Men's Basketball Faces Holy Cross in Patriot League Finals
3/8/2001 - Men's Basketball
Men's Basketball Faces Holy Cross in Patriot League Finals
Game 31 - Navy (19-11/9-3) at Holy Cross (21-7/10-2)
Date - Friday, March 9
Time - 4:30 p.m. Eastern
Arena - Hart Recreation Center (3,600)
TV Announcers - Dewayne Staats (play-by-play) and Bob Wenzel (color analyst)
Radio - WNAV-1430 AM (Bob Socci - play-by-play)
Internet - www.broadcast.com; www.wnav.com
Officials - To Be Announced
Holy Cross Sports Information - Larry Napolitano (508) 793-2583/2309 fax
Press Row Phone - (508) 793-3980
Travel Headquarters - Crowne Plaza Hotel Worcester (508) 791-1600/1796 fax
Navy Probable Starters 2000-01 Overall Stats
F 33 Chris Williams, Sr., 6-5, 205, Savannah, Ga. 17.6 ppg, 6.1 rpg
F 42 Robert Reeder, Sr., 6-8, 225, Pasadena, Calif. 7.7 ppg, 4.7 rpg
C 34 Michael Cunningham, Sr., 6-11, 250, San Antonio, Texas 4.9 ppg, 4.7 rpg
G 5 Reggie Skipworth, Sr., 6-1, 190, Chattanooga, Tenn. 3.6 ppg, 1.8 apg
G 24 John Williams, Sr., 6-5, 213, Annapolis, Md. 5.3 ppg, 2.7 rpg
Key Midshipmen Reserves
G 12 Jason Jeanpierre, So., 6-3, 195, Clifton Park, N.Y. 5.8 ppg, 1.4 rpg
G 15 Jehiel Lewis, Jr., 6-3, 195, Houston, Texas 8.8 ppg, 4.0 rpg
G 20 Demond Shepard, Jr., 6-1, 176, Albany, N.Y. 5.1 ppg, 1.6 apg
C 23 Francis Ebong, So., 6-8, 225, Omaha, Neb. 5.3 ppg, 3.9 rpg
F 30 Scott Long, So., 6-6, 225, Newbury Park, Calif. 3.1 ppg, 1.6 rpg
F 45 Kyle Barker, So., 6-7, 225, Lyons, Mich. 8.4 ppg, 2.8 rpg
Navy's Patriot League Tournament History
Entering Friday's championship contest against Holy Cross, the Midshipmen hold a 13-6 all-time record in Patriot League Tournament action, including a 1-0 mark against the Crusaders (1994, 93-91 OT) in tournament play. Navy captured the tournament title in 1994, '97 and '98 and finished as the runner-up in 1995 and 2000.
In head-to-head Patriot League Tournament matchups, Navy is 0-1 against former league member Fordham, 3-1 against Army, 3-0 against Bucknell, 3-2 against Colgate, 1-0 against Holy Cross, 2-1 against Lafayette and 1-1 against Lehigh.
Navy In Championship Games
Navy has appeared in the championship game of the Patriot League Tournament in six of the last eight years (including the 2001 final). The only two games in which Navy has not made it to the tournament championship game in that span were the two times it lost in the No. 2 vs. No. 7 game in 1996 and 1999. Navy claimed the Patriot League championship in 1994, '95, '97, '98, while losing to Lafayette in 1999 and 2000.
The Mids own a 3-2 mark in Patriot League Championships, having won two of the last three in which they were involved. All three of those championship wins were played at home in the friendly confines of Alumni Hall. Meanwhile, Navy's two championship losses were played on the road - 1995 at Colgate, 68-63 and 2000 at Lafayette, 87-61.
Holy Cross has played in the championship bout just twice, owning a 1-1 record. The Crusaders defeated Bucknell, 98-73, in 1993 - the only time a visiting team has won the Patriot League Championship - and in 1996, Colgate posted a 74-65 triumph over the Crusaders.
