New Hampshire proved to be the perfect cure for Navy's basketball woes yesterday at Halsey Field House.
A loser of three straight and in danger of falling to .500 for the first time since Dec. 3, Navy scored the game's first five points and never trailed in whipping the 4-15 Wildcats, 78-64.
The Mids accomplished their 10th victory in 18 games in typical fashion, getting 15 points each from their top two scorers, Hank Kuzma and Kevin Sinnett.
Sinnett was honored before the game as the sixth player in Navy history to score 1,000 points. Then early in the game Kuzma became the school's No. 3 all-time scoring parade by passing John Tolmie's total of 1,240. Kuzma has 1,253.
"It's good to be on the winning side again," said a relieved Navy Coach Bob Hamilton. "We've had several players under the weather and with a lead we were able to rest people in the first half. I think that was a factor.'
Navy led, 42-33, at halftime, with Kuzma and Robert Scott scoring nine points each for the Mids.
Keith Dickson, a 6-foot-2 junior guard, was all New Hampshire could offer in the way of first-half offense. Dickson had 14 at intermission and finished as the game's leadin scorer with 23.
"He had an excellent first half against us," Hamilton said. "He's got excellent speed, and it wasn't until we put our bigger guard (Scott) on him that we were able to contain him."
Navy outscored the Wildcats, 8-4, to open the second half Kuzma and Sinnett hit two baskets each in that spress, and the Wildcats never again drew closer than eight.
New Hampshire guard Dana Chapman blew two chances to make the game closer by missin a slam dunk that rebounded out of the basket moments before he failed to make a routine layup.
Navy lost the ball on turnovers only 14 times.
"That was the difference (compared to the three straight losses)," Hamilton said. "Bruce's (Grooms) ability to make the shot from the top of the key really helped. He scored before we had a chance to turn it over."
Grooms, a 6-1 sophomore, making his first start in place of Vic Smith, finished with 10 points as five Middies scored in double figures. Scott had 11 and freshman John Geshay 10.