George Washington Coach Bob Tallent is confident his suddenly offensive-minded charges will continue their hot shooting, while Maryland leader Lefty Driesell is hoping for more defense for his yo-yo team when the two squads take on conference foes tonight.
The Terrapins, on the short end of an embarrassing 99-84 loss to Louisville at Cole Field House Saturday evening, hope to regroup at Clemson in an Atlantic Coast Conference match at 9 o'clock (WJLA-TV-7).
George Washington, riding a modest two-game winning streak, seeks a bit of revenge when it hosts Massachusetts in an Eastern Eight game at Smith Center at 8.
In other top games tonight, Virginia plays Virginia Tech at the Richmond Coliseum, American travels to West Chester and George Mason entertains Towson State.
Clemson, 1-2 in the ACC and 10-3 overall, is coming off a 71-66 double-overtime win over Wake Forest. Guards Bill Williams and Derrick Johnson each dropped in four free throws to help the Tigers snap a three-game losing skein and get back in the conference race.
Williams is the team's leading scorer with a 12.9 average. Larry Nance, the leading rebounder at 7.8, and Johnson are right behind in scoring with 11.9 and 10.7 averages, respectively.
Maryland has been both brilliant and bad. After whipping North Carolina State (82-81 in overtime) the second time this season last week, the Terps tried to match the Louisville crew of dunk kings and speedsters and were left gagging. It was the worst loss the Terps had suffered at home in eight years.
Massachusetts (0-3 in the Eastern Eight and 4-8 overall) handed GW two conference losses last season, and Tallent is anxious to eliminate any talk of jinxes.
"We want to get back at them, that's for sure," said Tallent. "We know they've been having some problems at guard this year. We always open with a press, just to see how we'll do and we really needed the win."
The Colonials, 1-2 in the conference and 7-6 overall, are shooting the eyes out of the basket.
Mike Samson totaled 61 points in GW's big wins over Pittsburgh and American to raise his average to 15.1 Mike Zagardo, who, Tallent says, "rarely takes a bad shot," is the team leader at 17.2 points per game. The 6-foot-10 center is shooting 60.4 percent from the floor, the best figure in the conference, and is second in rebounding with a 10.4 mark.
Tom Glenn, Brian Magid and sixthman curt Jeffries also are averaging double figures for GW. The team is shooting over 50 percent from the floor and has outrebounded nine of its 13 opponents.
American (8-7) has lost four straight, three of them in overtime, including a 91-89 decision to GW Monday night.