- The Washington Times - Friday, November 5, 2004

Maryland coach Gary Williams wanted a challenge in his team’s first exhibition game. He didn’t expect a scare.

The Terrapins escaped with a 100-85 win against pesky Bryant University last night at Comcast Center. The Terps trailed early in the second half before fending off several Bulldogs charges fueled by 3-pointers. Maryland played its top eight throughout instead of emptying the bench in an expected runaway that never materialized.

“Our defense stunk,” Williams said. “We let a team hit some shots early and gain confidence. We have two weeks to get ready and find a right combination for defense. We don’t have it yet.”

Forward Travis Garrison led five Terps in double figures with 20 points. Maryland plays Carleton on Nov.13 in another exhibition before opening the season against Jackson State on Nov.19.

The Terps tried to flow the offense underneath using Williams’ traditional system while seeking a replacement for departed center Jamar Smith. Forward Ekene Ibekwe, who should have the edge as the new big man, carried the frontcourt at times while finishing with 19 points and nine rebounds.

However, the outside game disappeared as the Terps needed 111/2 minutes to score on a long jumper. Maryland shot 51 percent against the smaller Division II foe despite taking mostly high-percentage shots.

In fact, Maryland needed a decided free throw advantage to outlast Bryant, which saw four players foul out. The Terps were 35 of 48 at the foul line while Bryant converted 12 of 18.

The Terps trailed much of the first 25 minutes, including twice by 10 points in the first half. Maryland finally wore down the Bulldogs using a faster tempo to produce its first significant lead at 65-57 with 14:24 remaining. Forward Nik Caner-Medley scored six straight points to give Maryland a permanent lead at 58-57 after seven lead changes early in the second half.

Bryant threatened again, though. The Bulldogs closed to 71-70 with 9:35 remaining. Maryland countered with six free throws in an 8-0 run to seal the victory.

Bryant led 48-46 at halftime on forward John Fogarty’s reverse layup at the buzzer. The Bulldogs used 12 3-pointers after setting a school record with 258 last season to reach the Division II region finals. The Terps took 18 free throws to Bryant’s two before halftime.

Bryant opened with a 12-2 lead on four 3-pointers, prompting Williams to call the first of several heated timeouts just 2:35 into the game.

Guard Chris McCray’s 3-pointer and a 3-point play, plus guard John Gilchrist’s two 3-pointers, fueled a 14-3 run for a 32-30 lead with 6:54 remaining. Bryant countered with an 8-2 run that prompted another Williams timeout.

Maryland soon followed with a 7-3 streak that included five free throws and a layup to produce a 46-46 tie.

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