- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 3, 2000

Maryland's basketball team, four days after going inside with its offense and shooting 29 free throws in a blowout at Florida State, enjoyed a free throw bonanza in another big ACC victory.

The 29 foul shots in Tallahassee had been a season high in league play for the Terps, but they smashed that mark last night against Virginia. Making a season-high 30 of 38 free throws in a physical game at Cole Field House, the 25th-ranked Terps downed the Cavaliers 91-79 before 14,500.

Virginia committed 26 total fouls, including 13 in the first 14:40 of the second half. Those fouls not only led junior point guard Donald Hand to the bench leaving the offense in the hands of freshman Majestic Mapp but helped the Terps hold off each of the Cavaliers' rallies.

The victory evened the conference record of Maryland (15-6, 4-4 ACC) for the first time since the Terps started the league schedule 0-3. In addition, it moved them closer to the league's top tier by sinking Virginia (15-6, 5-3), a young squad that had surprised observers by racing to the ACC's second-best record.

Maryland was led for a second game by sophomore center Lonny Baxter, who had scored 24 points 22 in the first half in a dominating performance at Florida State. Last night Baxter had 24 points on 9-for-14 shooting, making six of eight from the foul line.

Sophomore guard Juan Dixon chipped in 19 points for the Terps, while junior forward Terence Morris emerged from a recent slump to record a double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds.

Both teams struggled in the game's opening minutes, rushing shots and failing to set up halfcourt looks. Maryland eventually trimmed its fullcourt pressure and switched to a 3-2 zone, moves that helped it to go on an 8-0 run and take an 18-12 lead.

Virginia finally regrouped against the 3-2 zone when Keith Friel hit 3-pointers on consecutive possessions. The Terps and Cavaliers traded blows over the next several minutes until Virginia went on a 7-0 run to tie the game 31-31. Mapp had the tying basket, an open 3-pointer on a kick-out play.

Morris led the Terps back quickly, though, scoring a layup after catching a tipped pass in the post and hitting both free throws after being fouled on the defensive boards. Maryland's 6-0 run near the end of the half pushed the lead to 41-34, but Chris Williams (22 points) drove for a layup to make it 41-36 at intermission.

Maryland's case in the first half was helped by 12 Virginia fouls, which led to 18 free throws by the Terps (of which they made 15). The 18 attempts was more than the Terps had shot in any ACC game besides Saturday's win at Florida State.

Fouls became important in the early portion of the second half. Maryland's Steve Blake and Danny Miller each picked up their third fouls in the first four minutes of the second half. Soon after Virginia's Travis Watson and Baxter picked up their third fouls, while Hand was hit with his fourth with 15:36 remaining.

Virginia drew as close as 41-40 with 18:50 left and 49-47 three minutes later, but the Terps answered each with a run. The second was a 6-0 surge capped by a tip by junior center Mike Mardesich, which gave Maryland a 55-47 edge.

The Cavaliers then faded as the fouls mounted. Their offense grew more inconsistent with inexperienced Mapp running the point, and Maryland simply got free throws almost every trip upcourt.

Virginia committed its 13th foul of the half with 5:20 remaining, and Baxter hit both free throws for a 77-65 lead. Twenty-five seconds later Miller hit a 3-pointer to blow the game open, and Dixon followed with a steal and a catch-and-shoot jumper to make it 82-65.

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