfortable doing anything with the basketball," DeVoe said.

Despite its troubles, Navy scraped together enough points to take a 48-46 lead with 5:19 to play before the wheels really fell off. Colgate (8-10, 3-2) went on a 7-0 run to close out the game while Navy turned it over five times on its final six possessions. Max Linebaugh added 13 points for Colgate, which out-rebounded the Mids 29-23, including 16 offensive rebounds.

"All around, we're just not getting it done," Long said. "I feel like I've said about all there is to be said after bad games this year. We ran out of gas today."

COLGATE--Blue 8-13 3-4 19, Zidar 2-4 1-2 6, Ballard 0-0 0-0 0, Hardy 4-7 0-1 11, Sullivan 0-5 0-0 0, Williams 1-1 0-0 2, Fox 0-1 0-0 0, Linebaugh 6-11 0-1 13, Marek 0-2 0-0 0, Reed 1-8 0-0 0, Shirley 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 22-53 4-8 53. NAVY--Ebong 7-10 1-2 15, Long 6-10 3-3 15, Moore 1-2 0-0 2, Fernandez 2-5 0-0 4, Jeanpierre 0-2 0-0 0, Ofori 0-0 0-0 0, McCreary 0-0 0-0 0, Charles 1-2 3-4 5, Fannin 2-3 3-3 7, Cummings 0-2 0-0 0, Mergerson 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 19-36 10-12 48.

Halftime--Colgate, 32-26. 3-point goals--Colgate 5-17 (Hardy 3-5, Linebaugh 1-4, Sullivan 0-2, Zidar 1-2, Marek 0-1, Reed 0-3), Navy 0-3 (Fernandez, 0-1, Jeanpierre 0-1, Charles 0-1). Fouled out--Jeanpierre. Rebounds--Colgate 29 (Blue 7), Navy 23 (Ebong 8). Assists--Colgate 12 (Ballard 3), Navy 12 (Charles 3).Total fouls--Colgate 16, Navy 15. A--1,716.

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