Louisville ran circles around a stick-in-the-mud Maryland team last night and dealt the Terrapins their worst Cole Field House defeat in eight seasons, 99-84.
The 12th-ranked Cardinals, (12-3), caught the Terps in a revolving door that never stopped spinning, fast breaking often and stealing the ball practically whenever they felt like it.
"We just got the heck kicked out of us. That was it," said Maryland Coach Lefty Driesell. "Tonight I thought Louisville was by far the best team we've played this year. They just wore us out."
Lousiville Coach Danny Frum called the game "the best 60 minutes we've played so far."
Louisville shot 70 percent the second half and 60 percent in the game and seldom did anyone shoot from beyond 15 feet. They didn't have to.
Darrell Griffity, Louisville's 6-foot-4 All-America guard, equaled his college high with 30 points. He was as dazzling as a player can be without hogging the ball, taking just what came his way -- and that was plenty.
Griffith is taller and can jump higher than must guards who check him, but Maryland assigned the job to Ernest Graham and Griffith Couldn't score for almost the first nine minutes of the game. In fact, he took only one shot in that time.
"I was in no hurry," Griffith said. "I was in let the game come to me."
He finished the half with 13 points. In addition to 3/ points, he had four revounds, three assists and five steals.
The first half was close until Maryland took a 34-31 lead on a basket by Buck Williams with 4:53 left.
Louisville was warmed up and ready to run. The Cardinals ripped off a 18-6 streak and had a 49-40 lead at intermission.
Griffith had eight of the points in the spurt, the last two coming on an 18-footer at the buzzer.
"I thought we had control of the game up until the last two minutes of the half," Driessell said, "but they went right by us."
Louisville started the second half with a 10-2 rush and 4 1/2 minutes into the period was on top, 67-47. It was not much of a contest after that. Maryland tried desperately to catch up, but whenever the Cardinals needed a boost, either Griffith or Bobby Turner, who finished with 20 points, was there to provide it.
Maryland had 25 points, eight rebounds and four blocked shots from Larry Gibson and 18 points each from Graham and Greg Manning, but could never get into a smooth offense.
While Louisville did everything with flair, Maryland looked drab in falling to an 11-4 record.
Griffith, who leads the doctors of dunk with 29, got two last night, one on an offensive rebound and the other on a breakaway after a steal. On the latter, Griffith took off just inside the foul line and, while in the air, crakled the ball like a baby in his arms before ramming it home.
Griffith also had 30 points in Louisville's previous game, a 112-64 victory over Marshall Vonday. Both he and Crum said his play has improved because Griffith is seeing a doctor who is helping him concentrate.
"He's been seeing the doctor because he has needed a little counseling on his concentration," Crum said. "What used to happen to Darrell is that his mind would wander over a 40-minute game and it would hurt him at the defensive end more than at the other end.
"He's always been an All-America on offense; now he's becoming one on defense, too."