Elliott gives Maryland quality time as sub Scores career-high 15 in 13-minute stretch

February 19, 1996|By Ken Murray | Ken Murray,SUN STAFF

COLLEGE PARK -- Rodney Elliott, who has had to pick his spots of late with Maryland's basketball team, picked a big one yesterday when the Terps needed it most.

Elliott scored 15 points in a 13-minute stretch when he spelled starting center Obinna Ekezie. His performance helped the Terps rout Missouri, 91-72, at Cole Field House.

"I think this is a big breakthrough game for Rodney," Maryland coach Gary Williams said of the 6-foot-8 sophomore from Baltimore's Dunbar High.

"He hasn't played much, and to come in and do what he did today was outstanding."

The 13 minutes represented Elliott's most playing time since a 14-minute outing against Delaware State on Jan. 17. The 15 points tied his season and career high, achieved against Rider in December.

But what made this game stand out was Elliott's shooting touch. He hit six of seven shots -- and three of three from beyond the three-point line.

"I've been hitting those shots in practice," said Elliott, who lost his starting job to Ekezie in mid-January. "It's nothing new. Terrell Stokes did a great job setting people up today."

Ekezie, who suffered a groin injury last Thursday against Wake Forest, played 14 minutes, contributing four points and two rebounds against Missouri. Elliott said he didn't know he'd necessarily get additional playing time.

"It just developed, there was no set pattern coming in," he said. "I'm always ready to come in. It hurt back in the days when I wasn't playing as much. But when I get in, I'm out there doing my job."

Elliott also contributed three rebounds as the Terps out-rebounded the taller Tigers, 29-26. It marked the first time in nine games that Maryland beat its opponent on the boards.

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