American sends Navy packing in overtime

Hooper's last-second shot falls short as Midshipmen lose in quarterfinals, 85-83

College Basketball

March 05, 2005|By Christopher Nagy | Christopher Nagy,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

LEWISBURG, Pa. - Navy's David Hooper, who appeared to be fouled when he launched what would have been the game-winning shot, missed a three-pointer in overtime, and No. 6 Navy fell to No. 3 American, 85-83, in the Patriot League tournament quarterfinals at Bucknell's Sojka Pavilion.

"We had a very good officaiting crew, so why they would not call a foul on a 25-footer by someone who had already hit five treys is beyond me," Navy coach Billy Lange said. "But we did not get the call."

American will now play in the semifinal game tomorrow afternoon at 1 p.m. against No. 2 Bucknell.

Navy ended the season at 9-19 with two consecutive losses to the Eagles.

The Mids concluded the regular season with an 84-77 road loss to American on Feb. 28.

"We knew after the first two games we were going to have our hands full," American coach Jeff Jones said. "Little did we know we were going to be in a game like this."

Navy's Corey Johnson had made a three-pointer as time expired in regulation to tie the score at 77 and force the extra period.

The problem for the Mids, besides the foul trouble (four players fouled out of the game), was guarding American's Matej Cresnik. The 6-foot-9 senior was unstoppable off the screen and had 20 points at halftime. He finished with a career-high 30 points.

"I have always said that individually, American has the best players in the league from one to five," Lange said. "With them, it is pick your poison."

The game followed the same pattern all night. American would take the lead, Navy would cut it to a few points and then American would make the lead larger.

Overall, the lead changed hands 13 times.

In overtime, Hooper tied the game at 83-83 with a three-pointer, his fifth of the game, with 24 seconds left.

American's Linas Lekavicius then drove the lane for a layup and an 85-83 lead with 4.7 seconds left.

Navy had one more chance, but Hooper's three-pointer was no good.

Fannin and Sprink each scored 20 points for Navy. Hooper added 17, all after the first half.

NAVY - Fannin 8-11 4-9 20, Sprink, 5-7 7-8 20, Hooper 6-14 0-0 17, O'Garro 3-6 2-3 8, Mathews 2-7 0-1 6, Johnson 2-7 1-2 6, Mergerson 1-2 2-3 4, Baldwin 1-1 0-0 2, Rhoiney 0-1 0-0 0; Green 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 28-56 16-26 83. AMERICAN - Cresnik 7-11 11-13 30, Ingram 5-13 2-4 13, Petrauskas 5-7 3-5 13, Lekavivius 5-11 2-3 12, Thomas 2-8 4-6 8, Lewis 2-3 0-0 4, Graham 1-3 1-1 3, Billbe 1-3 0-0 2, Okpwae 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 28-61 23-32 85. Halftime - American, 42-35. End of regulation - 77-77. 3-point goals -Navy 11-25 (Hooper 5-11, Sprink 3-5, Mathews 2-5, Johnson 1-3; Rhoiney 0-1), American 6-22 (Cresnik 5-9, Ingram 1-7, Lekavicius 0-1, Thomas 0-3, Lewis 0-1, Graham 0-1). Fouled out - O'Garro, Sprink, Mathews, Johnson. Rebounds - Navy 31 (Hooper, Fannin, Mathews 5), American 40 (Cresnik 8). Assists - Navy 13 (Johnson5), American 16 (Lekavicius 6). Total fouls -Navy 27, American 24.

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