The good news for the Navy basketball team came after the bad tonight. The Mids clobbered Catholic, 92-44, as freshman Gary Price scored 26 points before 1,300 at Halsey Field House.
Earlier, guard Chuck Greene, Navy's leading scorer and a three-year letterman, quit the team because of academic problems. A 6-foot-2 senior from Anaheim, Calif., Greene was averaging 11.5 points a game.
But his absence hardly mattered as the Mids (4-8) broke a five-game losing streak. They took command quickly, making 11 of their first 13 shots for a 22-4 lead with 9:42 left in the first half. A CU cold spell -- seven missed shots and seven turnovers -- resulted in 18 unanswered Navy points that broke a 4-4 tie.
The Cards (2-9) made just seven of 26 shots (27 percent) in that half, falling behind, 35-16. The Mids cooled off but still shot 53 percent for the half, 57 percent for the game.
Price, a 6-6 forward filling in for the injured John Geshay, made 12 of 15 shots, pulled down 14 rebounds and showed that he might have learned something on the Mids' road trip against such competition as South Alabama and Missouri.
"He played against good people the last few weeks who ate him up," Navy Coach Paul Evans said. "But he's loosening and playing much better offense."
Navy ran the fast break constantly, helped by a 56-28 rebounding edge. Freshman guard Rob Romaine scored 13 points for the Mids and forward Rich Davidson had 11 points and 13 rebounds. Forward Myron Simons also played well, grabbing nine rebounds and blocking four shots.
Evans took the loss of Greene in stride.
For Catholic, however, the news got only worse as the Cards lost their fifth straight. Center Dan Murray, a 6-10 senior, started the game with stretched ligaments in his right knee and ankle and wound up making an early exit with an injured left ankle. Forward Jay Haigler injured an ankle in the first half but later returned.