Maryland, sparked by the scoring of Ernest Graham and Al King and the defensive play of Taylor Baldwin, overcame a lethargic start and thundered past outmanned Bucknell, 95-73, in a nonconference game last night at Cole Field House.
The Terps (6-1) fell behind by 13 points midway in the first half before Graham (31 points) and King (20) began scoring from everywhere on the court. Graham gunned in 11 of his total in the final seven minutes of the first half to send the Terps streaking to a 46-39 lead at intermission.
"Their physical strength just wore us down," Bucknell Coach Charles Woollum said. "We spread it out early on them and got the easy shots we wanted. But we didn't put the ball in the hole. Plus, we haven't played in two weeks."
The Terps, tuning up for their Invitational Tournament next weekend, shot 61 percent from the floor (37 of 61) and outrebounded the shorter Bison, 48-34. The Terps failed to take charge as expected earlier in the contest mainly because of their 21 turnovers.
"Turnovers will come when you're running," said King, "We got a few baskets during a stretch in the first half to come from 13 down and went up by 10. We did the same thing to them they did to us."
The game Bison (2-2) got 25 points from their leading scorer Bob Barry, nine of them coming during a seven-minute stretch midway in the second half when Bucknell made its final move to overtake Maryland.
Barry, who watched four of the shots batted back at him by Baldwin (10 rebounds, six blocks), sank a layup and a shot jumper over the Terp center to bring the Bison to within eight points, 72-64, with 7:09 left to play.
It was as close as they would get. Graham raced in for a layup. Reggie Jackson (eight points), who came in and did a creditable job running the offense, droppd in two free throws and took a nice bounce pass from King for a snowbird off the break to put the Terps back on top by 14 points, 78-64, within 6:08 remaining.
"We expected them to be tough," said Graham, who expressed slight disappointment at getting only 13 rebounds. "The coach got on us at halftime. So we went out and jumped on them. If we hadn't, they could've beaten us bad. How many rebounds did I have? I wanted 20."
Bucknell could have used a few more rebounds. With Baldwin patrolling the lanes, the Bison were forced to shoot from the outside. After Bucknell made a good percentage of its perimeter shots in the first 10 minutes the Terp defense tightened up and made the Bison work for everything they got.
Baldwin helped the Terp cause with 13 points to got along with his rebounds and blocks, Greg Manning chipped in with 12 points and Dutch Morley had 11 rebounds and 11 assists.