Saturday, November 10, 2001

NEW YORK The second-ranked Maryland basketball team rebounded from an embarrassing upset loss on opening night with a phenomenal shooting performance that showed it does indeed belong among the nation’s elite.
The Terrapins downed No. 16 Temple last night 82-74 by shooting 59 percent from the field and making 12 of 19 3-pointers (63 percent) in the consolation game of the Coaches vs. Cancer tournament in Madison Square Garden. Juan Dixon led the way with 25 points, and Steve Blake added 20.
“We were sluggish [Thursday] night for whatever reason,” said Maryland coach Gary Williams, whose team was stunned by unranked Arizona. “You lose the game if you don’t have intensity. The first thing up there [on the chalkboard in the locker room] was intensity level. You can run a good offense and all that stuff, but if you’re not going after the ball, you can’t win.”
Williams also kept his team fresh by adding swingman Calvin McCall and power forward Ryan Randle, a junior college transfer, to the rotation. The Terps used only seven players Thursday but last night the two additions played well.
McCall hit a 3-pointer in the first half that seemed to spark the team. The 6-foot-9 Randle helped out as center Lonny Baxter (seven points, six rebounds) never got untracked and was saddled with fouls.
“[Thursday] night proved it we need more guys,” said Williams, whose team shot a paltry 39 percent against Arizona.
Maryland won because its shooting overcame several problems. The Terps committed 18 turnovers, seven by Blake. Maryland had one offensive rebound in the first 24 minutes and made only eight of its first 18 free throws. However, the Terps did come up big down the stretch, making their final 10 foul shots to put away the game.
Blake made six of seven shots from the field, including four of five 3-pointers as Maryland exploited Temple’s matchup zone. Dixon added five treys, while small forward Byron Mouton chipped in with 13 points by making four of five field goal attempts.
“The skip pass left a lot of guys open for 3s, and that’s when we knocked them down,” said Blake, who scored 15 points in the second half as he made all four of his field goal attempts and his four free throws.
Temple showed resilience in cutting a 10-point Maryland lead to three late in the second half, thanks largely to point guard Lynn Greer. Greer regularly drove past Blake and scored at will, collecting 27 points.
Temple could have cut the lead even further except for a questionable non-call when Tahj Holden made contact with the driving Alex Wesby. Holden answered with a mid-range jumper off the break to give Maryland a 61-56 lead. Temple’s Keith Lyde (13 points, 10 rebounds) made a follow shot to cut the Terps’ lead to three again with 4:16 remaining.
Then the Terps took over with eight straight points. Mouton hit an open trey from the right corner. After a miss by Lyde, Maryland’s Chris Wilcox had a tip-in on a break. A miss by Greer set up a 3-pointer on the break by Blake from the right wing off a crosscourt pass by Wilcox. Maryland led 69-58 with 2:11 remaining, and finished the job with free throws.
“The way they play zone, we were able to get open looks,” Dixon said. “Guys really stepped up and hit some big shots tonight.”
Maryland started the night slowly and fell behind 10-2 before going on a 20-5 run to build a seven-point lead. McCall checked in with 15:58 left in the first half and hit a 3-pointer on the break from the right wing that gave the Terps their first lead at 13-12. It was the first of five consecutive possessions where Maryland scored. Mouton finished the run with a trey to make it 22-15.
“I thought Calvin McCall’s shot was really big,” said Williams, who decided during the afternoon shoot-around to play the former quarterback. “It just seemed to relax us when it went in.”
Temple responded to take a 30-25 lead on two free throws by Greer, but Maryland answered with a 14-2 run to take a 39-32 lead into halftime. Dixon hit three 3-pointers in the stretch and Mouton sank the final two field goals.
The victory left Maryland feeling optimistic after the bitter defeat by Arizona. Last season the Terps lost two games in the Maui Classic to open the season and saw a season with high expectations turn temporarily bleak. Dixon said those feelings were rekindled by Thursday’s loss.
“We didn’t want that feeling again, but now we are happy and coach is happy,” Dixon added.

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