Once out of sight, Boozer knocks UM out of tournament

Reserve picks up slack, scores 19

Duhon hopes to play tomorrow night

Notebook

April 01, 2001|By Christian Ewell, Paul McMullen and Gary Lambrecht | Christian Ewell, Paul McMullen and Gary Lambrecht,SUN STAFF

MINNEAPOLIS - While Duke's Jason Williams and Shane Battier did their usual damage to Maryland, Carlos Boozer also played a role in the 33-point turnaround that sent the Blue Devils to tomorrow night's NCAA championship game.

Boozer, who sat out several weeks before the tournament because of a broken foot, came off the bench to score 19 points last night. Thirteen of those came in the second half, when Duke was whittling down what had been a 22-point Maryland lead with seven minutes left in the first half.

"I thought our big guys played their best game," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "Casey Sanders and Carlos Boozer, that defense and offense combined really gave us the best game we've had in a long time."

Boozer was proud of the defensive job that he and Sanders did on Lonny Baxter (10 points), who had averaged 23 points in the previous three games.

Baxter "didn't have much of an impact," Boozer said. "And that was the key to the game."

Chris Duhon said that Boozer's offensive performance was quite important, with Williams and Battier shooting a combined 4-for-15 in the first half.

Duhon said he expected Williams and Battier to score "all the time, but when they don't score we know we have other teammates who can carry the load, and Carlos did that today."

Duhon-Blake collision

Duhon, who collided with Terps point guard Steve Blake and hit his head on the court during the second half, suffered a blackout that he was surprised to return from.

He returned to the game, however, because the Blue Devils usually substitute a player between the free throws of a two-shot foul, which Boozer hit with 43 seconds left.

"It worked out," said Duhon, who had his blackout with 3:35 remaining and expects to be functional for tomorrow night. "I'm glad I was able to come back in.

"They gave me something for my headache, and a couple minutes to get back to reality."

Blake mildly injured his calf, but felt fine afterward. "I guess he can't take a hit too well," Blake said.

Krzyzewski said it appeared Duhon had a mild concussion, but trainers think he'll be all right. He'll be under observation today. Duhon badly wants to play in the final.

"It's the national championship," he said. "There's no guarantee I'll be back here."

Terps not so down

The Terps were not especially distraught in the post-game locker room, largely because they ended up where they were expected to be. In the preseason, they were ranked No. 5 in the county.

Many prognosticators picked the Terps to make their first trip to the Final Four.

And after stumbling to a 15-9 record in mid-February by losing five out of six games, including a shocking home loss to Florida State, the last-place team in the Atlantic Coast Conference, Maryland regrouped to make a determined run that ultimately brought the Terps to Minneapolis.

"We have a lot of character on this team," Juan Dixon said. "Our seniors did a great job. LaRon Cephas, Mike Mardesich and Terence Morris - those guys kept us strong. I just wanted to perform well for those guys.

"We have the spring and the summer and the fall to get better as a team, and we have a lot of the same guys coming back. The guys just have to get better in the off-season. We'll know what to do next year if we are to get in this situation."

Stung by turnovers

Blake had 13 points and five assists, but he also committed six turnovers as the Terps committed 21, their highest total since a Feb. 6 loss at Georgia Tech.

Blake had difficulty stopping Williams in the second half, when his sophomore counterpart gave up on his outside shot, attacked the basket and scored 19 of his 23 points.

It's on Baxter?

Boozer said he was surprised with the foul that sent Maryland's Baxter out of the game with 2:48 remaining, when the Terps were trailing 85-79.

"I thought it was on me, to be honest," Boozer said. "It went the other way, and that's the way it goes."

Numbers on Morris

Morris had 10 points and eight rebounds in a foul-marred 20-minute stint that matched his second shortest of the season.

He capped his career with 1,733 points and 670 rebounds, eighth and 15th all time, respectively, for the Terps. His 256 career blocks are the second-best ever at Maryland.

No stopping rock and roll

When Maryland's students got out of hand at Cole Field House on Jan. 27 after that infamous come-from-ahead, 98-96 overtime loss to Duke, the administration banned "Rock and Roll Part II," a Gary Glitter song played by the pep band that was punctuated by a derisive cheer aimed at the opposition.

When the Arizona band played the song during a TV timeout in its rout of Michigan State, several thousand Maryland backers revived the chant, to the puzzlement of many in the Metrodome.

Scouting Duke

Arizona's chief scout was duly impressed after watching Duke join the Wildcats in the championship game.

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