Odds Stacked Against Mids
In 10 years of holding a Patriot League Tournament, the visiting team has triumphed just once. Holy Cross defeated Bucknell, 98-73, in 1993 - the first year in which the championship was held at the site of the highest-seeded team in the final. In the six championships since that upset, Navy has been victorious three times at Alumni Hall, Colgate has won the final twice at Cotterell Court and defending Patriot League Champion Lafayette has won back-to-back championships at A.P. Kirby Sports Center.
Navy Defends Home Court
Going into last weekend's quarterfinals and semifinals, the Midshipmen had never lost a game played at Alumni Hall in tournament action. Navy came out of the weekend, upholding that achievement. Navy posted wins over Army (92-73) and Bucknell (88-64) to keep its unblemished mark on its home court and is now 9-0 in games played at Alumni Hall. Speaking of unblemished records, Navy also kept its undefeated mark in semifinal action, improving to 6-0.
Patriot League Tournament Records
Several Patriot League Tournament records were either broken or tied in last weekend's action by the Midshipmen. The following is a run down of those records.
Navy Patriot League Tournament Records (Individual):
Three-Pointers Made - tied by Kyle Barker's five against Bucknell (M4)
Blocks - Michael Cunningham set the record with five against Army (M3)
Navy Patriot League Tournament Records (Team):
Field Goals Made - 32 tied against Bucknell (M4)
Rebounds - 56 set against Army (M3)
Assists - 17 tied against Bucknell (M4)
Blocks - 9 set against Army (M3)
Patriot League Tournament Records (Team):
Rebounds - Tied record with 56 - originally set March 2, 1996 in a matchup between Bucknell and Lafayette
The Holy Cross Roundup
Head Coach - Ralph Willard (Holy Cross '67)
Career Record - 175-149 (11th Year)
Holy Cross Record - 31-25 (Second Year)
Starters Returning (99-00 stats) - 5 - Josh Sankes (14.1 ppg, 11.9 rpg), Tim Szatko (11.4 ppg, 5.9 rpg), Ryan Serravalle (9.3 ppg, 3.1 rpg), Brian Wilson (8.7 ppg, 2.4 rpg), Guillermo Sanchez (3.5 ppg, 3.9 rpg)
Starters Lost - None
Holy Cross Probable Starters 2000-01 Stats
F 35 Tim Szatko, So., 6-8, 220, Naperville, Ill. 11.7 ppg, 6.8 rpg
F 44 Juan Pegues, Sr., 6-6, 210, Aberdeen, Md. 6.0 ppg, 4.6 rpg
C 40 Josh Sankes, Sr., 7-1, 275, Buffalo, N.Y. 12.7 ppg, 9.3 rpg
G 13 Ryan Serravalle, Jr., 6-0, 170, Thorold, Ontario 11.1 ppg, 2.6 apg
G 32 Jared Curry, Sr., 6-5, 215, Braintree, Mass. 8.0 ppg, 2.5 apg
Key Crusader Reserves
G 3 Brian Wilson, So., 6-2, 185, Plainfield, N.J. 5.0 ppg, 1.2 apg
G 15 Jave Meade, Fr., 6-1, 180, Queensbridge, N.Y. 7.3 ppg, 3.0 apg
C 45 Patrick Whearty, So., 6-9, 245, Poughkeepsie, N.Y. 6.5 ppg, 5.2 rpg
The Skinny on Holy Cross
The biggest difference between last year's 10-18 Holy Cross team and this year's 21-7 Crusader squad is that Patriot League Coach of the Year Ralph Willard's 2000-01 team has stayed relatively injury free. Last season, Ryan Serravalle, Patrick Whearty, Juan Pegues, Jared Curry and Dekker McKeever all missed a good portion of the season because of injuries.
The Crusaders won the Patriot League outright for the first time in their history with a 10-2 mark, accompanied by a league-leading 21-7 overall mark. Holy Cross has won 12 of its last 15, but have lost two of its last three. Boston University tripped the Crusaders, 60-51, Feb. 20, and the league's last-place team, Army, upset Holy Cross at West Point, 78-75, Feb. 24. Holy Cross, though, came to the Patriot League Tournament determined, as it coasted past Lehigh, 69-57, in the second semifinal Sunday afternoon in Annapolis.
