John Geshay scored Navy's only points of the last five minutes, sinking two free throws with 2:23 remaining, and they were just enough to survive the University of Baltimore, 51-50, in an ECAC-South tournament first-round game tonight at Halsey Field House.
Navy ((13-12) will play St. Francis of Pennsylvania Thursday night at the Hampton (Va.) Coliseum in a 9 o'clock semifinal. But the Mids' season would have ended quietly tonight before a small crowd of 512 had not the Super Bees encountered worse problems on offense than did Navy.
"We're just not a good offensive team," Navy Coach Bob Hamilton said. "We're a decent defensive team. The important thing is we're still playing.
"I was disappointed with the crowd tonight. But I anticipate a big crowd down there Thursday. Old Dominion will draw a big crowd and that will help us."
Pressure defense, particularly by Chuck Greene on Baltimore high scorer Joe Carr, turned the tide for Navy in the final minutes. Carr, the game's high scorer with 18 points, missed his last five shots and could not get open as Baltimore (12-15) tried to get him the ball for a winning shot in the final seconds.
Greg McNair gave the Bees their final lead, 46-44, with a 12-foot baseline jumper with 9:10 remaining, and Baltimore and not score again from the field for another eight minutes, Myron Simons made a foul shot for Navy, than a five-foot jumper off a drive to give the Mids the lead for good with 5:55 left. Dave Brooks' two free throws 45 seconds later increased the advantage to 49-46.
From then on it appeared no one would score again as both teams threw up bad shots amidst a flurry of turnovers.
Carr's two free throws narrowed the deficit to 49-48 with 3:36 remaining, but Geshay nettled both ends of a one-and-one with 2:23 left.
After both teams missed shots, Baltimore's Evans Ford followed a McNair miss with an eight-foot jumper to make the score 51-50 with 1:18 to play.
In other ECAC-South games, William & Mary def. Richmond, 78-77; St. Francis (Pa.) def. James Madison, 58-54, and Old Dominion thrashed Catholic, 112-59.