Navy gets its revenge, trounces Army, 84-69

After earlier 20-point loss, Mids hit 13 three-pointers

Mathews scores 26 points

February 07, 2005|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

Two weeks earlier, Navy's basketball team had ventured into West Point, N.Y., to absorb an embarrassing 20-point defeat in which it scored a season-low 43 points.

The Midshipmen have been playing with renewed gusto ever since, and yesterday they repaid their debt to archrival Army with an 84-69 victory before 3,523 spirited fans at Alumni Hall and a regional television audience.

After that humiliating loss Jan. 23, Navy (7-15, 3-6) rebounded to beat Colgate and upset Bucknell for its first two Patriot League wins, and on Friday it nearly added league-leading Holy Cross to its list of recent victims.

The domination of the last-place Black Knights (3-18, 1-8) was just additional evidence that the improving Mids may have to be reckoned with next month in the league tournament.

"I was proud of our guys. There was a lot of pressure on them to win this game and they kept their heads up when [Army] made its runs," said Midshipmen coach Billy Lange.

The final score was deceiving in a streaky game. Navy bolted to a 12-1 lead, widened the margin to as many as 15, then watched Army unleash a 13-0 streak to end the first half and close to within 34-32.

Army pulled even for the only time at 37 before the Midshipmen took off again to a 51-39 advantage. The solid three-point shooting of freshman Grant Carter - he sank an Army-Navy record seven straight - helped draw the Black Knights to within 71-67 with 3:49 remaining before Navy sealed the decision with a key three-pointer by Greg Sprink and 10 free throws.

This time, the Midshipmen didn't try to force the ball inside against Army's packed-in defense. They attempted 34 long-range shots, second most in school history, and hit 13 of them, tied for the second most ever. Taj Mathews led a parade of five Navy players in double figures with 26 points by hitting six three-pointers. Sprink had four from beyond the arc and 14 points.

"The last time, against the exact same zone, we stalled our momentum," Lange said. "This time I told them to keep shooting the threes."

"We had a lot of energy on both offense and defense. We brought it on both sides of the ball," Mathews said. "After the way we played up there, this is a big step for us."

ARMY-Harris 3-5 6-6 12, Wallace 3-4 1-2 7, Jackson 1-3 0-0 2, Bell 5-16 4-6 16, Hodgson 0-0 0-0 0, Stoll 0-0 0-0 0, Fredrick 0-0 0-0 0, Owsley 0-0 0-0 0, Sanert 0-0 0-0 0, Sinning 4-10 1-5 9, Dietz 1-2 0-0 2, Carter 7-13 0-0 21, Brown 0-0 0-0 0, Engstrom 0-0 0-0 0, Sewell 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 24-53 12-19 69.

NAVY-O'Garro 5-6 1-3 11, Fannin 2-5 8-13 12, Johnson 3-11 4-4 12, Mathews 7-16 6-6 26, Sprink 5-13 0-0 14, Hooper 1-6 4-4 7, Green 0-0 0-0 0, Rhoiney 0-1 0-0 0, Mergerson 1-4 0-1 2. Totals 24-62 23-31 84. Halftime - Navy 34, Army 32. 3-point goals - Army 9-23 (Harris 0-1, Bell 2-8, Sinning 0-2, Carter 7-12). Navy 13-34 (Johnson 2-7, Mathews 6-14, Sprink 4-8, Hooper 1-5). Rebounds - Army 29 (Harris 6), Navy 47 (Sprink 10). Assists - Army 15 (Jackson 4), Navy 13 (Fannin 4). Fouled out - Wallace. Total fouls - Army 24, Navy 18. A - 3,523.

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.