Senior center Josh Sankes played like a potential Patriot League Player-of-the-Year candidate early on, however, has been slowed with injury as of late. He is averaging a team-high 12.7 points and is accompanied by his league-high 9.3 rebounds per game. The seven-footer is shooting 56 percent from the field and 56.7 percent from the free-throw line. He leads the league in both rebounding and blocks (2.26 b/g) and is nationally ranked in rebounds per game.
Ryan Serravalle is Holy Cross' top three-point shooter, hitting 34 treys and is the Crusaders' third-leading scorer with 11.1 points per game. He shoots 80 percent (124-for-155) from the charity stripe and owns the seventh-best league three-point field goal shooting mark of 38.2 percent. Serravalle is one of the better playmakers on this squad, dishing out 2.6 assists per game.
Sophomore Tim Szatko, the Patriot League Player of the Year, has continued where he left off last season when he was named the Patriot League Rookie of the Year. He is averaging 11.7 points and 6.8 rebounds per outing - the league's fourth-best rebounding mark.
A few others to keep an eye on are Patrick Whearty, who is averaging 6.5 points and 5.2 boards a game, and freshman Jave Meade who is adding 7.1 points a game and has dealt out a team-high three assists per game. Meanwhile, he owns the third-best assist-to-turnover ratio at 1.44.
Category Navy - Holy Cross
Points/Gm 75.8 - 67.8
FG% 44.3% (785-1772) - 44.7% (595-1331)
3FG% 30.0% (134-447) - 34.1% (121-355)
FT% 65.1% (570-875) - 65.4% (587-897)
RB/Gm 39.6 - 38.6
A/Gm 11.5 - 12.8
TO/Gm 18.8 - 17.0
BLK/Gm 4.6 - 5.2
STL/Gm 9.6 - 6.3
Last Time Out Vs. Holy Cross
Holy Cross used its hot first-half shooting, combined with accurate free-throw shooting in the second half to hand the Mids their first conference loss at home in 15 games, 77-67, Feb. 14.
The Crusaders shot a scorching 58.6 percent (17-for-29) from the floor to help give them an early lead. Tim Szatko, the game's leading scorer with 21, posted 15 of those points in the first half on 6-for-8 shooting. Navy, who shot 40.7 percent in the first half tied the game six times in the first half and took the lead briefly with five minutes left. The Crusaders went on an 11-3 run to close the half, which included a three-pointer by Szatko with 44 ticks left on the clock.
Down by just five at the half (39-34), Navy allowed Holy Cross to increase the lead to 12 five minutes into the second half thanks to back-to-back three-pointers by backup center Patrick Whearty and Jared Curry.
Holy Cross led by as many as 16 in the second half, but Navy cut the lead to seven with 1:13 left in the game. The Mids looked several times to put up threes - none of which fell. Navy was then forced to foul in the last minute with Holy Cross hitting 7 of its 10 tosses.
The Crusaders shot just 22.2 percent in the second half, making just four field goals. Twenty-eight of their 38 second-half points came from the free-throw line.
Four Mids produced double-digit scoring efforts, including Chris Williams' team-high 14 points. Williams added six rebounds, three steals and two assists. Demond Shepard tied his career high with 10 points, hitting 4-for-6 from the field, including a three-pointer. Meanwhile, Kyle Barker and Francis Ebong came off the bench to add 10 apiece. Both players also grabbed six rebounds.
The Coach's Corner -
1999-2000 Patriot League Coach of the Year
Don DeVoe (Ohio State '64) is in his ninth season at the helm of the Navy men's basketball program. During his tenure in Annapolis, he has amassed a 161-97 (.624) mark. In the process, the Midshipmen have not only captured at least a share of five Patriot League regular-season titles and three tournament crowns, but they have also advanced to the NCAA Tournament three times.
