American Stuns Maryland

American 67, Maryland 59

Maryland's Landon Milbourne fights for the rebound against American's Derrick Mercer.
Maryland's Landon Milbourne fights for the rebound against American's Derrick Mercer. (Nick Wass - AP Photo)
By DAVID GINSBURG
AP Sports Writer
Saturday, December 22, 2007; 6:19 PM

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- American University limited Maryland to five first-half baskets, got 18 points from Derrick Mercer and snapped a 14-game losing streak against the Terrapins with a stunning 67-59 victory Saturday.

Bryce Simon scored a career-high 17 for the Eagles (7-5), whose only previous win against Maryland came during the 1926-27 season. American led by 12 with 11 minutes left and never let the margin shrink below 5 points in handing the Terrapins (6-6) their third straight loss, all of them at home.

Greivis Vasquez scored a career-high 28 points for Maryland while going 6-for-9 from 3-point range. Coming off a nine-day layoff, the Terrapins shot only 36 percent, committed 13 turnovers and were outrebounded 40-33.

Maryland senior James Gist, who was averaging 14 points a game, fouled out with 5:16 left after scoring only 3.

It was the second consecutive non-conference home defeat for Maryland. Before falling to Ohio on Dec. 12, the Terrapins were 131-3 at home against foes outside the Atlantic Coast Conference under coach Gary Williams.

Maryland shot 5-for-24 from the floor in the first half, went more than 10 minutes without a basket and trailed 25-20 at halftime.

And then it got worse. After a free throw by Bambale Osby got the Terrapins to 25-21, Garrison Carr drilled a 3-pointer and Simon hit a jumper to stretch American's lead to nine points.

Minutes later, a 3-pointer by Mercer sparked a 7-0 run that made it 43-31 with 11:32 remaining. Vasquez answered with a three-point play and a 3-pointer to halve the deficit, but the Eagles wouldn't give in.

American had previously lost this season to Fairfield, Morgan State, Loyola, Md. and Maryland-Baltimore County.

Both teams shot poorly at the outset. A pair of 3-pointers by Eric Hayes staked the Terrapins to an early 8-2 lead, but Maryland made only three of its first 16 shots and was outrebounded 16-8 over the opening 10 minutes.

The Eagles started 3-for-20 from the floor. After Gist made a free throw with 13:44 left in the half to put the Terrapins up 11-7, neither team scored again until Mercer hit a 3-pointer with 6:23 to go.

Brian Gilmore followed with a layup to give the Eagles their first lead, and Carr added a 3-pointer to make it 15-11. After a Maryland timeout, Vasquez sank two free throws to end the Terrapins' scoring drought at just under nine minutes.


© 2007 The Associated Press