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Errant shooting, turnovers doom Navy women’s basketball in 76-52 loss to Fairfield

Coach Tim Taylor could not hide his frustration during a tough third quarter that saw the Navy women's basketball team fail to score on 11 straight possessions. The Mids missed six shots and committed five turnovers to start the period.
Coach Tim Taylor could not hide his frustration during a tough third quarter that saw the Navy women's basketball team fail to score on 11 straight possessions. The Mids missed six shots and committed five turnovers to start the period. (Paul W. Gillespie/Capital Gazette)

Tim Taylor was animated — and agitated — as he paced in front of the home bench in Alumni Hall on Tuesday night.

One series of poor possessions early in the third quarter drew a variety of reactions from the second-year Navy coach. Taylor hung his head and put a hand over his eyes after Kolbi Green threw a wild pass that caromed off the backboard. He thrust both arms in the air when Mimi Schrader tried to force a pass inside and it was easily picked off.

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Taylor had seen enough once Jennifer Coleman spoiled a promising fastbreak with another errant pass right into the arms of a defender and that turnover quickly turned into an easy layup the other way. He angrily called timeout and stalked to the team huddle.

It was one of those nights for the Midshipmen, who looked out of sync in suffering their most lopsided loss of the season.

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Senior forward Lou Lopez-Senechal scored at will from all over the court in pouring in 29 points to lead visiting Fairfield to a 76-52 victory over Navy, which had a two-game winning streak snapped.

Guard Sydney Lowery, a graduate student transfer from Boston College, added 20 points as the Stags (3-2) led for more than 38 of 40 minutes. Forward Rachel Hakes, another graduate student, notched a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Fairfield sat in a 2-3 zone the entire game and Navy simply could not make open shots — finishing 20-for-65 from the field and 6 of 32 from 3-point range. Coleman, fresh off being named Patriot League Player of the Week, made just 6 of 16 field goals in scoring a season-low 13 points for the Mids.

Kolbi Green went 3-for-11 on 3-pointers in also netting 13 points for Navy (2-3), which kept the contest close for most of the first half. The Midshipmen led 26-25 with 4:46 left in the second period, but the Stags closed the half with a 13-4 run capped by consecutive 3-pointers from Lowery to take a 38-30 lead at intermission.

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Navy did not score on 11 straight possessions to start the third quarter, missing six shots and committing five turnovers. That enabled Fairfield to build a 23-point (53-30) lead with Lopez-Senechal and Lowery doing most of the damage.

“We came out after halftime and just could not score and they ran it out pretty quickly,” Taylor said. “We just couldn’t make shots and we had some bad turnovers. That’s where the game got away from us.”

Lopez-Senechal was voted the preseason Player of the Year in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference and now has 1,090 career points. The 6-foot-1 forward from France hit pullup jumpers from every area of the court in making 13 of 24 field goals.

“That’s a very good basketball team and they put on a clinic tonight. They passed the ball very well and shot it very well,” Taylor said. “Lopez-Senechal got really hot and was in the zone. We tried everything and couldn’t stop her. We just weren’t very good on the defensive end and never really got them out of their rhythm.”

Taylor noted that Fairfield had been averaging three 3-pointers per game and drained eight on Tuesday night. Meanwhile, Navy’s goal of making 10 threes to make the visitors pay for sitting in the zone came up woefully short.

“I felt if we made shots we could stay in the game with this team. They’re going to play zone and you’ve got to make shots,” Taylor said. “We took 33 threes and, I’ll be honest with you, I think maybe four or five were bad shots.”

Coleman, who came into the contest averaging 23.3 points per game, posted her fourth double-double of the season after leading Navy with 14 rebounds and also dished off six assists.

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