Prior to his arrival at the Naval Academy, DeVoe served as the head coach at Virginia Tech, Wyoming, Tennessee and Florida. He began his coaching career as an assistant to Bob Knight at Army in 1965.
One of only 22 coaches in college basketball history to lead three different teams to the NCAA Tournament, DeVoe has compiled a career record of 489-325 (.601) in now his 28th season. He became the 29th active coach to post 450-career wins when Navy defeated Northeastern Dec. 2, 1999 in Boston, 67-57.
Williams Among Navy's Top Pocket Pickers
With a school-record eight steals at Texas (N13), senior Chris Williams (Savannah, Ga.) catapulted past Skip Victor and Hassan Booker into third place on Navy's all-time career steals list. Meanwhile, with four steals at Liberty (D7), Williams passed the legendary David Robinson, who collected 160 steals from 1983-87. Williams owns 208 steals and is just the second player in Navy history to produce 200-plus steals in a career.
...And The Patriot League, Too
Chris Williams' 208 steals ranks third on the Patriot League's all-time steals list. Williams and Lafayette's Tim Bieg (194) have battled it out throughout the season. Bieg, however, was passed by Williams recently, as he was injured against the Mids Feb. 11.
Williams Eight Steals At Texas Sets School Record
Senior Chris Williams broke the Navy record for single-game steals with eight at Texas (N13) in the first round of the Preseason NIT. Williams, whose previous career high was six steals against Bucknell in March of 1998, owned the fourth-best single-game mark going into the game. The previous school record was seven steals originally set by Erik Harris Jan. 7, 1991 against UNC Wilmington, and was later tied by Brian Walker (Lehigh, Jan. 31, 1996) and Skip Victor (Gettysburg, Jan. 2, 1999).
Williams Climbs Navy's Career Scoring Leader Board
Behind a 14-point effort against Holy Cross (F14), Chris Williams broke into Navy's all-time career scoring top-10 list. Meanwhile, Williams posted 25 points in a nonconference outing at UMBC (F19) to become just the sixth Midshipman to eclipse the 1,400-point plateau. He also climbed three positions into sixth on the all-time Navy scoring chart and now owns 1,471-career points.
Williams needed just four minutes to score his four points against Coast Guard (N27) to become the 16th player in Naval Academy history to eclipse the 1,000-point plateau. The last player to do so was Michael Heary in 1998, finishing his career as Navy's fourth-leading scorer. And with 20 points at Bucknell (F3), Williams became just the 11th player in Navy history to score 1,300-plus points.
Among The League's Top-10 Scorers
With a 23-point performance against Bucknell in the Patriot League Tournament Semifinals, Chris Williams moved past Army's George Tatum into 10th place on the league's all-time scoring chart. He now needs 26 points to move past Stefan Ciosici (1496, 1996-2000) of Lafayette into ninth, and 29 points to eclipse the 1,500-point plateau. Williams became just the 12th player in league history to hit the 1,400-point milestone with his 25-point effort at UMBC (F19).
Only one other Navy player ranks among the top-25 scorers all-time in the Patriot League - Michael Heary stands seventh with 1,590 points.
Williams In National Steals Rankings
Averaging 2.3 steals per game, Navy senior Chris Williams (Savannah, Ga.) is tied for 25th in the country. He has been in and out of the top 25 all season. Leading the country is Greedy Daniels of TCU, who is averaging 4.3 steals.
Mids Teetering On 20-Win Season
With a 19-11 record, Navy has the opportunity to post its third-consecutive 20-win season and fifth under the direction of Don DeVoe with a victory Friday at Holy Cross in the Patriot League Championship. The 1998 team produced a 20-7 record, while last season the Mids finished the year 23-6.
Mids Post Eighth-Consecutive Winning Season
With its 82-80 victory over Army Feb. 17, Navy clinched its eighth-consecutive winning season - all under head coach Don DeVoe's guidance. It marks the longest winning streak since 1943-57 when the Midshipmen rolled to 14-consecutive winning seasons. John Wilson and Ben Carnevale led Navy to an overall mark of 187-88 (.680) during those 14 season. Meanwhile, under the current winning streak, the Mids are 153-78 (.662).
