Hipp, Terps run off and hide from Towson, 109-71

December 24, 1993|By Gary Lambrecht | Gary Lambrecht,Staff Writer

The Maryland Terrapins looked nothing like a team that had not played in 16 days. And after what the Terps did to them last night, the Towson State Tigers probably wish they had taken a few more days off.

Showing no signs of rustiness, the Terps blitzed Towson State with relentless defensive pressure early, saw sophomore forward Exree Hipp score a career-high 35 points, and generally did whatever they pleased, rolling to a 109-71 rout before 12,581 at the Baltimore Arena.

Both teams were coming off lengthy layoffs. Towson State had not played in 10 days. The Tigers were overmatched from the opening tip, as Maryland (6-1) prepared for next week's Abdow Hall of Fame Classic tournament in Springfield, Mass., by running its perfect record against Towson State to 9-0.

On a night when every Maryland starter enjoyed fine moments, Hipp stood out the most. He scored 22 points in the first half on 9-for-10 shooting and went on to hit 14 of 16 shots -- including a perfect 4-for-4 from three-point range.

Freshman forward Keith Booth, making his first Baltimore appearance since graduating from Dunbar High, scored a career-high 18 points.

Freshman center Joe Smith scored 12 points, pulled down 11 rebounds and blocked five shots to register the third double-double of his young collegiate career.

The Terps forced 30 turnovers, dished out 31 assists to Towson State's seven, shot 55.1 percent and held the Tigers to 34.8 percent.

Towson State's lone early highlight came in the opening seconds, when Stevie Thomas' tip-in gave the Tigers a 2-0 lead. After that, Maryland wasted no time asserting its superiority, as its pressure defense devoured the Tigers.

In their next two possessions, the Tigers failed to get the ball past halfcourt. Jump shots by Hipp, Booth and a three-point play by Smith gave the Terps a 7-2 lead. The 17-point run was on.

From there, Hipp put the Terps on his shoulders, scoring 11 of their next 13 points. He started the run with a dunk off an alley-oop pass from Duane Simpkins. Hipp was assessed a technical foul for hanging on the rim, but Ralph Blalock missed both free throws.

Hipp went back to work with a layup and another slam to make it 13-2, prompting Towson State coach Terry Truax to call a timeout. That didn't slow Maryland a bit, as two more Tigers turnovers led to layups by Rhodes and Hipp to put Towson State in a 17-2 hole.

Blalock finally ended a five-minute scoring drought by hitting a 10-footer. Hipp answered with his first three-pointer. Simpkins stole the ball, made a difficult layup and converted a three-point play, and Nick Bosnic made a layup to extend the Terps' lead to 25-4 with 13:42 left in the first half.

After that knockout punch, Towson State guard Scooter Alexander awakened to score the Tigers' next eight points. That was only good enough to pull the Tigers within 32-13 with 7:54 left.

Hipp saved one more offensive spurt for the closing minutes. He scored five straight points to make it 37-15, then finished his 22-point half with a short jumper to make it 44-21.

By the time the Tigers' nightmarish half was over, they had shot 29.4 percent from the floor, committed 20 turnovers and were staring at a 55-29 deficit.

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