- The Washington Times - Friday, December 28, 2001

Bring on the ACC.
Any worries over Maryland's last basketball outing can be stuffed. The eighth-ranked Terrapins are primed and ready for conference play, which begins Sunday at formidable if unranked N.C. State (10-2).
Maryland forward Byron Mouton scored a season-high 19 points to lead five Maryland players in double figures last night as the Terps blasted the William & Mary 103-75 before 14,500 at Cole Field House. That boosted the nation's longest non-conference winning streak to 83 games.
Maryland's 103 points was a season high and the first game in which the Terps topped 100 points this season. En route to its 103 points, Maryland set a record by making 13 3-pointers on 13 of 24 shooting (54.2 percent), topping its previous single-game best of 11 against Georgia Tech on Jan. 3, 1996.
"There's no plan there it's just who is open," Maryland coach Gary Williams said of Mouton's season high. "[William & Mary] looks at our team and they see [guard] Juan Dixon and [center] Lonny Baxter and they key on those two guys and if Byron is that third option, then he's open sometimes because his man may be helping on Juan or Lonny."
Observers who were ready to write off Maryland after last week's 72-56 road loss to No. 12 Oklahoma must have changed their minds in the first half last night. The Terps didn't put on clinic, but their play was good enough for a 50-35 lead.
William & Mary made six of 19 3-pointers in the first half with Adam Hess, a 6-foot-8 transfer from Eastern Michigan, scoring 11 points to lead the Tribe (3-6). Hess, a sophomore forward playing his first game, scored 10 of his 11 points in the first eight minutes and finished with a career-high 21 points.
"We weren't too surprised because we knew coming into the game that their big guys shot 3s," Maryland point guard Steve Blake said. "We weren't matching up with them out of our press too well. They were knocking them down. They were shooting the ball well and that kept them in the game for a little bit."
Maryland went out of its way to establish Mouton in the first half. Mouton, a 6-foot-6 senior, is Maryland's emotional leader. The Terps did everything to get their small forward involved.
Mouton came into this game averaging 8.7 points, fourth on the team. The Terps fed Mouton when he posted up, found him in the open floor, and hit the Louisiana native when he flashed for short jumpers. Mouton made two of five shots from the floor in the first half and was seven of eight from the free throw line.
"What we try to do, is run transition," Mouton said. "What we were doing real well is running hard in our transition and it so happened just to be me who got four or five in a row. I tried to go to the hole aggressively to get easy points and that was what was happening. I was getting fouled and going to the free throw line."
Maryland's free throw shooting in the first half was outstanding. The Terps entered the game as a 63 percent foul shooting team. In last night's first half, the Terps made 14 of 18 (77.8 percent).
The Terps' size hurt the Tribe. William & Mary, from the Colonial Athletic Association, started no one taller than Hess' 6-8. Lonny Baxter, Maryland's powerful 6-8, 260-pound center, dominated the lane and yanked down a game-high 10 rebounds in the first half.
Drew Nicholas, Maryland's backup combination guard, scored a season-high 14 points.
Guard Juan Dixon, an All-American candidate, scored 19 points 12 in the second half and added nine assists, Baxter finished with a double-double, 12 points and 10 rebounds. Forward Chris Wilcox contributed 11 points.
With non-conference wins over No. 7 Illinois, Temple, Princeton, and Connecticut, Maryland should be sufficiently battle-tested for what lies ahead.
"This is what it is all about the ACC," Mouton said. "Every night you have to come out and play hard and be aggressive. After Sunday night, we'll see where we're at."

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