Navy women rally to win over Morgan; Goodrich's 12 points help Mids take 56-43 triumph


If the Navy women start as slowly in their big showdown against Holy Cross on Saturday as they did last night, they might be in big trouble.

Morgan State exploited the sluggishness to lead by five points at the break, but Navy regrouped at halftime and rallied to beat the Bears, 56-43, before 415 at Alumni Hall.

"Sometimes, we don't come out as intense as we need to," said freshman Hilary Goodrich, who had an outstanding all-around game with 12 points, 16 rebounds, four steals and three assists. "Sometimes, we figure, 'Well, there's another half to play.' "

Morgan (4-8) used its athleticism, pressure defense and inside game to control most of the first half while Goodrich kept the Midshipmen afloat with 10 of her points.

But it was an entirely different story from the start of the final period as Laurie Coffey, foul-plagued Erica Hayes and Angela Marino dominated inside and Navy (10-5) went on to its sixth successive victory.

The Bears were perplexed by the Navy zone after halftime and were content to fire away unsuccessfully from outside. The Midshipmen also took over on the backboards and had less and less difficulty with the Morgan press as the game progressed.

"We did the right things in the first half and maybe we didn't appreciate what they did for us and lost focus," said Bears coach Darcel Estep. "Our post defense allowed Navy to get right back into the game."

With 14: 48 remaining, Navy captured the lead on a three-point play by Hayes, Coffey followed with a short jumper and Mandy Stephan scored after a Morgan defensive gamble failed and Navy was suddenly ahead, 38-31. The Bears never got closer than five after that.

Once behind, Morgan began shooting wild jump shots, had several shot-clock violations and passed poorly.

"We played a perfect second half," said Navy coach Joe Sanchez. "I'd give it an A. We wanted to control the tempo and our kids recognized the need to play a solid 20 minutes. I feel pretty good about the game."

The win sets up the first Patriot League battle of titans Saturday at Annapolis with Navy seeking to exact revenge for an 86-75 overtime loss to the Crusaders at home last season.

"Holy Cross has some pretty quick players, so this game was kind of a wake-up to deal with that kind of pressure better," said Goodrich. "We had a problem with it at times because we really haven't played a fast-paced team for a long time. This was good for us."

MORGAN STATE -- Parham 2-7 2-4 6, Liddell 3-6 0-0 6, Meekins 2-3 0-0 4, Mickens 3-7 0-0 6, Cornish 3-6 0-0 7, Elam 0-8 0-0 0, Beckles 2-9 0-1 5, Smith 3-7 0-2 7, Crowder 0-3 0-0 0, Harris 1-3 0-0 2, Scott 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 19-60 2-7 43.

NAVY -- Hayes 4-10 2-5 10, Coffey 6-15 1-3 14, Goodrich 6-16 0-0 12, Melofchik 0-1 2-2 2, Stephen 3-5 5-8 12, Ball 0-0 0-1 0, Fryburger 0-0 0-0 0, Regoli 0-1 0-0 0, Marino 2-3 2-5 6, Burkovich 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 21-52 12-24 56.

Halftime--Morgan State, 27-22. Three-point goals--MS 3-11 (Beckles 1-2, Cornish 1-2, Smith 1-4, Elam 0-1, Mickens 0-2); N 2-10 (Coffey 1-1, Stephen 1-2, Melofchik 0-1, Goodrich 0-6). Rebounds--MS 39 (Harris 9); N 44 (Goodrich 16). Assists--MS 14 (Beckles, Elam 3); N 10 (Goodrich, Melofchik 3). Total fouls--MS 23, N 12. A--415.

Pub Date: 1/14/99

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