As usual, No. 8 Terps feeling right at home in 92-69 win

UM runs home win streak vs. non-league foes to 84

January 04, 2002|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

COLLEGE PARK - The Maryland Terrapins returned to familiar territory last night - albeit without a familiar face in the lineup.

The Terps, playing without injured starting forward Lonny Baxter, won their third straight game by hammering visiting Norfolk State, 92-69, at Cole Field House.

Five players scored in double figures to help the No. 8 Terps improve to 11-2 despite missing Baxter, who sprained his right ankle when he landed on a teammate's foot in practice Tuesday.

To compensate for his absence, the forward trio of Tahj Holden, Ryan Randle, and Chris Wilcox combined to score 37 points, grab 18 rebounds, and block 12 shots.

"I definitely think that between me, Chris, and Ryan, we wanted to get the ball inside," said Holden, who had 16 points, six rebounds and five blocks. "We wanted to make an effort when Lonny was out."

While Maryland coach Gary Williams said he expects Baxter, who averages 14.3 points and 8.9 rebounds a game and sat out just the third game of his career, to play Wednesday when the Terps resume their Atlantic Coast Conference schedule against North Carolina at Cole Field House, Williams said he was pleased with the team's balanced distribution in the scoring sheet.

"When we are like that, we're tough to beat," Williams said of five players scoring 10 or more points. "That's good to see."

With the victory, Maryland put the finishing touches on its non-conference schedule at Cole Field House. The Terps, who will be moving into the Comcast Center next season, closed out Cole by extending their home winning streak against non-conference opponents to 84 straight games.

For the seventh time this season, guard Juan Dixon led Maryland with a game-high 17 points. He also had five rebounds and three assists. Forward Ryan Randle scored 12 points in 25 minutes, and guards Drew Nicholas and Andre Collins each chipped in 10 points.

Norfolk State was led by guard Daryl Towe's 14 points and six rebounds. Guard Terrence Winston and forward Michael Boyd each contributed nine points.

For the second time in as many seasons, Maryland thumped the Spartans (3-10) by more than 20 points.

The Terps established their inside presence early and often. After Holden connected on a short jumper in the lane to tie the game 2-2, Maryland started to feed forward Chris Wilcox, who was starting his third game of the season.

The sophomore scored nine of the Terps' next 17 points off a variety of hooks, dunks, and a free throw to stake Maryland to a 19-12 lead with 11:08 left in the first half.

Maryland enjoyed its largest advantage of the first half at 21 after Nicholas - fouled while attempting a three-pointer - converted two of three free throws to give the Terps a 45-24 lead.

Norfolk State out-rebounded the Terps, 46-42, a statistic that tarnished the blowout win.

"We need to focus on our rebounding more," said Wilcox, who had four rebounds.

NOTE: With nine assists last night, guard Steve Blake passed Johnny Dawkins of Duke for 24th on the ACC list for career assists. Blake, who has 557 assists, is third among Maryland's all-time assists leaders.

Next for Terps

Opponent: North Carolina

Site: Cole Field House, College Park

When: Wednesday, 7:30 p.m.

TV/Radio: ESPN2/WBAL (1090 AM)

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