Navy puts away Army, 81-67; C. Williams' 27 points set tone for Midshipmen


WEST POINT, N.Y. -- His game has been on the rise all year, but with his 27-point performance last night, Navy sophomore Chris Williams took it up another notch.

Williams' output tied his career high -- set two games ago -- and helped lead the Midshipmen (14-4, 3-1) to an 81-67 win over Army (4-14, 1-4) before a Christl Arena crowd of 1,908.

It was the third 20-plus night for Williams in the past four games.

"When Chris Williams plays great basketball, we normally win," said Navy coach Don DeVoe.

Against the Black Knights, Williams was nothing short of great. He scored 18 in the first half, 10 down the stretch, as the Mids established command. He added seven rebounds and three steals in 37 minutes.

"He was just a little disappointed," said DeVoe, "because he didn't shoot free throws better."

However, Williams' 6-for-12 foul shooting was made up for by the 18 points and 10 rebounds from Sitapha Savane.

The Mids were streaky in the first half as they ran out to a 33-23 lead, then saw that sliced to four with 3: 58 to play. But less than two minutes after that, the lead was back up to double digits, and they finished the half with a 45-30 edge.

"We're nine players different than last year," said DeVoe, "so we're kind of an inexperienced team. But we play hard, and when we can go inside and score, we do pretty good."

Navy out-rebounded Army 24-11 in the half and outscored it in the paint 24-4.

By that time, Williams had exceeded his 13.0 scoring average by five. His output included a spinning one-hander that the Mids up 19-13 and later a three-pointer that answered a long field goal by Knights point guard Babe Kwasniak. Moments after that, the acrobatic Williams reached back to put in a layup, but while still in mid-air, he was knocked to the floor and fell hard on his left (non-shooting) hand. He left, but returned to add six points before the half.

"I went up," said Williams, "and I knew I was fading a little bit past the basket, so I just tried to get it in there. It was just one of those moves where you say, 'It must be one of those nights.' "

The streakiness returned momentarily in the second half, when Army cut the lead to eight, with an 8-0 run sparked by center Seth Barrett.

Navy reversed the slide with a 10-2 run.

NAVY -- C. Williams 10-17 6-12 27, Savane 9-12 0-2 18, Josh Williams 2-4 5-6 9, Skipworth 4-6 3-5 11, Victor 4-8 4-5 12, Worthing 0-1 0-0 0, John Williams 0-1 0-0 0, Toton 0-1 0-0 0, Reeder 2-3 0-0 4. Totals 31-53 18-30 81.

ARMY -- Tatum 8-23 5-5 22, Harrell 4-11 0-0 8, Barrett 8-9 6-6 22, Kwasniak 4-7 0-0 10, Spatola 0-2 2-3 2, Uptgraft 0-1 0-0 0, Quinn 0-0 2-4 2, Dunaway 0-2 0-0 0, Woodruff 0-2 1-2 1, Rutledge 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 24-57 16-20 67.

Halftime--Navy, 45-30. 3-point goals--N 1-5 (Williams 1-3, Skipworth 0-1, Toton 0-1); A 3-10 (Kwasniak 2-4, Tatum 1-4, Spatola 0-1, Uptgraft 0-1). Rebounds--N 39 (Savane 10); A 23 (Tatum 9). Assists--N 10 (Victor 4); A 11 (Kwasniak, Spatola, Tatum 3). Fouled out--Reeder, Harrell, Kwasniak. Total fouls--N 18, A 29. A--1,908.

Pub Date: 1/20/99

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