- The Washington Times - Saturday, November 3, 2001

The Maryland Terrapins rolled out all their weapons from last season's Final Four team and showed some new looks in their season-opening exhibition last night.

In their only tuneup before opening the season Thursday at the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic in New York, the Terps, a consensus top-5 preseason pick, defeated the EA Sports All-Stars 98-80 at Cole Field House.

The Terps, led by Lonny Baxter's game-high 22 points, looked solid if not spectacular against a team of former college players. They extended their lead to 20 points early in the second half and maintained it nearly the whole way.

Baxter and Juan Dixon looked in midseason form, while sophomore Chris Wilcox showed he improved his game in the offseason and substantiated the rumblings that he is primed for a breakout season. He started the second half with an alley-oop dunk on a pass from Steve Blake one of three Blake-to-Wilcox alley-oop connections and was active defensively. He finished with 16 points on 8-for-11 shooting and had several thunderous slams.

Maryland's first unit picked up right where it left off in March. The Terps jumped to a 12-0 lead in the first three minutes and ran off nine straight points later in the half for a 31-18 lead. The Terps got several baskets off cuts in their halfcourt offense interspersed with those off their transition game.

Dixon led Maryland, which led 52-38 at the break, with 13 points in the first half. He displayed his usual array of jumpers and finished with 20 points.

The reserves were not quite as effective. Junior college transfer Ryan Randle appeared to have first-game jitters as he committed turnovers the first two times he touched the ball and had his shot blocked the third time. Redshirt freshman point guard Andre Collins had two turnovers in three first-half minutes.

Maryland, which faces Arizona on Thursday, looked sloppy at times in the second half, but it was to be expected. Still, the Terps provided several highlight film caliber plays in the closing minutes.

Tahj Holden started the game but was wincing as he came up court with about 6:30 left in the first half. He had twisted his left knee in practice this week and wore a sleeve on it last night. He played in the second half.

Notes Senior forward Calvin McCall, who rarely saw time last year after he joined the team at the end of football season, entered the game late in the first half. Freshman forward Mike Grinnon didn't enter the game until 6:47 remained.

Among the experimental rules used in last night's game: An NBA-width three-second lane and tied-up balls resulting in a jump ball at center court instead of alternating possession. The EA Sports team played Thursday night at Old Dominion and lost 106-99 in overtime.

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