Kevin Sinnett, held without a field goal for the first time in his career at Navy, and Bobby Scott each grabbed a key offensive rebound in the final 20 seconds of the game to enable the Midshipmen to hold off host Catholic Univeristy Thursday night, 63-58.
Their plays were needed after a furious Cardinal rally put CU back in the game after trailing by seven with one minute remaining. Dave Butler popped in three jumpers in a 23-second span to reduce a 59-52 deficit ot 6-58 with 33 seconds left.
Then Butler fouled Navy center Hank Kuzma and Kuzma missed the first shot of a one-and -one. Sinnett grabbed the rebound and passed to Scott, who was fouled. Scott missed his first free throw but got his own rebound with seven seconds remaining. Navy held the ball until Catholic fouled Jack Stumborg, who dropped in the final points.
The Cardinals were hurt by technicals called against Danny Murray, Stan Cooper and Donnie Farrell. The Mids had as free-throw attempts compared with Catholic's 12.
"I don't think I got a fair shake," said Cardinal Coach Jack Kvancz, referring to the officiating. Referee Ernie Cage called the technicals on Farrell and Cooper when they mildly protested foul calls. Cooper's call was especially costly for the Cardinals, now 8-10. The "T" tame after he had committed his fifth foul, depriving the hosts of their leading rebounder with 3:40 left.
Navy's superiority on the boards (43-30) gave the cold-shooting Mids many second and third shots.
"Kuzma had an excellent effort," said Navy Coach Bob Hamilton. "The real key to our victory was his offensive rebounding and free-throw shooting."
Kuzma sank nine of 11 from the line and tied with Scott, a 6-foot-2 guard, for game rebounding honors with 12.
The teams played evenly in the first half until 21/2 minutes remained . Kuzma then made three straight free throws and added a jump hook from the baseline to lift Navy to a 29-22 lead. Cooper hit a foul shot and Cardinal reserve forward Steve Dade tipped in a missed free throw by Butler and added a jumper seconds later.
Next Kuzma came back to score on an offensive rebound. One Cardinal bucket later, Stumborg tipped in a missed shot to lift Navy into a 35-30 halftime advantage.
"Their second shots definitely hurt us," said Kvancz, "We did what we wanted on defense in denying Kuzma and Sinnett the ball, but Navy got it right back off the offensive boards."
Kuzma finished with 25 points to lead the Mids to their 11th victory against nine defeats. Butler and Dziwulski scored 13 and 12 points, re -