Navy In The NCAA Tournament
Should the Midshipmen defeat Holy Cross Friday in the championship game of the Patriot League Tournament, Navy will earn its 21st appearance in the NCAA Tournament, including its fourth under head coach Don DeVoe. The last NCAA Tournament appearnce for the Midshipmen was in 1998 when they met North Carolina in Hartford, Conn. The Tar Heels defeated the Mids, 88-52, in the first round. Overall, Navy owns an 8-12 record in the NCAA Tournament with its last victory coming in 1986 when the Mids earned a trip to the East Region Final where they were defeated by Duke, 71-50.
2001 NCAA Tournament Sites
First and Second Rounds Dates
East Region: March 15 & 17
Nassau Coliseum, Long Island, N.Y.
Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro, N.C.
South Region: March 16 & 18
The Pyramid, Memphis, Tenn.
Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, La.
Midwest Region: March 16 & 18
Dayton Arena, Dayton, Ohio
Kemper Arena, Kansas City, Mo.
West Region: March 15 & 17
Aztec Bowl Arena, San Diego, Calif.
Boise State Pavilion, Boise, Idaho
Army Game Produces Navy Highs
Several Navy players captured either career or season highs in their Patriot League Tournament matchup with arch rival Army. Junior point guard Demond Shepard (Albany, N.Y.) came off the bench to score a career-high 17 points, while tabbing career highs in field goals made (5), three-point field goals made (2) and free throws made (5). Meanwhile, senior shooting guard John Williams (Annapolis, Md.) produced season highs in scoring (15), field goals made (6), rebounds (7) and assists (4). Senior Michael Cunningham (San Antonio, Texas) tied his career high in blocks, swatting five Black Knight shots.
Seniors Put On Performance Against Army
Behind a 92-73 victory over Army last Saturday, the Navy senior class will leave the Academy with an unblemished 10-0 record against the Black Knights over the last four years. Over the last four seasons, Navy has defeated Army by an average of 20.5 points a game. Prior to this season, the Black Knights had never scored above 70 points against the Mids from 1998 to 2000. This season, though, Army has presented tough competition for the Mids, averaging 77.3 points an outing.
Williams Breaks Into Top 10
Senior Chris Williams (Savannah, Ga.) has broken into Navy's single-season record book in six different categories this year - points, field goals attempted, free throws made and attempted, turnovers and steals. Williams is just the seventh player in Navy history to score 500-plus points in a single season, while it's the 10th time it has occurred in Midshipmen history (David Robinson did it three times, Vernon Butler hit it twice).
Category Place Ttl # to move up Record
Turnovers 1st 114 - Also owns eighth most with 89 (1999-2000)
Steals 2nd 70 10 (80) 80 by Skip Victor, 1998-99
Free Throws Made T-6th 155 2 (157) 208 by David Robinson, 1985-86
Free Throws Attempted 7th 212 5 (217) 331 by David Robinson, 1985-86
Points 9th 529 13 (542) 903 by David Robinson, 1986-87
Field Goals Attempted 10th 385 16 (401) 658 by John Clune, 1953-54
Navy Single-Season Top 10
Meanwhile, the 2000-01 Navy squad has emerged among the Mids' single-season top 10 marks in 13 different statistical categories. The current team is also among the top five in six different statistical categories - fouls, turnovers, steals, free throws made and attempted and three-pointers attempted.
