Junior center David Robinson had 19 points and a Navy record 25 rebounds as the Midshipmen opened a big first-half lead and defeated Fairfield, 78-53, tonight.

The victory was the sixth straight for Navy (20-4) and gave the Midshipmen, who last year became the first service academy to post consecutive 20-win basketball seasons, their third straight 20-victory season.

By halftime tonight, Navy had opened a 34-20 lead, keyed by an 18-1 surge midway through the half. Robinson and Kylor Whitaker each scored six points during the run.

Point guard Doug Wojcik started the run with 12:36 left in the half by hitting a foul-line jumper to give Navy a 12-11 lead. He hit another jumper less than a minute later.

Then, after a foul shot by Fairfield, Navy scored 14 straight.

Navy extended its advantage in the second half, leading by 32 points after a basket by Cliff Rees with 2:48 left in the game.

The 25 rebounds by Robinson broke the school record of 23 set last season against Delaware by Vernon Butler, who missed this game with a hyperextended left knee suffered Saturday.

Butler had started 116 consecutive games.

"I wasn't sure how we would react without him (Butler)," said Navy Coach Paul Evans. "He has been our leader and has been an integral part of our program for the past four years."

Whitaker had 16 points for Navy, and Carl Liebert had 14, including 11 in the second half.

Tony George led Fairfield with 23 points, and Pat Yarina had 10. The 25-point loss was the worst of the season for the Stags (17-6).