Jeanpierre, Navy find range, 79-74

His 29 help top Lafayette, halt Mids' six-game skid

College Basketball

February 28, 2003|By Kevin Van Valkenburg | Kevin Van Valkenburg,SUN STAFF

It has been a strange and frustrating season for Navy captain Jason Jeanpierre. Last night he managed to erase a few of the bad memories.

Jeanpierre scored a career-high 29 points and hit six three-pointers, helping Navy stop a six-game losing streak with a 79-74 victory over Lafayette at Alumni Hall last night.

The win was particularly satisfying for Jeanpierre, considering how he has struggled at times this year. The senior averaged only 10.3 points a contest after coming into the year as the team's top returning scorer, and twice this season (against American and Colgate) he's been shut out. He was benched at one point, and, after Navy (7-19, 3-10 Patriot League) lost to American by three points, coach Don DeVoe summed up his play succinctly: "Right now, he stinks."

Not last night.

Jeanpierre went 6-for-10 from behind the arc and scored 21 of his points in the second half to help the Mids erase a 10-point deficit at halftime. Kwame Ofori added 19 points and handed out seven assists.

Lafayette (12-14, 6-7) had three players score in double figures, led by Justin DeBerry with 20, but even shooting 52 percent wasn't enough because Navy owned the second half. The Mids shot 57 percent and out-scored the Leopards 48-33.

Things didn't start well for Navy, as the Leopards looked sharper, especially from deep. Four different Lafayette players nailed a three-pointer in the first half. At one pointWinston Davis, Andrew Pleick and Drew Dawson did it on three consecutive possessions to help the Leopards build a 33-19 lead.

As a team, Lafayette hit seven of 15 three-pointers and shot 60 percent from the floor in the first half; the Mids hit only 38 percent of their shots.

But things started to change as Navy staged a mini-rally before halftime, which seemed to carry over into the second half. Taj Mathews and Ofori hit consecutive three-pointers to pull the Mids within 10 points before intermission, and Navy looked like a different team after coming out of the locker room, tearing off a 13-0 run.

LAFAYETTE - Farrell 3-4 3-3 9, Dill 5-7 4-6 14, DeBerry 8-14 0-0 20, Pleick 2-6 0-0 5, Davis 6-13 2-5 18, Dawson 1-2 0-0 3, Capusan 1-4 3-3 5. Totals 26-50 12-17 74.

NAVY - Ebong 2-6 3-5 7, Long 2-5 0-0 4, Moore 2-5 2-3 6, Jeanpierre 9-15 5-5 29, Mathews 2-6 2-2 8, Hooper 0-3 0-0 0, Ofori 7-11 0-0 19, Fannin 2-3 0-0 4, Cummings 0-1 0-0 0, Onyekanne 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 27-57 12-15 79. Half - Lafayette, 41-31. 3-point goals - Lafayette 10-23(Farrell 0-1, DeBerry 4-9, Bleick 1-3, Davis 4-9, Dawson 1-1), Navy 13-27 (Moore 0-1, Jeanpierre 6-10, Mathews 2-6, Hooper 0-2, Ofor1 5-8). Rebounds - Lafayette 26 (Davis 6), Navy 33 (Moore 6). Assists - Lafayette 21 (Pleick 8), Navy 20 (Ofori 7). A - 1,870.

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