Div. III Gettysburg surprises Mids, 75-69

Bullets' 17-0 run ends 11-game slide at Navy

College Basketball

December 19, 2004|By Kevin Van Valkenburg | Kevin Van Valkenburg,SUN STAFF

For years, Gettysburg College has been little more than a punching bag for the Navy basketball team. Eleven straight times, the Bullets had come to Annapolis, and 11 times they'd gone home defeated, each time by an average of 27 points.

Last night, however, Gettysburg showed just how far Navy's program has fallen in recent years, as the Bullets -- without their leading scorer -- rallied from a 15-point second-half deficit to upset the Midshipmen, 75-69, at Alumni Hall.

It was the first time since 1992 that Gettysburg, a Division III school that does not offer scholarships, had beaten a Division I program.

"I can't say I'm surprised, but I'm still disappointed," said first-year Navy coach Billy Lange. "They're a very good basketball team, one of the best we've played. Our guys played selfishly tonight."

Even though Navy (3-6) has struggled this season -- already having lost to the Virginia Military Institute for the first time in 21 games on Nov. 28 -- it was still surprising to see the Mids fall apart in the second half the way they did.

Gettysburg's leading scorer and best player, forward David Glaser, sat out with a foot injury, and Navy, after a mediocre first half, opened the second half with a 14-2 run to take a 52-37 lead with 11:07 to play.

But when Gettysburg (3-4) switched out of its zone defense and into full-court pressure, Navy began to unravel. The Bullets, led by Mike Spadafora, who finished with a game-high 26 points, went on a 17-0 run. At one point, Navy went nine straight possessions -- over the course of five minutes -- without a basket.

"We knew they were vulnerable to turnovers," said Gettsyburg coach George Peitrie. "We just wanted to put the pressure on them for 94 feet instead of letting them back their way inside of 15 feet. I think that really turned things around."

Spadafora, a transfer from Duquesne, wouldn't let the Mids breathe after the Bullets took a 61-60 lead with 3:08 to play. The sophomore from Richboro, Pa., scored 12 of Gettysburg's final 14 points to close out the victory.

Navy had four players in double figures, led by Laramie Mergreson with 16 points, but the Mids shot just 42 percent and turned it over 25 times.

"We lost our focus," Johnson said. "We're a better team than what we're showing right now."

GETTYSBURG--Pombar 1-3 0-0 3, Fromm 2-7 6-6 11, Jakobe 4-10 1-3 11, Page 5-8 1-1 14, Spadafora 7-12 11-15 26, Whelan 2-4 4-7 8, Pelin 0-0 0-0 0, Redd 0-1 0-0 0, Brady 0-0 0-0 0, Beck 0-3 0-0 0, Sateja 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 22-49 23-32 75. NAVY--Fannin 3-8 3-6 9, Biles 1-2 0-0 2, Johnson 5-12 1-4 12, Mathews 2-6 2-3 7, Green 1-2 0-0 2, Hooper 3-8 2-2 11, Boatner 0-0 0-0 0, O'Garro 2-7 6-7 10, Higgins 0-1 0-0 0, Hudson 0-0 0-0 0, Mergerson 6-10 4-5 16. Totals 23-56 18-27 69. Halftime--Navy 38-35. 3-point goals-- Gettysburg 8-18 (Pombar 1-3, Fromm 1-1, Jakobe 2-5, Page 3-6, Spadafora 1-2, Beck 0-1), Navy 5-12 (Johnson 1-4, Mathews 1-2, Hooper 3-6). Fouled out--Jakobe, Fannin, Mathews, Green. Rebounds--Gettysburg 32 (Spadafora 8), Navy 38 (Johnson 9). Assists-- Gettysburg 12 (Fromm 3, Whelan 3), Navy 12 (Johnson 3, Mathews 3). Total fouls--Gettysburg 27, Navy 29. A--1,076.

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.