Mids drop 7th straight, suffer 52-50 loss to Army

Navy now last in league after shooting 25 percent

January 31, 2004|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

It was only a game to avoid the Patriot League cellar, but it was a typical Army-Navy slugfest that went down to the final half second.

Army survived the attrition, fending off Navy, 52-50, to break a 14-game losing streak in Annapolis and consign the Midshipmen to last place in the league.

Neither team could put it away at the finish. The Black Knights missed four free throws in the final minute that could have closed the game, and Navy's Kwame Ofori had a three-point attempt rim out with 7.8 seconds remaining.

On Navy's final chance - after Army's Bill Mohr failed on two clinching shots from the foul line - Mohr came back to block an attempt by David Hooper that could have forced overtime. That left 0.3 of a second left after the ball went out of bounds to Navy, but the Midshipmen could not get another shot off.

The game matched the two lowest-scoring teams in the conference and played to expectations as neither could mount enough sustained offense to draw away.

Navy (3-16, 0-6) put together a 12-1 run to jump in front 28-17, its largest lead of the night, just before halftime.

But the Black Knights responded with five straight points to end the half and then had 15 of the first 17 of the second half to soar ahead 37-30. Freshman guard Matt Bell led the surge with three three-pointers.

From there, Navy fought an uphill battle, twice pulling even but never moving ahead.

In losing their seventh in a row, the Midshipmen shot 25 percent from the field and committed 26 turnovers. Army (5-13, 2-4) turned it over 25 times, but hit 17 of 36 (47.2 percent) from the field.

"Our kids get so impatient, and that makes us play erratic basketball," said Navy coach Don DeVoe, who is 25-3 against Army. "We don't try to put a game in limbo where we have to depend on one shot. We took some really bad ones when we had a little cushion. A bad shot is the same as a turnover - same result."

Navy had won 15 of the previous 16 meetings with Army.

ARMY - Mohr 3-3 3-6 9, Jackson 3-8 1-4 7, Bell 5-8 4-9 17, O'Keefe 3-4 4-4 12, Wilson 2-6 1-2 5, Harris 1-2 0-0 2, Owsley 0-2 0-0 0, Dames 0-0 0-0 0, Doleac 0-1 0-0 0, Pawling 0-1 0-0 0, Amadou 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 17-36 13-25 52. NAVY - Green 1-2 0-0 2, Charles 0-3 2-2 2, Fannin 0-3 2-2 2, Hooper 3-9 1-2 10, Ofori 6-16 3-10 15, Fernandez 2-7 2-3 6, Mathews 1-6 1-2 3, O'Garro 1-7 2-4 4, Higgins 0-2 2-2 2, Baldwin 0-3 1-2 1, Paul 0-0 0-0 0, Mergerson 1-2 1-2 3. Totals 15-60 12-20 50.

Halftime-Navy 28-22. 3-point goals-Army 5-12 (Jackson 0-2, Bell 3-5, O'Keefe 2-2, Owsley 0-1, Doleac 0-1, Pawling 0-1), Navy 8-26 (Hooper 3-6, Ofori 3-10, Fernandez 2-3, Mathews 0-4, O'Garro 0-1. Higgins 0-2). Fouled out-Wilson. Rebounds-Army 30 (Mohr 8), Navy 45 (O'Garro 8). Assists- Army 11 (Jackson 4), Navy 9 (Fernandez 3). Turnovers- Army 25, Navy 26. Total fouls-Army 19, Navy 23. A-5,560.

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