Terps' 10-year exhibition run ends

Dazzle rallies in 2nd half for 81-72 victory

Smith leads Maryland with 19

College Basketball

November 19, 2003|By Gary Lambrecht | Gary Lambrecht,SUN STAFF

COLLEGE PARK -- The Maryland Terrapins had not lost an exhibition contest in 10 years before last night. The Roanoke Dazzle ended that preseason run with authority.

As the Terps prepare for their season opener on Saturday against visiting American University, Maryland has a few lessons to contemplate in the wake of last night's exhibition finale, an 81-72 loss to Roanoke.

After a good start, the Terps played like a youthful squad finding its footing while facing a team of professionals. Roanoke belongs to the National Basketball Development League, which is the NBA's minor league.

Maryland led for the game's first 28 minutes, then faded badly. The Terps, who were sharp on offense early, met their match late against a Roanoke team replete with quickness, size and shooters. Maryland also failed to cover the perimeter on defense, where the Dazzle killed the Terps from three-point range.

The main culprit was former Virginia star guard Curtis Staples, who torched Maryland for a game-high 20 points, highlighted by 6-for-11 three-point shooting.

The Dazzle, which was 12-for-26 from beyond the arc, made four straight threes at one point in the middle of the second half, as Roanoke took its first lead at 58-57 with 11:05 to go, and never looked back.

From that point, the Terps were outscored 23-15 and never could mount a comeback run.

"I think we thought we were going to win with jump shots. We have to be able to score inside," Maryland coach Gary Williams said. "This team is a work in progress, obviously. You couldn't do any better from that game in terms of making us understand some things. You can tell them they're not running good offense. This shows them.

"To ask them to go play against guys, and some of them are 28 years old, hopefully we'll learn from it. I think we'll learn from this and get better. We could have scheduled an AAU team and given them $25,000 like some schools I know."

Senior center Jamar Smith led Maryland with 19 points. Sophomore point guard John Gilchrist scored 16 points and had four assists. Sophomore forward Travis Garrison had seven points and a game-high 12 rebounds.

The game followed an early script reminiscent of last week's exhibition opener against EA Sports. Maryland jumped on Roanoke with hustle and aggression at both ends of the floor, scored the game's first 10 points, and opened a 29-13 lead with six minutes left in the first half.

Maryland's start was punctuated by contributions from freshmen Will Bowers and Ebene Ibekwe, who started in place of Smith and Garrison. They were late for a team meeting yesterday. In the opening minute, Bowers and Ibekwe each blocked a shot. Bowers followed by making a three-pointer from the right corner to make it 6-0.

The Terps ran a solid offense and feasted on a bunch of Roanoke turnovers throughout much of the half, which was marked by some great drives to the basket by Gilchrist and tough rebounding by Garrison.

The Dazzle was pretty horrible at first. By the time Maryland had taken a 35-19 lead with 3:45 left in the half, Roanoke had missed 16 of 20 shots, committed 16 turnovers, and was being out-rebounded by the Terps, 22-13.

But, as it did late in the first half in last week's victory, Maryland's shot selection got sloppy and the Terps lost their edge on defense as well, causing Williams to erupt on the bench several times after an otherwise calm half.

Roanoke, which shot 25.9 percent in the first half but hung around with excellent free-throw shooting, put the clamps on Maryland's half-court offense and finally warmed up on offense. A three-pointer by center Josh Asselin sparked an 11-3 run to end the half. Only a three-point play by Ibekwe stopped the onslaught, and the Terps' lead had shrunk to 38-30 by halftime.

ROANOKE--Williams 0-2 0-0 0, Moore 3-7 2-2 10, Asselin 3-6 2-3 9, King 1-3 4-4 7, Perry 2-5 5-6 11, Staples 7-13 0-0 20, Matthews 0-3 0-0 0, Elliott 2-7 0-0 4, Owens 1-1 5-8 7, Christoffersen 2-4 3-4 7, Hall 2-3 2-2 8. Totals 23-54 23-29 81.

MARYLAND--Caner-Medley 2-9 4-6 8, Ibekwe 2-9 3-3 7, Bowers 1-2 0-1 3, Gilchrist 6-11 4-6 16, McCray 1-5 0-0 2, Smith 7-17 5-8 19, Collins 2-4 0-0 4, Garrison 3-8 1-4 7, Strawberry 2-5 0-0 4, Jones 0-1 0-0 0, Fofana 0-2 2-2 2. Totals 26-73 19-30 72.

Half: Maryland, 38-30. 3-point goals--R 12-26 (Staples 6-11, Hall 2-3, Perry 2-3, King 1-1, Asselin 1-2, Elliott 0-2, Matthews 0-2, Moore 0-2); M 1-9 (Bowers 1-1, Collins 0-1, Garrison 0-1, Gilchrist 0-1, Jones 0-1, McCray 0-1, Smith 0-1, Caner-Medley 0-2). Rebounds--R 44 (Moore 10); M 45 (Garrison 12). Assists--R 14 (Perry 5); M 10 (Gilchrist 4). Total fouls--R 25, M 21. Fouled out--Asselin, Christoffersen, Moore, Bowers). A--17,444.

Next for Terps

Matchup: American vs. Maryland in season opener for both teams

Site: Comcast Center, College Park

When: Saturday, 8 p.m.

TV/Radio: Ch. 54/WBAL (1090 AM)

Coming Friday: 2003-04 college basketball preview section

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