Terps show they're more than just Williams show

November 25, 1991|By Don Markus | Don Markus,Sun Staff Correspondent

COLLEGE PARK -- There were no major revelations to come out of Maryland's 83-53 season-opening victory Saturday night over Mount St. Mary's at Cole Field House. But the Terrapins showed a few positive signs.

Among them:

* That Maryland could find its offense even when senior guard Walt Williams failed to locate his. Williams was 4-for-16 from the field, including two of 11 on three-pointers. He did spark a defense that helped force 41 turnovers.

* That Garfield Smith has picked up where he left off during the second half of last season. The 6-foot-6 senior forward has added 15 pounds of muscle to his body and some range to his jump shot. He finished with 18 points to lead the Terps.

* That Maryland might not be as bad off at center as believed. Against a frontline that made up for a lack of natural ability with formidable size, junior Evers Burns had 16 points and nine rebounds, and junior Chris Kerwin added seven points and one rebound.

* That Maryland's defense can still be a nightmare to play against. The Mountaineers (0-1) had problems throughout the night bringing the ball upcourt. They took as many shots (23 of 41) as they made turnovers.

"I expected them to come at us full bore, and they did exactly what we thought they would," said Mount St. Mary's coach Jim Phelan, who couldn't remember when one of his teams committed as many turnovers. "We made a lot of poor decisions by people you'd expect wouldn't make them."

Though Maryland started tentatively, it wasn't much of a game. By halftime the Terps led, 34-24, stretched it to 16 early in the second half, watched the Mountaineers cut their deficit to 11 and then opened it to as many as 33 late in the game.

Maryland coach Gary Williams was pleased with the effort, and understood his team's early lack of execution. NCAA probation had prevented it from playing any exhibition games.

"I think we were nervous," said Williams. "Every other team in America has played an exhibition game except us, and it showed in the first half."

NOTES: Maryland plays host to Maryland-Eastern Shore tomorrow night, and Mount St. Mary's plays at Delaware State tonight. Maryland announced that its Jan. 8 game against Duke has been sold out.

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