The second half

Dixon sparks decisive run, as Maryland secures title

April 02, 2002|By Paul McMullen | Paul McMullen,SUN STAFF

Indiana did not score in the first three minutes of the half, but got back in the game as Maryland could not improve its ragged offensive play.

Held without a shot in the last 10 minutes of the first half, Juan Dixon forced a jump shot to start the second. Lonny Baxter's power move extended the Terps lead to 37-30, but Indiana went on a 10-3 spurt to force a tie at 40 with 11:50 remaining. The run included three-pointers by Dane Fife and Kyle Hornsby, and a shot in the lane by Jeff Newton and his put-back of the Hoosiers' first missed three of the half.

Baxter and Jared Jeffries traded baskets, but the former missed two free throws and the latter posted up Chris Wilcox to give Indiana its only lead of the game, at 44-42, with 10:00 left.

Dixon had been held scoreless for 20 minutes when he delivered a clutch jump shot that was nearly as big as the one that tied Connecticut in the East Regional final, as his three-pointer from the left wing with 9:53 remaining put Maryland back on top to stay at 45-44.

Baxter made two free throws, Fife answered with a put-back to draw Indiana to one, but Dixon beat him off the dribble for a 49-46 lead, a move which began a game-ending 17-6 spurt. Tahj Holden fed Baxter for a dunk, then made two free throws for a 53-46 lead with 5:04 left. Hornsby's three from the right wing was Indiana's only field goal over an eight-minute stretch, as Maryland continued to play suffocating defense and win loose balls.

Holden fed Drew Nicholas for a basket, and Byron Mouton tipped a missed Baxter free throw to Dixon, whose free throws made it 58-49 with 2:43 left. Steve Blake, Mouton and Wilcox added two free throws apiece and Indiana was unable to muster any offense, as it went scoreless from the 4:30 mark until a late three made it 64-52. Dixon took the inbounds pass and heaved it into the air, as Maryland celebrated its first NCAA championship.

Half scoring

Maryland 33 Indiana 27

16-0

Maryland's advantage at the free-throw line

5-for-15

Indiana's shooting from three-point range

155

Points scored by Juan Dixon in the NCAA tournament

Key moment

Dixon 3

After Indiana took its first lead of the game at 44-42, Dixon came down and hit a three-pointer. His first basket since the first 10 minutes triggered a game-closing 22-8 run.

Bouncing back

Lonny Baxter

The senior center pulled down seven rebounds to go with seven in the first half.

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