David Robinson led Navy offensively and defensively to a 27-2 spurt in the first 10 minutes of the second half tonight as the Midshipmen continued their domination of Colonial Athletic Association basketball opponents with an 85-54 victory over James Madison at Halsey Field House.
Robinson, a 6-foot-11 junior from Osbourn Park High, scored 26 points, had 18 rebounds and blocked 12 shots as Navy won for the sixth time in its last seven games. The Midshipmen are 10-3 overall, 3-0 in the CAA.
Opening the second half, Robinson scored 10 points and blocked three shots to help extend a 45-33 halftime lead to 72-35.
In that stretch, the Dukes (2-9, 0-2) had seven turnovers and made only one of 15 shots from the floor.
"I remember one time in grammar school in the Bronx when the team I was playing on had that bad a stretch," said James Madison Coach John Thurston. "We only scored two points in the whole first half, but at least in that game we got better -- we scored four points in the second half."
Thurston, who did not have a starter taller than 6-6, said Navy, which has nine wins in its last 10 conference games, will be virtually impossible for other CAA teams to beat this year.
"If Navy shoots well, they win," said Thurston. "The only way people in our league will beat them is they don't make a shot at all."
That hardly was the case last night. The Dukes came out in a 2-3 zone surrounding Robinson, but senior wing guard Kylor Whitaker quickly took advantage.
Whitaker made seven of nine first-half shots, most from beyond 15 feet, and finished with a season-high 18 points.
"Kylor has been a big difference all year, not just tonight," said Navy Coach Paul Evans. "Other teams come out and sag on David, but he has hit two or three shots to open it up."
Vernon Butler, Navy's 6-7 strong forward, also took advantage of James Madison's small lineup. He scored 14 of his 20 points in the first half and finished with nine rebounds and five assists.
David Monroe, playing for the first time in seven games because of broken bone in his shooting hand, led the Dukes with 15 points. Eric Brent of Mount Vernon High had 12, making just five of 16 shots.
"Lately, I've been getting more aggressive on defense and the feel on my blocked shots has been better," said Robinson. "Like tonight, I can really feel other teams getting tense about shooting when I am playing like that."
The Midshipmen are 41-3 at Halsey in Evans' six seasons. They are 4-0 this year with no victory margin of fewer than 30 points.
"We like playing here," said Evans. "We don't care if those Congressmen keep vetoing money for a new building."