New faces put their poise on display


Smith, Gilchrist provide big lift with 10-point run, give UM breathing room

College Basketball

January 19, 2003|By Paul McMullen | Paul McMullen,SUN STAFF

COLLEGE PARK - Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski cited Maryland's maturity, but two rookies got the Terps over the hump against the top-ranked Blue Devils yesterday.

Clinging to a 57-56 lead with a little more than 13 minutes remaining, Maryland went on a 10-0 run, with all of the points coming from junior college transfer Jamar Smith and freshman point guard John Gilchrist. After that spurt, the Terps' lead never got below double digits.

It was a particularly sweet afternoon for Smith, who crammed six of his eight points into the game-breaking stretch despite a cold. The forward had played a total of nine minutes in December losses to Notre Dame and Florida, worked his way back into Gary Williams' good graces, but then missed the previous week's rout of Florida State while he attended funeral services for his grandfather, John Lloyd.

"I've been trying to step my game up in practice, grab rebounds and run the floor well," Smith said of his remedy for being in Williams' doghouse. "I wouldn't say I was bummed out. I just wasn't going as hard as I should have been going."

The featured points during the run were a ferocious put-back dunk by Smith. Gilchrist started it with a nice bank shot. Dahntay Jones ended it with a free throw, but Gilchrist kept the momentum in Maryland's corner with a steal and feed to Ryan Randle.

Smith didn't play in the final 11 minutes, but Chris McCray kept the Maryland mix young, as he played nine minutes in the second half.

"Everyone was on the same wavelength," said Gilchrist, Steve Blake's heir. "Sometimes you look in your teammates' eyes and everyone's not on the same page. We've had some big ACC wins here, but this tops it."

Boost for Nicholas

The demands of defending J.J. Redick, Duke's ace freshman shooter, enhanced rather than detracted from the play of Drew Nicholas.

"I really like to have a big defensive assignment, because it gets me into the game earlier," Nicholas said. "When I look back to the Wake Forest game [last Wednesday's loss], I stopped moving when they went to a triangle and two. That took me out of the game completely."

Redick, the Blue Devils' leading scorer, had just two of his 13 points in the second half, when he missed all three of his three-point attempts. Nicholas had 24, and his first two field goals were the result of the kind of motion that made Juan Dixon the Terps' all-time leading scorer. The Washington Wizards rookie was on the Terps' bench, and Nicholas was the biggest recipient of his encouragement.

"He told me just to be aggressive and stay in the passing lanes [on defense]," Nicholas said. "It was similar to when Steve [Francis] came back last year for Duke. I really appreciate Juan coming out."

Nicholas and Tahj Holden are members of the first Maryland class in 19 years to show a victory over Duke in each of their four years at College Park.

Et cetera

The aftermath of Maryland's run-in with the officiating crew at Wake Forest included a one-game suspension for Doug Shows, the official whom Williams intimated threatened the Terps after the coach and Blake were charged with technical fouls. Williams issued an apology for his comments after the game. ... Smith had six rebounds. With Randle grabbing 17, Allegany College products had 23 rebounds compared with 32 for the entire Duke team. ... It was the sixth time in the past seven games in the series the winner had trailed at the half.

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