Reprinted from yesterday's late editions.
The Maryland-Army game last night was billed as a contest of power against basketball purity. It was, as Maryland flexed its muscle and overpowered the Cadets, 99-77, before 13,228 at Cole Field House.
The way Maryland rebounded on the offense, Army needed its Sherman tanks in addition to its undersized players to have a chance in this game. Despite the high score, the game's pace was not that fast.
But Maryland exploited its physical size to average 1.3 points per possession on offense; most coaches are happy to average 1.0 point per possession. Maryland coach Lefty Driesell used his team's height advantage to the utmost.
The Terps took control of the contest with freshman wunderkind Albert King on the bench in the first half so they could team three of their biggest players. They broke open the game midway in the second half with a similar lineup.
Maryland was helped appreciably at the breakout stage by a rare seven-point play that doubled the Terps' lead from seven points to 14, at 68-54.
It centered around a technical foul against Army coach Mike Krzyzewski, who said he was complaining about Maryland using his palyers' backs as a launching pad to gather in the offensive rebounds.
King made a field goal and was awarded two free throws when Army defender Pat Harris was charged with a foul from under King's body while he was was in the air. King made one free toss, then missed one, but Krzyzewski then drew a two-shot technical at that juncture. Freshman guard Greg Manning, who scored a career-high 25 points in his third varsity start, made the two technical free throws and on the accompanying possession. Larry Gibson followed with a short jumper to complete the seven-pointer.
Maryland thus was well on its way to its seventh victory in eight games. Before that, despite the overwhelming rebounding advantage that finished at 57-24 in Maryland's favor, the Terps were struggling because their defense could not quicken the tempo and get the Cadets into a double-time game.
Gary Winton, 6-foot-5 Army forward, scored 34 points against a variety of Maryland defenders, the most successful of whom was sophomore John Bilney. Winton also had 13 of his team's rebounds. But the Cadets played without their best rebounder, 6-4 Clennie Brundige, who stayed at West Point with the flu.
Maryland finished last in the Atlantic Coast Conference in defense last season. And Army coach Krzyzewski took a backhanded slap at the current Terp defense.
"They're the best basketball team we've faced all year," he said following this thrid loss in 10 Cadet games. "I felt we could score on them, but how were we going to stop them? They have the makings of an excellent team."
Maryland took control in the first half when foul trouble and lack of depth got to the Cadets. In a quick four-possession swoop, the Terps played the typical power game that Driesell espouses.
They scored twice off fast breaks and twice off offensive rebounds by Mike Davis and Gibson, and suddenly had some breathing room, 39-28. The defense also was prominent during this spree, with a Billy Bryant steal, a Gibson blocked shot and a bad pass by Army point guard Harris.
Maryland ended the half playing its big lineup. Driesell started the second half with his regular starting five although he said he considered staying with the big aggregration at the start of the final 20 minutes.
"Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't," he said. "Generally speaking I start the same team that started the game unless we really looked bad . . . I knew we could come back to it, and we did."