No history repeat: Terps roll, 95-67

November 22, 1994|By Don Markus | Don Markus,Sun Staff Writer

LAHAINA, Hawaii -- Gary Williams had given his Maryland basketball team some history lessons when it arrived here Saturday. The Terrapins didn't visit the Pearl Harbor Memorial, as Indiana did, but they took a trip down college basketball's memory lane.

"We heard all about what happened with Ralph Sampson and Virginia," said junior guard Johnny Rhodes.

At practice Sunday, Williams again reminded them about Chaminade's monumental upset of the top-ranked Cavaliers and All-America center Ralph Sampson in 1982. Those lessons came in handy yesterday, when the Division II Silverswords forced the seventh-ranked Terps to call a timeout early in the second half of their Maui Invitational season opener.

A 19-point Maryland lead on two occasions in the first half, which had been cut to 14 by halftime, was down to nine. While the Chaminade players tried to exhort the small crowd at the Civic Center -- considering it was mostly Maryland fans, that was hard to do -- their coach tried to draw on the program's brightest moment.

"Maryland's so good. Everyone knows they're so good, and they know it," said Don Doucette, Chaminade's coach and athletic director. "But if you get it to single digits, it creates a tremendous amount of pressure for them. If they didn't grab hold of the game at that point, I think we had a shot."

But Maryland turned up the pressure after the timeout, suffocating the Silverswords with defense. In an instant, any thought of another Chaminade upset vanished, as the Terps pushed their lead back to 34 at one point in an eventual 95-67 victory yesterday.

What Virginia and Sampson couldn't accomplish here 12 years ago, Maryland and its All-America center, Joe Smith, did. Along with Rhodes, the 6-foot-10 sophomore spearheaded a 32-7 run that turned a 59-50 lead with 11:42 remaining into a blowout. After showing great resilience, Chaminade finally collapsed under Maryland's unrelenting press.

It wasn't the full-court press or half-court trap that the Terps normally employ, but a three-quarter-court press that allows their opponent to get nearly to midcourt before double-teaming the ball handler. It was the same press Maryland used so effectively in its comeback upset of Massachusetts in past season's NCAA tournament.

"I don't think they were ready for that," said Smith, who would finish with a game-high 26 points and nine rebounds -- the same numbers he recorded in his much-ballyhooed debut last year against Georgetown -- on 10-for-15 shooting.

Said Rhodes, who had 18 points on 7-for-10 shooting, as well as six rebounds, four assists and three steals: "After they got it to nine, we didn't want them to get any closer. Once any team has confidence, they think they can win."

Despite not blowing out the much-smaller Silverswords until the final nine minutes, Maryland is brimming with confidence going into today's second-round game against Utah, which upset ninth-ranked Indiana, 77-72, last night.

Except for that brief spurt early in the second half, the Terps executed better than they had in either of their two exhibition games. They were patient in their half-court offense and made 39 of 59 shots from the field, including six of 11 from three-point range.

Aside from Smith and Rhodes, sophomore forward and burgeoning star Keith Booth of Dunbar scored 16 points on 8-for-11 shooting. Reserves Wayne Bristol and Mario Lucas combined for 21 points on 9-for-11 shooting, including 3-for-3 on three-point attempts.

"You're always glad to get through the first game," said Williams, who substituted early and often. "We did some good things. I wasn't happy with the way we started the second half, but when you play a team you're expected to beat easily, it's always harder. But I think a game like this will get us ready for tomorrow."

NOTES: Senior co-captain Kurtis Shultz of Randallstown, out with a foot fracture, returned yesterday and played the final three minutes and scored on his only attempt within seconds of entering the game. . . . Exree Hipp had a game-high seven assists, but only seven points, two rebounds and four turnovers.

MAUI INVITATIONAL

YESTERDAY: FIRST ROUND

Maryland 95, Chaminade 67

Arizona State 103, Texas A&M 73

Utah vs. Indiana

Michigan vs. Tulane

TODAY: SECOND ROUND

Chaminade vs. Utah-Indiana loser, 2 p.m.

Mich.-Tulane loser vs. Texas A&M, 4 p.m.

Mich.-Tulane winner vs. Arizona St. 7 p.m.

Maryland vs. Utah-Indiana winner, 9 p.m.

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