Terps' Williams bemoans sorry exhibition of 'D'

November 17, 1994|By Don Markus | Don Markus,Sun Staff Writer

COLLEGE PARK -- Gary Williams might have different expectations for his Maryland basketball team, but they are expectations nonetheless. Especially when it comes to playing defense.

Although the Terps won their second straight exhibition game last night with another strong second-half effort -- beating Verich Reps, 124-105, at Cole Field House -- Williams was not happy with his team's inability to stop this rag-tag collection of former college players.

"We're not playing very good defense," said Williams, who didn't emerge for his post-game interview for about 20 minutes. "The points are there. I think some people think it doesn't matter, that we'll score at our end. But if you do that against a good team, you're going to lose."

Leading only 53-46 at halftime, the seventh-ranked Terps wound up blowing out Verich Reps by the middle of the second half. Sophomore center Joe Smith, selected Tuesday as a first-team preseason All-American, scored 33 points. Sophomore forward Keith Booth had 24 and the rest of the Maryland starters scored in double figures as well. Smith had 10 rebounds and five blocks.

"We played better in the second half, but we made a lot of turnovers [23]," said Smith, who shot 10-for-15 against a team he scored 38 on a year ago. "He [Williams] was pretty upset because our defense wasn't tough."

Added Booth, who shot 11-for-16, "I think this game will help us prepare more than our first exhibition against Poland, because these guys play the style we're used to."

But it was not enough for Williams, who knows what looms in Hawaii. After opening the 1994-95 season Monday against Division II Chaminade in the Maui Invitational, the Terps likely will play No. 9 Indiana in the second round.

"I remember last year I was very concerned about our defense going into the Georgetown game, and we played very good defense," Williams said of what turned out to be an 84-83 overtime upset of the Hoyas. "We need to pick it up."

NOTES: Maryland announced it has signed 6-foot-10, 280-pound center Obinna Ekezie of Nigeria to a basketball scholarship agreement. Ekezie plays at Worcester (Mass.) Academy. The Terps also announced that seniors Kurtis Shultz of Randallstown and Wayne Bristol have been chosen as co-captains.

VERICH REPS -- Stevens 9-18 4-6 28, Banks 1-4 2-2 4, Foster 4-8 2-3 10, Fields 7-12 0-0 15, Lacy 3-4 0-0 7, Madry 4-8 0-0 11, Bell 6-11 5-6 21, McDole 1-8 5-7 7, Folk 0-4 0-0 0, Newman 1-4 0-0 2, Beauford 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 36-82 18-24 105.

MARYLAND -- Hipp 8-12 1-3 17, Booth 11-16 2-3 24, Smith 10-15 13-17 33, Simpkins 4-7 6-6 15, Rhodes 7-13 0-0 16, Lucas 5-11 2-4 13, Bristol 0-4 0-0 0, Kovarik 0-0 4-6 4, Elliott 0-1 0-0 0, Jasikevicius 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 46-80 28-39 124.

Halftime--Maryland, 53-46. 3-point goals--Verich Reps 15-38 (Stevens 6-13, Bell 4-8, Madry 3-6, Fields 1-1, Lacy 1-2, Banks 0-1); Maryland 4-19 (Rhodes 2-6, Simpkins 1-3, Lucas 1-3, Hipp 0-1, Booth 0-1, Smith 0-1, Elliott 0-1, Bristol 0-3). Rebounds--Verich Reps 45 (Fields 9); Maryland 46 (Smith 10). Assists--Verich Reps 16 (Fields 7); Maryland 28 (Rhodes 7). Total fouls--Verich Reps 27; Maryland 21. Fouled out--Foster. Technicals--Verich Reps bench, Foster, Banks.

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