Mini-streak of Navy ends in 63-52 loss

Ohio's second-half surge drops Mids' mark to 2-6

College Basketball

December 21, 2003|By Bo Smolka | Bo Smolka,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Ohio University's offense clicked for just a few minutes in the second half last night, but, against a struggling Navy playing without its starting point guard, that turned out to be enough as the Bobcats pulled away to a 63-52 win at Alumni Hall.

An 11-0 run midway through the second half proved to be the difference as Navy (2-6) had its modest two-game winning streak ended and fell to 0-6 against Division I competition this year.

George O'Garro scored a career-high 17 points to lead Navy, and Laramie Mergerson added a career-best 14. But Jeff Charles and David Hooper, the Mids' leading scorers, were a combined 3-for-18 from the field and totaled nine points.

Jaivon Harris came off the bench to lead the Bobcats (3-6) with 16 points, including 13 in the second half. Ohio, which also owns a win over Coppin State this year, committed just four turnovers in the second half after turning the ball over 12 times in the first half.

Navy took its biggest lead at 39-34 on a three-pointer from the left corner by O'Garro with 10:45 left, but the Mids hit just one field goal in the next 7:50.

Jeff Halbert's three-pointer with 6:26 left gave the Bobcats the lead for good, starting the decisive, 11-0 run.

"We're young and we don't know how to win quite yet," O'Garro said.

Still, Navy had its chances.

Leading 52-47, Ohio missed the first shot in two straight one-and-one opportunities, but, after the second miss, Diamond Gladney (12 points) stole the ball at the other end and fed Harris, who converted a conventional three-point play with 1:31 left for a 55-47 lead.

The Bobcats didn't miss another free throw, going 8-for-8 from the line in the final 1:02.

Ohio had a 23-22 halftime advantage despite going nearly six minutes without scoring after taking a 9-6 lead.

As has been the case all season, offense didn't come easily for the Mids, particularly with point guard Kwame Ofori sidelined by a shoulder injury sustained two nights ago against Washington College.

"It's obvious we're not where we need to be," Navy coach Don Devoe said.

OHIO- Harbut 3-7 3-4 9, Bridgewater 1-2 0-0 2, Barrett 1-4 0-0 2, Gladney 4-6 3-5 12, Stephens 4-7 2-2 11, Davis 0-0 0-0 0, Halbert 1-2 4-5 7, Annen 0-2 2-2 2, McGowen 1-10-0 2, Harris 4-11 5-5 16. Totals 19-42 19-23 63. NAVY - Green 0-1 0-0 0, O'Garro 8-10 0-0 17, Mergerson 6-10 2-2 14, Hooper 1-11 1-2 4, Charles 2-7 1-3 5, Boatner 2-2 1-1 6, Rhoiney 0-1 0-0 0, Fannin 2-3 0-2 4, Higgins 0-0 0-0 0, Onyekanne 1-4 0-0 2, Baldwin 0-7 0-0 0. Totals 22-56 5-10 52. Half: Ohio, 23-22. 3-point goals: Ohio: 6-14 (Harris 3-9, Gladney 1-2, Stephens 1-1, Halbert 1-1, Annen 0-1), Navy 3-11 (Hooper 1-6, O`Garro 1-3, Boatner 1-1,Charles 0-1). Fouled out: None Rebounds: Ohio 30 (Harris 7), Navy 33 (Mergerson 4). Assists: Ohio: 10 (Harbut 3), Navy 12 (Charles 4). Total fouls: Ohio 17, Navy 18. Att. 1,118.

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