--Maybe it was Navy's defense. Or perhaps it was William and Mary's offense. In the end, it didn't make much difference.

"I thought we played good defense, reacted well and concentrated on their good players," Navy Coach Bob Hamilton said after the Middies embarrassed in the visting Indians, 73-48, tonight before 2,100 fans in Navy's field house. "But I have no answer for why they didn't play well."

If Indian Coach Bruce Parkhill knew what had happened, he wasn't telling. He kept the locker room closed for more than 30 minutes after the game, perhaps trying to find the words to tell his players what he thought of their 13-for-35 shooting from the floor, 24 turnovers, third straight loss and first to Navy in the clubs' last six meetings. The defeat dropped the Indian record to 6-6, while the Mids raised theirs to 7-4.

Although Navy led by only 32-24 at halftime, the contest was essentially over. The Mids didn't dominate, but ran off five different 4-0 streaks without seeming to work very hard. W&M, meanwhile, was struggling for each shot against Navy's clinging defense. The Indians worked free for only 17 attempts, of which they sank nine, to Navy's 14 baskets in 28 tries.

It was the best game Chuck Greene, the academy's second-leading scorer a year ago, played all season. Greene, who averaged 13.5 points per game last season, entered tonight's contest averaging 6.9 and shooting 31 per cent.

"I was uptight about my grades and my academics," the 6 foot-2 junior said. "My priorties were my academics, and my basketball suffered a bit. My confidence was down a little, and I wasn't concentrating on playing. But now I've got my academics under control and can concentrate on basketball. I was loose and relaxed tonight."

He scored a game-high 22 points making nine of 14 shots and four of seven free throws in the 22 minutes he played.