Navy rights ship, tops sinking Loyola, 58-54

Mids get 1st Division I win

Greyhounds' losing streak hits 23, is nation's longest

College Basketball

January 04, 2004|By Nathan Max | Nathan Max,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

The 10th time was a charm for Navy and a curse for Loyola yesterday afternoon in Annapolis.

Senior guard Jeff Charles scored a team-high 16 points to lead the Midshipmen to a 58-54 victory over the Greyhounds, Navy's first victory over an NCAA Division I opponent in 10 tries this season.

The Midshipmen (3-9) ended a four-game losing streak and won for the first time since posting consecutive victories over Division III schools Gettysburg and Washington College last month.

Loyola (0-10) has lost 23 straight, the longest current streak in Division I men's basketball. The Greyhounds are off to their worst start since the 1982-83 season, when they lost their first 17 games. The last time Loyola won was on Jan. 19, a 74-69 overtime victory over Rider.

"It just feels good to get a win. I don't care who it's against," said Charles, who shot 8-for-14 from the field and added six rebounds, five steals, four assists and a blocked shot.

Navy sophomore guard David Hooper scored 13 points as the Midshipmen shot 48 percent from the field (26-for-54). Freshman center Carlton Baldwin and senior guard Kwame Ofori each added nine points.

Loyola struggled from the field, shooting 19-for-60 (32 percent). The Greyhounds were 5-for-21 (24 percent) from three-point range and missed several uncontested layups. But the Midshipmen continued to struggle from the free-throw line, and that kept Loyola in the game until the end. Navy shot 18 percent from the line, missing nine of its 11 free throws, all in the second half.

Navy started strong, unlike most of its games this season. The Midshipmen used an 18-2 first-half run to take their biggest lead, 28-14 with 3:37 remaining. During the run, Loyola went more than nine minutes without a field goal.

"We've been playing from behind for so long that it was nice to see this team get a lead," Navy coach Don DeVoe said. "It's been such a long period of not getting this thing over the hump, so to see this team come out and get this win was pretty rewarding."

Navy led by 13 early in the second half, but Loyola rallied behind leading scorer Charlie Bell's team-high 16 points. Down 57-54, the Greyhounds had a chance to tie at the end, but Baldwin blocked a three-point attempt by sophomore Sean Corrigan with six seconds left.

LOYOLA-Allen 3-9 1-2 7, Bossman 2-9 0-0 6, Chivers 3-7 0-0 6, Nijaradze 1-5 0-0 2, James 1-8 0-0 3, Dixon 3-5 2-3 8, Bell 5-12 5-6 16, Corrigan 1-5 1-2 4, Tuck 0-0 2-2 2. Totals 19-60 11-15 54. NAVY-Charles 8-14 0-1 16, Baldwin 4-8 1-4 9, Hooper 5-9 0-0 13, Ofori 4-9 0-0 9, Rhoiney 0-3 0-2 0, Fernandez 0-3 0-0 0, Mathews 2-3 1-3 5, Green 0-0 0-0 0, Fannin 2-2 0-0 4, Higgins 1-2 0-0 2, Mergerson 0-1 0-1 0. Totals 26-54 2-11 58. Half: Navy, 33-21. 3-point goals-Loyola 5-21 (Allen 0-1, Bossman 2-5, James 1-4, Dixon 0-2, Bell 1-5, Corrigan 1-4), Navy 4-16 (Charles 0-1, Hooper 3-6, Ofori 1-6, Rhoiney 0-1, Fernandez 0-2. Fouled out-Allen. Rebounds-Loyola 43 (Chivers 8), Navy 34 (Charles, Baldwin 6). Assists-Loyola 7 (Chivers 2), Navy 17 (Mathews 5). Total fouls-Loyola 18, Navy 17. A-1,059.

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