Category Place Ttl # to move up Record
Fouls 1st 770 - 109 more than old record of 661 set by 1993-94 team
Turnovers 2nd 565 21 (585) 585 by 1999-2000 team
Steals 3rd 289 9 (298) 352 by 1999-2000 team
Free Throws Attempted 3rd 875 33 (908) 954 by 1985-86 team
Free Throws Made 4th 570 45 (615) 648 by 1983-84 team
Three-Pointers Attempted 5th 447 20 (467) 641 by 1990-91 team
Points 6th 2274 120 (2394) 2701 by 1985-86 team
Rebounds T-7th 1187 9 (1196) 1390 by 1985-86 team
Blocks 7th 139 13 (152) 233 by 1985-86 team
Average Points T-8th 75.8 - 84.1 by 1990-91 team
Field Goals Made 8th 785 6 (791) 1043 by 1985-86 team
Field Goals Attempted 8th 1772 5 (1777) 2758 by 1993-94 team
Three-Pointers Made 8th 134 4 (138) 225 by 1990-91 team
DeVoe Looks For 490th Win
With a pair of Patriot League Tournament victories last weekend, Navy head coach Don DeVoe improved his career win total to 489, taking sole possession of 60th place on the NCAA's all-time win list. DeVoe is just five wins behind Arkansas head coach Nolan Richardson and six behind Cleveland State's Rollie Massimino.
While most know Chris Williams (Savannah, Ga.) can score with his team-leading 17.6 points a game, many of the other things Williams does go unnoticed. The senior leads the team in points (529), rebounds (212), steals (70), assists (72), turnovers (114), free-throws made (155) and attempted (212) and field-goals made (178) and attempted (385).
Chris Williams (Savannah, Ga.) has scored 20-plus points 21 times during his career, including 12 times this season. He has posted 20 or more points in 10 of the last 19 contests, including a 23-point effort in Navy's win over Bucknell Sunday, sending it to the Patriot League Championship game Friday against Holy Cross.
Topping The Milestones
Senior swing man Chris Williams (Savannah, Ga.) claimed his 1,400th-career point on a three-pointer with 5:35 to go against UMBC (F19). He became just the sixth player in Navy history to have scored 1,400-plus points.
He has also conquered two other milestones this season - both in the span of a week. On Jan. 31 at Lehigh, the three-year starter, who has started 80 of the 107 games in which he has played including 79 of the last 81, played in his 100th-career game. Meanwhile, behind a 20-point performance at Bucknell (F3), he became just the 11th player in Navy history to eclipse the 1,300-point plateau.
And Then There Were Two
Behind a three-steal performance at Colgate (F21), senior Chris Williams (Savannah, Ga.) became just the second player in Patriot League history - alongside former Bucknell standout Mike Bright, 1991-93 - to score 1,200 points, grab 500 rebounds and 200 steals in a career. Williams enters Friday's championship game 10th on the league's career scoring list (1,471), 18th in career rebounds (543) and is third in career steals (208).
Williams Stands Alone
Meanwhile, Chris Williams (Savannah, Ga.) is the first player in Navy history to have scored 1,200 points, grab 500 rebounds and 200 steals in a career. Legendary David Robinson was close with 2,669 points, 1,314 rebounds and 160 steals.
Among The League's Best
After leading the league in scoring for nearly the entire season, senior swingman Chris Williams (Savannah, Ga.) is now third in scoring. He (17.6 ppg) trails Army's Chris Spatola (18.5 ppg) and Bucknell guard Bryan Bailey (17.7 ppg). Meanwhile, Williams owns the third-best single-game scoring output with his career-high 31 points vs. Northeastern (N20). He is tied with Lehigh newcomer Alan Goff for the most steals in a game with eight. Williams set the Navy single-game steals record with eight against Texas in the first round of the Preseason NIT.
Bench Pulls Its Weight
Navy's bench has been described by head coach Don DeVoe as "the best scoring bench" he's had at Navy - that was evident at Bucknell (F3), as the Mids out-scored the Bison bench, 31-3. Meanwhile, the Mids' bench posted 58 of the 95 points at Army (J24) a month ago. It marked the fifth time this season the bench had produced 60 percent or more of the scoring.
Navy's bench out-scored its opponents last weekend, 97-32, in tournament action and for just the fourth time this season, the Mids' bench posted 50-plus points in a game (54 vs. Army, M3).
