Reprinted from yesterday's late edition.
George Washington grew overly cautious with a 12-point lead late in regulation against Navy last night and then nipped the gutsy Mids, 82-80, in overtime at Halsey Field House.
GWU turned to its newly found inside-outside combination, center Mike Zagardo and guard Bob Lindsay, in time of need. Navy, in truth, is a two-man team - Hank Kuzma and Kevin Sinnett - and only the Mids' spunky play brought them to the brink of victory.
By the end, both Sinnett and Kuzma had fouled out, Kuzma scoring 24 points, grabbing seven rebounds and putting himself in the right place at the right time, which was limited to 33 of the game's 45 minutes because of fouls.
Lindsay scored a career-high 26 points and his two free throws with 43 seconds left to give the Colonials an 82-78 advantage. Tom Glenn added 18 points for GW and Zagardo 16 points and 12 rebounds.
The victory lifted GW's record to 12.5. It was only the fourth home-court defeat for the Mids in Bod Hamilton's two-year tenure as coach. Yet GW's trouble down the stretch brought back nightmares of the Massachusetts game earlier this session.
in that game, GW blew a 16-point lead in the final minutes. Last night, the Colonials scored at a 1.2-points per-possession pace in taking a 64-52 lead. Then they started to make mistakes, Navy unleashed a full-court press that produced two successive steals, and even a rare GW attempt at the four-corners delay game produced a five-second violation and a jump ball.
When Jack Stumborg hit a 22-footer with 49 seconds left in regulation, the game was destined for overtime, at 72-all. Zagardo and Lindsay each scored four points in the overtime and Glenn the other two, on a soft 15-footer off the glass for an 80-78 lead.
"We started playing like we did against Massachusetts," said Lindsay, after the biggest scoring output by a GW player this season. "We sat on it, trying to hold on, instead of going on and winning by 15 or 20, instead of 10.
"We were too careful. And once they get going over here, anything can happen."
It was the third straight loss for Navy, new 9-8. As he did after a three-point loss at Georgetown, Hamilton said he was disappointed but not discouraged. The young players on this team have not progressed quickly enough to take the pressure of Sinnett and Kuzma.
Stumborg, a streaky-shooting forward, could manage only six of 16 last night while the work horses, Kuzma and Sinnett, produced 46 points and 15 rebounds between them.
Meanwhile, GW is starting to play up to the level Coach Bod Tallent thinks the Colonials can consistently play at.They were coming off two lackluster performances against mediocre opposition. But tonight they showed the form with which they defeated Maryland and Rutgers this season.