Mids end four-game skid with 90-81 win vs. Mount

Defense on Thompson key to Navy's 4th win of season

College Basketball

December 22, 2004|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

EMMITSBURG - Three players recorded double doubles to help Navy break a four-game losing streak by defeating Mount St. Mary's, 90-81, last night at Knott Arena.

The victory helped erase the memory of Saturday's loss to Division III Gettysburg.

The Midshipmen (4-6) won the game mainly on the boards and at the foul line, but also ran their up-tempo offense effectively and had five players score in double figures. Corey Johnson scored 15 points, and David Hooper added 10.

Matt Fannin (19 points, 10 rebounds), Greg Sprink (14, 10) and Laramie Mergerson (20, 10) compiled the double doubles and helped the Midshipmen to a 51-26 rebounding edge.

"I think they just outworked us and were really physical," said Mountaineers coach Milan Brown.

Navy's defense also played well, holding Mountaineers leading scorer Landy Thompson (Archbishop Spalding) to three points in the first half. Thompson got two early fouls and played only 15 minutes in the half while taking just three shots.

"We executed our game plan against Thompson to perfection," said Navy coach Billy Lange. "It shows a lot about our character to be able to bounce back on the road against a team I think will give a lot of people problems in the Northeast Conference."

The Midshipmen got a quality performance from Sprink, who started for the first time and scored more points than he had all season.

After scoring only 10 points in the Mids' first nine games, he scored 11 in the first half and was a thorn in the Mount's side by hitting a pair of three-pointers during Navy's rally from a 7-0 deficit.

Sprink was 0-for-5 from three-point range entering the game but went 3-for-6 from there last night.

Lange said the 6-foot-3 freshman earned a start by showing he could play tough defense in practice.

"I just wanted to make the most of my opportunity," said Sprink.

The Midshipmen eventually pulled ahead for good with 5:24 left in the first half on a three-point play by George O'Garro that made it 30-28.

David Hooper, who entered the game as Navy's leading scorer with a 13.4 point average, added a three-pointer for a 33-28 Navy lead. Hooper's basket was part of a 17-1 run to end the half, putting the Mids up 41-29 at the break.

The Mountaineers (3-5), who lost their second straight game, scored only one point in the final 6:13 of the first half.

"They came out hard and outworked us," said Mount St. Mary's guard Chris Sumner. "We came out strong and expected that to continue, but they turned up their intensity and we didn't match them."

NAVY - Fannin 5-8 9-13 19, Biles 1-2 0-0 2, Johnson 5-13 5-7 15, Mathews 1-4 0-0 3, Sprink 4-9 3-5 14, Hooper 2-7 4-5 10, Green 0-1 0-0 0, O'Garro 3-3 1-1 7, Mergerson 9-13 2-3 20. Totals 30-60 24-34 90. MOUNT ST. MARY'S - Durr 3-8 1-2 7, Butler 3-6 3-4 9, Kearse 3-10 1-3 7, Thompson 6-10 4-4 16, Sumner 3-5 1-2 10, Johnson 7-10 0-3 15, Vann 1-6 0-0 2, Carbone 0-2 0-0 0, Cook 4-9 2-2 13, Loughry 1-3 0-1 2. Totals 31-69 12-21 81. Halftime - Navy, 41-29. 3-point goals - Navy 6-17 (Johnson 0-3, Mathews 1-3, Sprink 3-6, Hooper 2-5); Mount St. Mary's 7-24 (Butler 0-1, Kearse 0-2, Thompson 0-3, Sumner 3-5, Johnson 1-3, Vann 0-3, Carbone 0-2, Cook 3-5). Fouled out - Mathews, Butler, A. Johnson. Rebounds - Navy 51 (Fannin, Sprink, Mergerson 10); Mount St. Mary's 26 (Durr 7). Assists - Navy 14 (Sprink 4); Mount St. Mary's 15 (Sumner 6); Total fouls - Navy 24; Mount St. Mary's 28. A - 1,132.

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