Furthermore, Navy's second and third-leading scorers are Jehiel Lewis (Houston, Texas) (8.8 ppg) and Kyle Barker (Lyons, Mich.) (8.4 ppg), who have just one start among them - Lewis vs. Army last Saturday.
Last season, the Navy bench averaged 24.9 points per game and accounted for 32.8 percent of the team's scoring. This season, the bench is averaging 36.4 points and is responsible for 48 percent of the scoring.
Navy has one of the strongest and deepest benches in the league. Ten of Navy's players are averaging 10 or more minutes a game, while just two average 20 minutes or more - Chris Williams 30.2 mpg and Robert Reeder 23.4 mpg.
Gain One, Lose One
After being sidelined for 24-consecutive games (F27 Coast Guard-F21 Colgate) with plantar faciaitis in his right foot, senior Josh Hill (Camarillo, Calif.) has suited and played in the Mids' last three games. He began practicing with the team Feb. 3 - the start of the second half of the Patriot League season. Hill did play a minute in Navy's game against Rice (N18) and went 1-for-2 from the free throw line, while scoring a bucket and grabbing three rebounds against Northeastern (N20).
Meanwhile, freshman point guard Jason Fernandez (Baton Rouge, La.) broke his right wrist two weeks ago in a JV game (F25) against Notre Dame Academy at Halsey Field House.
The Sixth Man
Sophomore forward Kyle Barker (Lyons, Mich.) has become Navy's sixth man this season. Barker, who scored just 23 points as a freshman, has scored the second-most points this season with 251. He has produced the second-most double-digit scoring efforts this season with 14, including 13 of the last 20 outings. He never scored in double figures last season. Barker is coming off a career-high tying 23-point performance against Bucknell last Sunday in the Patriot League Semifinals. Barker, who had seven points in the first half, missed only one of his six second-half shots, and was perfect on four three-pointers. He also hit three three-pointers and a two-point field goal in a two-minute span.
Chris Williams (Savannah, Ga.) is the lone Midshipman averaging double digits in the scoring column (17.6 ppg). Don't be too alarmed, however, as just two Mids scored in double figures last season - Sitapha Savane, 16.9 and Williams, 15.0 - en route to a 23-6 mark.
The E Factor
Sophomore Francis Ebong (Omaha, Neb.) has stepped up his play in the last 10 contests for the Mids, which has included a career-high 16-point performance at UMBC (F19) and five double-digit scoring efforts. Ebong, who started Navy's first-two games at center, has averaged 8.9 points (89) and 6.8 rebounds (68) since the second half of Patriot League play began (F3 at Bucknell). A 48.1-percent shooter for his career, he has shot 35-for-66 (.530) over the last 10 games.
Barker From Downtown
Sophomore Kyle Barker (Lyons, Mich.) has hit 42 three-pointers this season, including five treys last Sunday against Bucknell en route to a career-high tying 23-point performance. He is arguably the most prolific three-point Navy shooter since Michael Heary. Heary, who owns a school-record 201 three-pointers, made 40 treys during the 1997-98 season. Barker has targeted the most three-pointers since that performance and is just three trifectas shy of tying former Navy standout Michael Burd (1990-91) for 10th on the Mids single-season three-point field goals made chart with 45.
Count The Threes
Navy's 134 three-pointers ranks eighth on the all-time single-season top-10 chart - the most three-point buckets made by a Navy team since the 1996-97 team drained 149. Last year's squad made 104 treys which at that time tied for the 10th-best mark in school history.
Reeder Right On Target
One of Navy's biggest surprises of the season has been the free-throw shooting of Navy's team captain, Robert Reeder (Pasadena, Calif.). He has greatly improved his free-throw shooting in his senior campaign, better than 50 percent from the line (44-for-82, .537) for the first time in his career (Fr.-15-33, .455; So.-23-53, .434; Jr.-32-74, .432).
