- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 8, 2006

CORAL GABLES, Fla. — Maryland apparently didn’t learn its lesson last year.

The No. 14 Terrapins returned to the site of one of their most disappointing losses from a year ago and trumped it. Maryland fell behind big early against Miami and never led in an 84-70 loss yesterday at BankUnited Center. The loss broke a six-game winning streak for the Terps.

“You’d like to predict everything in coaching, but you can’t,” said Maryland coach Gary Williams, whose team lost to the Hurricanes in overtime last season. “There were no signs of that taking place. We just didn’t respond very well.”

Or right away. The Terps (11-3, 1-1 ACC) missed their first five shots and fell behind 13-0. Williams said he couldn’t recall any team he coached coming back from that big a deficit to open a game.

Still, with Miami point guard Anthony Harris on the bench with foul trouble, Maryland used its fullcourt press to rally to 37-33 at halftime, then got within one point with 14:33 left after Travis Garrison scored back-to-back baskets inside.

“We thought we were going to win the game at that point when it was 42-41,” Williams said. “But they hit a couple 3s [by Harris]. We missed some shots. It’s a combination of things. They get a second shot. We don’t.

“It’s a tough thing when you have to look at your team and you look at the bottom line and you were flat out outworked. You can talk about basketball and X’s and O’s, but we were outworked today.”

Miami (9-6, 1-1) was led by its three starting guards, Harris, Robert Hite and Guillermo Diaz, who combined for 65 points and 11 3-pointers.

Harris had a season-high 22 points, hitting all four of his 3s. Hite finished with 22 points and eight rebounds, and Diaz added 21 points, a career-best nine assists, five rebounds and three steals despite twisting his ankle in the first half and leaving the game to have it retaped.

As a team, the Hurricanes hit a season-high 12 3-pointers on only 19 attempts.

“It seemed like they hit everything they put up,” said Nik Caner-Medley, who led Maryland with 19 points. “They were making shots they haven’t made all year. We’re talking about a team that would have a very different record if they shot the ball like they did today every night.”

Miami, which beat a ranked team for the first time in six tries since last season’s victory over Maryland, also forced 20 turnovers, outrebounded the bigger Terps by eight and held them to 15 points less than their ACC-leading 85.2 average.

As it did a year ago, Miami played primarily a 2-3 zone against the Terps. The Hurricanes held leading scorer Chris McCray to only five points, ending his streak of 15 consecutive games in double digits dating to last season.

“We thought the zone would be good against them because we could get to their shooters,” Miami coach Frank Haith said. “Guys were alert at knowing personnel. We were great at that. When McCray was in the area, we were very alert.”

Miami’s big men, Gary Hamilton and Anthony King, had a strong presence inside. The Terps were outscored 17-2 on second chance points.

“It’s a toughness thing,” Williams said. “Miami was tougher than us in every way. They ran their offense better. They got after loose balls better. And their rebounding was better.”

Williams told his team after the game things have to change before they play at top-ranked Duke on Wednesday.

“They’re down, and they should be down,” Williams said. “We want them to be down. But the one thing I’ve learned, we’re 1-1 in the league, just like Miami is. We both won a home game and lost a road game. That’s the ACC.

“This is not like the end of the season or anything. It’s just today.”

cThe Associated Press contributed to this article.

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