- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 30, 2000

WISCONSIN 78, MARYLAND 75

MILWAUKEE Maryland came to Wisconsin hoping to show that its failure in the Maui Invitational was merely an ill-timed fluke. The Terps had hoped to reassert themselves as a top-10 caliber team when they came into the Bradley Center to face No. 23 Wisconsin as part of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.

But Charlie Will's 3-pointer in overtime led the way to a 78-75 overtime victory for the Badgers, and handed 13th-ranked Maryland (1-3) its third consecutive loss. Wisconsin used its plodding style to milk the clock for shots and got enough offensive rebounds to pull out the victory.

Will's 3-pointer came at the start of the extra session. And after Maryland's Lonny Baxter missed two free throws, Mike Kelley hit a mid-range jumper just before the shot clock expired to make it 67-62, and the Badgers made their free throws and held on from there.

Steve Blake's 3-pointer with :36 left in regulation forced overtime as he nailed the open jumper from the top of the key. The Badgers couldn't get a good shot on the final possession and Roy Boone launched a desperation 35-footer at the buzzer, which bounced harmlessly off the glass.

Wisconsin had taken a 58-57 lead on two free throws from Mark Vershaw and led by three on two more free throws from the reserve forward. Maryland cut it to 60-59 on two free throws from Terence Morris, before an inside basket from Wills widened Wisconsin's lead to three.

The Terps had failed to take the lead earlier when trailing 58-57 with under two minutes to play when Lonny Baxter missed a difficult inside shot, Terence Morris couldn't control the ball as he tried to tip it in, and Byron Mouton's desperate attempt to save the ball failed as he leaped over the front row of the seats.

Mouton's pull-up jumper which had given Maryland a short-lived 57-56 lead on the previous possession. Mouton keyed the Terps comeback and had four straight points to give his team a 55-52 lead.

But the Badgers countered with a free throw from Charlie Wills and an open 3-pointer by Ricky Bower after Maryland failed to secure the initial rebound.

Mouton's close-range jumper had given Maryland a 53-52 lead in a seesaw game. The Terps scored nine straight points earlier to erase a 50-42 deficit. A Tahj Holden 3-pointer had given Maryland a 51-50 lead before a jumper by Kirk Penney gave the Badgers the advantage.

The Terps mounted comeback to cut the lead to 50-48 with 7:40 on a strong hustle play started by Drew Nicholas.

Wisconsin led 50-42 before the Maryland went on a nine-point run, started by four free throws from Nicholas.

The Badgers had gone up by eight thanks to an 11-point run as they hit open shots and beat the Terps on the inside.

The Terps came back from an early 10-point deficit to take 37-34 lead at the half. Blake had five assists before the break and Juan Dixon had 11 points. Maryland outshot the Badgers 56-percent to 38 and had a 16-6 advantage on points inside the paint.

The Terps tried to set the tone early with a full-court press, but Wisconsin dominated the boards and built a 14-4 lead on a 3-pointer by Will from the left corner. It continued a frustrating pattern for Maryland this season of giving up second shots and getting outhustled to loose balls.

Mouton provided a spark off the bench as the Terps used an 11-3 run late in the half to tie the score. The junior swingman hit two consecutive jumpers to cut the Badgers' lead to 26-21. Dixon hit a difficult turnaround from just inside the foul line, and Blake knotted the score at 26-26 on a 3-pointer from just outside the top of the key.

Maryland did a much better job limiting Wisconsin on the boards during the comeback and picked up the game's tempo to suit its preferred running style.

The Terps took their first lead on a close-range bank shot by Dixon that made it 33-32 with under three minutes left in the half. After Mark Vershaw's mid-range field goal regained the lead for Wisconsin, Maryland went on a five-point run. A sharp underhanded entry pass from Blake to Baxter for a layup started the stretch. A Dixon free throw and a baseline jumper by Tahj Holden widened the lead to 37-33.

Maryland was holding the ball for the final shot of the half, but Roy Boone stole the ball and was fouled by Holden with :01 left in the period. The Badgers' senior guard made one of two foul shots to cut the Terps' lead to three at the break.

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