Navy can't keep pace with American, 80-58

Rodriguez and Ingram combine to hand Mids their third loss in row

College Basketball

January 15, 2004|By Milton Kent | Milton Kent,SUN STAFF

Navy men's basketball coach Don DeVoe said he knew the Midshipmen were in trouble last night against visiting American at halftime when he saw that the Eagles had already scored 38 points, about 12 fewer than he wanted to give up for the entire game.

But with American point guard Andres Rodriguez driving and dishing at will, and finding shooting guard Andre Ingram for the payoff, DeVoe is likely feeling lucky that the Midshipmen only lost 80-58 before 1,506 at Alumni Hall.

Rodriguez, a 5-foot-11 senior from San Juan, Puerto Rico, set a Patriot League record with 19 assists, the high-water mark in any NCAA game this year, and just three off the all-time collegiate record.

Meanwhile, Ingram, a 6-3 freshman from Richmond, Va., had a career-high 27 points and set an Alumni Hall record for three-pointers in a game with eight, just missing the all-time record for threes against a Navy team.

Time and again, Rodriguez would scoot through the lane and through Navy's 2-3 zone, and find an open man. The Eagles shot 54 percent and hit 14 of 25 three-pointers, sending Navy (3-12, 0-2 Patriot League) to its third straight loss and seventh defeat in its eight games.

"Rodriguez is the best point guard in the league," said sophomore guard David Hooper, who scored 21 for Navy. "What did he have, 19 assists? When you have a point guard penetrate like that, it's just wide-open threes. You can't do anything about it sometimes because he's getting them great shots."

Said DeVoe: "We were not really good enough with the zone to cover. We were making mistakes in what we told our guys to do."

The Eagles (8-8, 2-0), who entered last night's game averaging seven three-pointers per game, hit nine in the first half alone, with Ingram connecting for five threes before halftime.

American opened the game with a 12-2 run, shredding the Mids' 2-3 zone, inside and out. Navy, which turned the ball over on three of its first four possessions, sliced the lead to 25-19 off a Hooper three-pointer with 6:59 remaining.

But Ingram, a 41 percent three-point shooter this season, hit three straight threes in a three-minute span to take the American lead back to 15 -- the largest margin of the half. The Mids got to within 13 twice in the second half before the Eagles pulled away.

"We have to hope that teams are going to miss open shots and that we can score enough," DeVoe said. "This game isn't built on hope. It's built on execution and offense and making good plays. We're out there hoping that other teams can make enough mistakes, and that's not a fun way of going through this basketball season."

AMERICAN -- Draughn 9-11 1-2 19, Kohl 0-1 0-0 0, Rodriguez 4-8 1-2 11, Thomas 5-7 0-0 13, Ingram 9-17 1-2 27, Petrauskas 0-5 1-2 1, Cresnik 3-4 0-1 7, Lekavicius 1-4 0-0 2. Totals 31-57 4-9 80. NAVY -- Fannin 3-8 2-7 8, Baldwin 4-13 0-1 8, Hooper 7-13 3-4 21, Ofori 1-5 0-0 2, Rhoiney 1-5 0-0 2, Fernandez 0-4 0-0 0, Mathews 1-1 0-0 3, White 0-1 2-2 2, Higgins 3-5 4-4 12. Totals 20-55 11-18 58.

Half -- American 38-24. 3-point goals -- American 14-25 (Rodriguez 2-3, Thomas 3-4, Ingram 8-15, Cresnik 1-1, Lekavicius 0-2), Navy 7-22 (Hooper 4-8, Ofori 0-4, Rhoiney 0-2, Fernandez 0-3, Mathews 1-1, Higgins 2-4). Rebounds -- American 33 (Thomas, Cresnik 6), Navy 34 (Baldwin 8). Assists -- American 26 (Rodriguez 19), Navy 15 (Fannin, Ofori 5). A -- 1,506.

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