Cunningham Among Navy's Top 10 Shot Blockers
Swatting four shots at Belmont (J13), senior Michael Cunningham (San Antonio, Texas) entered Navy's top-10 career blocks list with 79. He rejected six shots last weekend against Army (5) and Bucknell (1), passing Myron Simons and Nick Marusich. Cunningham moved into fifth place on the all-time blocked shots chart and also collected his 100th-career block - just the sixth player in Navy history to eclipse the 100-block mark. He needs four blocks to bypass former teammate Josh Williams (109, 1996-99). The 6-11 center is averaging 2.1 rejections a game this season with 62 of his 105 blocks having come this season.
Meanwhile, Cunningham broke into the Patriot League all-time blocked shots top-10 list and is ninth, trailing Williams on the league list, as well.
Navy's Top-10 Single-Season Blocks Chart
With 18 blocks over the last two games, Navy moved up a notch into seventh on the Mids' single-season rejections list and has now produced 139 this season. The 2000-01 team's next hurdle is 152 blocks set forth by the 1998-99 and 1983-84 teams. This year's team also became just the ninth Navy team to have topped the 100-block mark in a season.
Breaking Out Of The Slump
Sophomore guard Jason Jeanpierre (Clifton Park, N.Y.) has been in a scoring slump most of the season. While he scored double digits in five games between Denver (N30) and Harvard (J2), he had scored in double figures just once since Jan. 2 (14 at Army, J24). Jeanpierre picked an opportune time to slip out of the slump when he tossed in a career-high tying 17 points at Colgate (F21). Seven of his 17 were scored in the overtime period, which included a three-pointer and a pair of free throws. Meanwhile, he followed up with a 12-point performance against Lehigh (F24) which included three from long range.
Lewis Off The Bench
Jehiel Lewis (Houston, Texas) has come off the bench in 24 of the 25 games in which he has played this season to post the second-best scoring average on the team at 8.8 points per game. As of late, Lewis has tallied double-digit scoring efforts in four of the last eight games, including a season-best 17-point effort at Colgate (F21). His three-pointer with two second remaining in regulation sent the game into overtime with the Mids eventually winning, 83-80.
Add Him To The List
With his 12 free throws against Army (F17), senior Chris Williams (Savannah, Ga.) moved into sixth place on Navy's all-time free-throw made list with 393. He needs seven free throws to become just the sixth player in Navy history to have made 400-plus tosses from the line. Meanwhile, thanks to 17 free-throw attempts at Bucknell (F3), Williams has moved into seventh on the all-time free-throws attempted chart with 565 - one behind Kevin Sinnett, whose jersey was retired Dec. 9. Williams is just the seventh Midshipman to have attempted 500 free throws during a career.
No Secret Who's Scoring
It's no secret who Navy's scoring leader is. Senior Chris Williams (Savannah, Ga.) has been Navy's top scorer in 22 of the 30 games this season, including a 19-point effort at No. 4 Wake Forest (D29). He has scored 529 points, 23.3 percent of Navy's offensive output this season. Additionally, until Navy's Patriot League opener against Bucknell (J10), he was the only player to have scored more than 100 points this season. Going into Friday's game, he is the sole player to have eclipsed 300 points. What's more, he has scored 278 more points than his closest teammate - Kyle Barker (Lyons, Mich.), 251 pts. Navy is 13-6 when Williams is the team's leading scorer and 6-5 when he is not.
Cunningham and Reeder Named Academic All-District 2
Navy seniors Michael Cunningham (San Antonio, Texas) and Robert Reeder (Pasadena, Calif.) were named to the 2000-01 Verizon Academic All-District 2 University Division Basketball Team Feb. 23.
Cunningham and Reeder were named to the five-man team which was made up of all front court players. The three other players honored were centers Matt Smith of Robert Morris and J.R. Vanhoose of Marshall, along with forward Bill Phillips of St. Joseph's. Cunningham owned the highest grade-point average among those nominated with a 3.71 in quantitative economics, while Reeder posted a 3.27 in economics.
The five-member team was selected by a vote of the district's CoSIDA (College of Sports Information Directors of America) membership. District 2 is made up of the following states - Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. The members of the district team will be placed on the national ballot with the Academic All-America Basketball Team to be announced Thursday, March 15.