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Midshipmen Are Grounded by Air Force Defense

From News Services and Staff Reports
Tuesday, January 4, 2005; Page D02

Antoine Hood scored a season-high 23 points and Air Force beat Navy, 69-46, last night for its 19th straight win at home, the fourth-longest streak in the nation.

Air Force (8-5), which has the top-ranked scoring defense in the nation, got 31 points off turnovers, hounding a young, small team from Navy (4-8) that lost for the sixth time in seven games.

Air Force's Nick Welch, front, drives past Navy's Taj Mathews during the first half. (Kevin Kreck - AP Photo/The Gazette)

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"We are what we are right now and we continue to work on that," Navy Coach Billy Lange said.

Laramie Mergerson had 13 points and George O'Garro had 12 points and five rebounds for the Midshipmen, who failed in their quest to sweep this season's football and basketball games from their military rivals. Navy won the football game, 24-21, in October.

"We wanted to help the football guys out a little -- back them up," Air Force's Jacob Burtschi said.

OKLAHOMA ST. 86, TEX. A&M-CORPUS CHRISTI 61: In Corpus Christi, Tex., John Lucas III scored 14 of his 21 points in the final 6 1/2 minutes of the first half to help the No. 7 Cowboys (10-1) avoid a huge upset.

The Islanders (9-4), an NCAA independent in just their sixth season, hosted a ranked team for the first time and had a seven-point lead midway through the first half.

GW Women Win Conference Opener

George Washington opened Atlantic 10 play with a 72-50 win at Fordham. Senior center Jessica Simmonds led four Colonials in double figures with 23 points, and she added nine rebounds.

George Washington, which improved to 7-4, 1-0, held Fordham (4-9, 0-1) to 32.1 percent shooting in the second half to win for the fourth time in its last five games.

HOWARD 61, LAFAYETTE 50: Guard Daisha Hicks scored a game-high 21 points to lead the Lady Bison in Easton, Pa. In its final game before entering the bulk of Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference play, Howard (6-4) survived a 6 of 24 second-half shooting performance.

DELAWARE ST. 50, NAVY 43: Cold shooting and turnovers doomed the Midshipmen (4-7), who made just two field goals in the final 16 minutes 32 seconds of the game, the team's ninth consecutive road loss.

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