Reprinted from yesterday's late edition
"This'll bring 'em back to earth," said Maryland Coach Lefty Driesell, moments after his team opened the regular season Friday night with a sloppy 107-97 win over Bucknell at Cole Field House.
"Ninety-seven points," said Driesell! "That's a lot to give up to Bucknell. Maybe that's the most they've ever scored."
Wrong again. The Bison scored 99 against Lycoming last year, but the points, as expressed by Maryland point guard Dutch Morley, is well taken.
"No defense," said Morley. "No defense at all."
There were some bright moments in last night unveiling, most of them in the first half, which ended with Maryland ahead, 54-36.
With seven players seeing action 18 minutes or more, the Terrapins paraded in and out of the lineup after going ahead, 7-0. Clearly Bucknell was not in the ball game, and a 10-point spurt midway through the half put the Terps up, 28-11.
Ernest Graham displayed the hottest hand in the first half, bagging seven of 10 shots, picking up the slack for Al King's two-of-seven start.
"But the second half," said Driesell, "was like a rat race."
Feared with the requirement of spending 20 more minuted playing Bucknell, the Terrapins let themselves slip into a street game and the Bison followed, abandoning their tedious set-it-up game for run and gun. The Bison outscored Maryland, 61-53, in the half, and almost gave the Terps a scare, even though Maryland led, 97-75, with five minutes left.
Bucknell, fueled by guard Al Leslie's 26 points (15 in the second half) and center Bob Barry's 21, ran off 10 straight points to cut the margin to 97-85 with 3:02 left. Another little spurt brought the Bison to within 101-91, but Leslie fouled out and the Terps played them evenly for the final minute and a half.
By one harried and unofficial account, Driesell made 32 substituions, saying he has some sort of inexplicable schedule by which King, Buck Williams, Larry Gibson, Greg Manning, Baggie Jackson, Morley and Ernest Graham get approximately equal playing time. Manning scored nine and the other six were in double figures.
He started Jackson at point guard and Manning at second guard, switching from Tuesday night's exhibition game backcourt of Morley and Graham st starters.
Gibson led Maryland scorers with 19 points, including seven of eight free throws in a game in which 55 fouls were called.
Graham added 18 points but after his sizzling first half hit just two of seven shots in the second. The debut of Williams at power forward was considered a success, as he pulled down 15 rebounds and set up some pretty scores with outlet passes. He hit five of 10 shots from the floor and none of his five free throws, for 10 points.
King played better in the second half and finished with 14 points, seven rebounds and three assist.
When the Terrapins concentrated, the offence was a more cohesive unit than last year's team, as evidenced by 21 passes that set up scores. There also were 20 Maryland turnovers and 29 fouls, which allowed Bucknelll to outscore the Terps, 27-17, at the free-throw line. The Terps shot just 57 percent from the foul line, barely better than their 55 percent from the floor.
"I can see losing concentration for five minutes, but not a whole half," said Morley. "Maybe we were a little overconfident after the way we beat Athletes in Action (100-85).
"The big thing is, we won. But we played pretty bad. We got up by 20 and everyone started looking out for individual efforts. We shouldn't be doing that. But it was just the first game. We'll be back."