Maryland comes up short at end, falls to Sooners

December 08, 1993|By Don Markus | Don Markus,Staff Writer

OKLAHOMA CITY -- The Maryland basketball team overcame an error-prone first half and an early 13-point deficit to Oklahoma to seemingly take control of last night's nationally televised game at the Myriad.

But after leading by four points with a little more than six minutes left and by one with four minutes to go, the Terrapins showed their inexperience down the stretch as the Sooners came from behind to win, 88-85.

With a chance to tie the game in the final seconds, Exree Hipp shot an air ball on a three-pointer and Ryan Minor swiped the ball away from freshman center Joe Smith as time ran out. Minor, a sophomore forward, led Oklahoma (3-1) with a career-high 30.

The victory broke a season-starting, five-game winning streak for Maryland (5-1), which now has off until it meets Towson State at the Baltimore Arena Dec. 23. Smith led the Terps with 30 points, but scored only one in the last 7:09.

Leading by one, 75-74, with a little over five minutes left, fouls starting catching up with the Terps. First Keith Booth fouled out on a drive with 4:34 left, with the basket waved off. Then after a three-point shot by Pete Lewis gave Oklahoma the lead, Hipp buried a three to put Maryland ahead by one, 78-77.

Minor then scored inside for the Sooners, and Smith lost the ball. Hipp came up with a big block for the Terps, but point guard Duane Simpkins missed on a drive. Shon Alexander hit a short jumper for the Sooners, Smith lost the ball inside and Minor's drive with a little under two minutes left put Oklahoma ahead by five, 83-78.

A baseline jumper by Hipp cut it back to three, 83-80, with 1:38 to go, and the Terps got the ball back after an offensive foul on Webster. But Mario Lucas missed a 10-footer with just under a minute left, and Ken Conley got a friendly roll on a foul-line jumper for a five-point lead.

But a free throw by Smith and a subsequent rebound follow by Johnny Rhodes cut it back to two, 85-83, before John Ontjes' two free throws with 17.9 seconds seemingly clinched the victory for Oklahoma.

But Ontjes opened the door for Maryland by missing the back end of a one-and-one with 10.1 seconds to go and, following a timeout, Hipp missed the desperation three-pointer for the Terps.

The Terps started quickly, with a three-point shot by Hipp and a free throw by Smith giving them a 4-0 lead. But they also started sloppily, with five turnovers in their first nine possessions and eight in their first 13 trips.

It allowed the Sooners, despite some cold outside shooting early on, to build a 16-6 lead after a little more than five minutes and to 18-8 after a little more than six minutes gone. Maryland also went more than five minutes with only one field goal.

A 10-foot turnaround by Conley gave Oklahoma a 22-10 lead with remaining, and a wide-open three-pointer by Lewis increased the lead to 25-12. The Terps hung in there, cutting their deficit back to 25-20 on a breakaway layup by Hipp with 7:15 left in the half.

It was down to four, 27-23, on a pair of free throws by Smith with six minutes to go. After a three-point play by Webster put the Sooners ahead by seven, the Terps eventually cut it to three, 32-29, on a dunk by Booth with 4:32 left in the half.

After tying the game at 34 on a layup by Booth with 2:45 to go, the Terps watched as Oklahoma ran off six straight points, four by Minor. But the Sooners refused to take advantage of opportunities -- including a botched two-on-one break by Maryland -- and led by only two, 40-38, at halftime.

Despite shooting only 12 of 33 in the first half, and committing 19 turnovers, the Terps stayed within two points of the Sooners because of Smith. He finished the half with 19 points, including nine of 10 from the line, while leading Maryland's onslaught on the boards (34 to 15) with 11 rebounds.

When Smith picked up his third personal 39 seconds into the second half, things looked a little shaky for the Terps. But Smith just picked up right where he left off, scoring six points to keep the Terps within two, 48-46. That's when the game seemed to turn in Maryland's favor.

After Webster missed a three-point shot for Oklahoma, Duane Simpkins fed Booth for a lob on a two-on-one fastbreak. The freshman from Dunbar couldn't dunk it, but he did manage to score as he was intentionally fouled by Sooners guard John Ontjes. He made both free throws and then hit a layup to complete a six-point play.

A 15-footer by Hipp gave the Terps a 54-48 lead, but just as quickly as Maryland went ahead, the Sooners jumped in front. A 7-0 run sparked by Minor's three-point play gave Oklahoma a 55-54 lead. But the Terps kept their heads, and baskets by Hipp and Johnny Rhodes put Maryland in the lead, 58-55. A three-point play by Webster tied it at 58.

After Conley missed a pair of free throws for the Sooners, freshman Nick Bosnic beat everyone upcourt, made a layup and was fouled. His free throw gave Maryland a 61-58 lead. A steal by Bosnic and a short jumper by Rhodes pushed the lead to five, but Calvin Curry banked in a three-point shot -- a la Joey Brown -- to cut it back to two. But Mario Lucas answered for the Terps with a short baseline jumper.

Curry must have found his range, because he made two more threes cleanly to vault the Sooners into a 69-67 lead with 10:33 remaining. After Rhodes missed a wide-open three for Maryland, and Minor for Oklahoma, Smith hit a turnaround in the lane to tie the game. Smith then forced a turnover, and fed behind-the-head pass to Hipp for a behind-the-head dunk.

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