- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 18, 2001

MARYLAND 81, WAKE FOREST 71

The No. 12 Terps ended their streak of futility against ranked opponents last night when they used their star power and depth to outlast No. 10 Wake Forest 81-71 before a raucous crowd of 14,500 at Cole Field House.
Juan Dixon led the Terps with a season-high 30 points, and several big steals to disrupt Wake's continuity. Maryland center Lonny Baxter was a power inside with 18 points and 15 rebounds, and power forward Terence Morris was also solid down low and finished with 20 points.
The Terps were in high gear and had an answer every time the Demon Deacons made a run. As a result, Maryland got its first win of the season against a ranked opponent and earned its first victory at Cole against a Top 25 team since 1998 when it defeated North Carolina.
"We needed this win against a top 20 team like Wake Forest," Maryland coach Gary Williams said. "There was pressure on this game. I know I felt it all day."
Maryland (13-4, 4-1 ACC), which lost its three games against ranked teams this season, put together its best game of the season andoverpowered the Deacons. Wake Forest (13-3, 2-3) never got on track after Maryland launched a 13-0 run in the first half. Deacons' star Darius Songaila did his part with 16 points and 11 rebounds, but fouled out late. Josh Howard led Wake Forest 24 points.
The Terps held a 47-35 rebounding advantage and got big contributions from the bench in a tightly-called game that had 47 fouls. Tahj Holden, who wasn't expected to play after missing the last nine games with a broken foot, gave the Terps inside toughness and helped out considerably with Baxter in foul trouble.
The Terps held on to a comfortable lead much of the second half and led 62-49 on a layup by Morris. Wake scraped back and cut the lead to 69-62 on two free throws by Broderick Hicks with 6:44 remaining. The Deacons also cut it seven on two foul shots by Songaila with 5:08 remaining.
But Maryland was not about to let this one slip away. Morris dunked off and alley-oop pass from Steve Blake to make it 73-64. After Josh Shoemaker made a free throw to cut it to eight, Songaila (16 points) got the rebound and missed the putback. Songaila went for another rebound, but fouled Morris for his fifth foul with 3:45 remaining. Morris calmly hit both free throws to bump the lead back up to 10.
Maryland built a 41-33 lead at halftime thanks to a 13-point run late in the period. Baxter had 11 points and nine rebounds, while Dixon had 11 points and Morris had 10. Howard was a scoring force for Wake with 16 points on a series of jumpers and layups
The Terps run came after Howard dropped in a 17-foot jumper that gave the visitors a 21-18 lead. After a Morris' miss, Dixon stole the ball from Erwin Murray and converted the layup which started a Terps streak that saw they score on six straight possessions. A Baxter rebound and score gave the Terps the lead. Another Dixon steal, this one againstHoward, led to another breakaway layup to make it 26-21.
After another Wake turnover, Baxter hit a tough hook over Josh Shoemaker. Morris finished the run with a 3-pointer from the left side and helped lead the crowd in cheers as he back-peddled up the court.
The half ended in strange fashion as Maryland took six free throws without giving up the ball.
Wake's Broderick Hicks got called for pushing Tahj Holden, who missed the last nine games with a broken foot. In addition to the foul, Hicks pushed Holden again and was called for a technical. Dixon made both technical foul shots, and Holden missed the front end of a one-and-one. The Terps got the rebound and Holden was fouled again. He made the first of two free throws to give Maryland a 39-30 lead.
"We're going to get blown out of here if we don't get the ball back," Wake Forest coach Dave Odom yelled from the sidelines."
The half was marred by 24 fouls, including three technicals. Williams and Odom each drew technicals after arguing a call.
Wake Forest jumped out to a 6-0 lead on a 12-foot baseline jumper off a fast break, forcing Williams to call a timeout just over two minutes into the game. The Terps came out with a vengeance, and went on a 10-point run with defense and sharpshooting. Dixon's leaning jumper capped the stretch and gave the Terps a 10-6 lead.


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