- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 23, 2000


LAHAINA, Hawaii The Maryland basketball team came to the Maui to make a statement that it belongs among college basketball's elite. However, that wasn't the message the Terps sent. Based on its nightmarish play on this island equated with paradise, sixth-ranked Maryland showed only that it was overrated.
Power forward Terence Morris was hesitant to take the ball inside and did not make a single trip to the foul line. His teammates couldn't accomplish much either in a 77-71 loss to Dayton in the consolation game of the Maui Invitational before a less-than-capacity crowd at the 2,500-seat Lahaina Civic Center. The Terps finished fourth in the eight-team field after consecutive losses to No. 8 Illinois and the unranked Flyers.
"We thought we could go inside and be stronger than they are," said Maryland coach Gary Williams, whose team was outhustled and outmuscled in consecutive games. "It's disturbing that we got outrebounded by eight [41-33]. I have always said since I coached in high school that size isn't a true indication of how good your rebounding is. It's how you go to the ball. Dayton just went, flat-out for the ball harder than we did. There's no way to make that nicer."
The smaller Flyers (2-1), who upset No. 12 Connecticut in the first round and lost to top-ranked Arizona on Tuesday, pulled away with an 11-point run midway through the first half to take a 54-48 lead and held on late. Shooting guard Tony Stanley led the unranked Flyers with 21 points and hit a momentum-changing 3-pointer that thwarted Maryland's late rally. The performance was particularly impressive by Stanley, who is from Arlington, because his mother died Tuesday night.
The Terps (1-2) will fly home today and try to regroup in time for Wednesday's game against No. 18 Wisconsin in Milwaukee, looking to turn around a disastrous start to a season that began with so much hype. Maryland was embarrassed on the boards and on effort for a second straight game after Illinois outrebounded it by 18 Tuesday.
Maryland center Lonny Baxter was an inside force on both ends with 20 points and six assists, but the Terps lost their last chance for a late comeback when the center fouled out with 2:04 left and Dayton leading 67-64.
All-American candidate Morris (17 points) was not assertive and disappeared down the stretch. The 6-foot-9 power forward was content with finesse moves and baby hooks rather than mixing it up inside, and Williams pulled him before the game ended.
"We are doing a pretty good job getting the ball to Lonny. The problem is we need somebody else to score in there," said Williams, who made some jokes about holding tryouts for that job. "That's about it for the power moves on our team. That's really a problem. We have to figure out who can do it for us."
Morris received top billing in the horror by the Pacific, but he wasn't the only disappointing Maryland player. All-ACC guard Juan Dixon finished with two points on one of eight shooting (including 0-for-6 on 3s), point guard Steve Blake (five points, five turnovers) was shaky throughout and the bench, other than point guard Drew Nicholas (12 points, five assists), provided no relief.
Maryland's hopes ended soon after Dixon missed a 3-pointer with the Flyers ahead by four. Stanley provided the dagger with a 3-pointer from the right corner off an inbounds pass with 1:04 remaining on a play that started with :02 left on the shot clock.
Dayton used a 22-7 run, including the 11-0 stretch, midway through the second half to build a 65-55 lead on Stanley's 3-pointer. Dayton's 6-9 reserve center, Keith Waleskowski (10 points), led the team with eight rebounds. The Flyers used second shots and tip-ins to build their lead.
And now the Terps will bring their troubles back to the mainland. Williams said he wasn't concerned about the scoring difficulties because teams have off shooting nights. However, the fiery coach wants to instill a sense of intensity into his reeling troops.
"[Dayton] got the offensive rebounds when they had to," Williams said. "They made the free throws when they had to. We didn't… . You put going for the ball whether it's a rebound or a loose ball as our biggest problem right now."

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