Baltimore Sun’s BEST party in 2 weeks

Navy beats Colgate to end losing skid

In the throes of a negatively historic multi-game losing streak, Navy women’s coach Stefanie Pemper used the team’s bye week to work on fundamentals and to impress upon her squad that there was plenty of time left in the season.

“We focused on conditioning, on scoring and taking good shots, shooting free throws, passing, defense, fundamentals. Basically, just playing together as a team and staying positive,” said Pemper after her squad snapped a five-game losing streak with a 67-52 win on Saturday over Patriot League foe Colgate.

The five-game losing streak was the longest in Pemper’s 11 years as Navy head coach.

“It isn’t something that has happened in our program for a long time, “ Pemper said. “It’s new to us, it’s new to them. Everyone has high expectations for the program, nobody likes to lose.”

Senior captain Briana Roach is the only senior on this year’s team. She said while it was a burden, the coaching staff kept things positive.

“We’ve never been through a stretch like this,” said Roach, who was one of four players to score in double figures, with 11 points. “We’ve been keeping it positive, trying to take it day by day and game by game, building on team chemistry, bonding and working through our tough times.

“We went really hard these last four practices in a row,” Roach added. “You might get tired but we really worked hard this week. We were determined to get this win and get back to our winning ways. We still feel we have a shot at the championship. We worked on a lot of stuff and worked really hard. And I think it made a difference.”

With the extended losing streak now in the past, Navy improved to 9-12 overall and 4-7 in Patriot League play with seven league games to play. Next on the schedule is a Wednesday game at Holy Cross and then Saturday’s rematch with Army in Annapolis. The five-game losing streak began with a 55-52 road loss to the Black Knights.

The Mids were led by freshman Jennifer Coleman, who posted her sixth double-double of the season with 16 points and 11 rebounds. She also had five steals and five assists. Morgan Taylor added 12 points and Sophie Gatzounas had 10 rebounds. Kobi Green and Cayla Hannibal had eight points each.

“There were a lot of good efforts all around. We had a lot of contributors. When you have so many doing so much, it’s hard to stop our offense,” Coleman added. “It is definitely a good feeling to go into the locker room after the game knowing the monkey’s off our backs.

Navy got off to a poor start and trailed by 13-7 with 2:39 to play in the first quarter. At that juncture, the Mids were shooting well below 30 percent while Colgate had made five of its first eight shots.

The Mids turned the game around, though, with a 9-2 run that put them ahead 16-15. Colgate’s scored to lead 17-16 to open the second quarter, but the Mids’ momentum carried over as Navy retaliated with a 9-0 run to build a 25-17 lead. Colgate closed to 25-22, but a pair of three-pointers by Coleman padded the lead again. Navy outscored Colgate 22-11 in the period and led 38-26 at the half.

Colgate never got closer than eight points for the rest of the game.

Defensively, Navy played one of its better games. The Mids forced 21 turnovers, including 15 steals, and out-rebounded the Raiders, 29-27. Colgate shot 40.4 percent for the game and made only three of its three-point attempts. It also made just 7 of 14 free throws.

“The defense was the key to this win, especially our zone,” Pemper said. “And our rebounding, to just give them 10 (offensive) rebounds, plus we shot the ball well, took good shots, and we did better when we were later in the shot clock.”

Navy has now won four games in a row against the Raiders and 13 of the last 14.

Colgate was led by Rachel Thompson, who had 12 points and eight rebounds, and Summer King, who had 12 points.

Copyright © 2019, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad
63°