Deprived of victory in the final second of regulation play, Navy collapsed in overtime today and lost its fourth straight game, 62-54, to Penn State.
Freshman Craig Collins, who missed the last 10 games with a dislocated shoulder, made a jump shot as the clock was running out to atone for two free throws he had missed seven seconds earlier.
The Midshipmen (8-11), were hurt by inept shooting when they had one-and-one free throw opportunities. Navy managed only two points of a possible 18 in nine such situations.
The home club had a 41-33 lead with 12 minutes remaining, but made only one field goal and four free throws--all on shooting fouls--down the stretch. The Midshipmen missed the front end of all four one-and-ones.
Leading, 47-45, with 2 1/2 minutes left, Navy's best free-throw men, Rob Romaine and Dave Brooks, missed shots. But the Nittany Lions could not score either, and Navy was running out the clock when Collins stole the ball from Romaine and was fouled as he drove for the basket with eight seconds remaining.
Collins missed both free throws, but the Lions managed to tie up Jim Kuzma on the rebound. Because of a five-second violation against Navy two minutes earlier, it was Penn State's turn to take possession, and Collins made his jumper to force the overtime.
Asked whether he instructed Collins to miss the second free throw, Penn State Coach Dick Harter laughed and said, "No, I was afraid if I did, he might make it."
The overtime belonged to Penn State junior center Mike Lang, who had scored only four points in regulation. He scored the Lions' first seven points of the extra period as they quickly removed any further suspense.
Lang made both ends of a one-and-one before Navy's Gary Price created a tie at 49 with a jump shot. Lang followed with a turnaround from the lane, then Penn State benefited both from a miss by Romaine at the line and the controversial jump-ball rule, gaining possession because Navy had won the overtime tap.
Lang made the most of the situation by converting a three-point play after a fine assist by Dwight Gibson. Navy missed several shots before Rich Fetter made a pair of free throws after a rebound foul to make it 56-49 and ensure the Lions (12-9) of their second victory in the last six games.