The Maryland Terrapins sufferend from the De Paul syndrome last night. They managed to make a bunch of gutsy but undersized jump shooters look like a top-20 team for the first half before center Buck Williams tired of the lethargy and dragged his teammates to an 81-65 victory over Division II Maryland-Eastern Shore.
The bored-to-tears Terps (13-3) led, 24-8, early in the game, but watched nonchalantly as UMES junior Mario Barkley, who scored 16 first-half points, bombed jumper after jumper to cut the Maryland lead to 41-36 at halftime.
The Hawks made only one less field goal than the Terrapins for the game but hit nine only nine of 14 free throws while Maryland was making 23 of 33 from the line.
"Before the game, it was just hard to get up for Maryland-Eastern Shore," said Williams, who, along with his teammates, was glad for a break from the gut-wrenching ACC schedule and for a workout before Saturday's nationally televised contest with Notre Dame.
"My mind was focused in on Saturday's game with Notre Dame," admitted Williams, sounding like De Paul's all-America, Mark Aguirre, who has trouble getting pumped up for anything less than top-five teams. "That's why we played so poorly. Coach (Lefty Driesell) told us at halftime that we better had play up to our capabilities." d
Williams recognized his team was in trouble with just over a minute to play in the first half, with the Terps clinging to five-point leads over a team that had lost to the University of the District of Columbia by 10 points this season.
Williams demanded his teammates pass the ball inside to him. He scored his first field goal with 1:40 remaining in the half and poured in points at will in the second half. "There was no need for us to shoot jump shots tonight," said Williams, referring to the Hawks' lack of size. Their tallest starter was 6-foot-5 center Stephen Hay. "We just weren't concentrating like we should," Williams said.
After hearing a few harsh words from Diesell during intermission, the Terps rolled to a 20-point lead, 75-55, before coasting the rest of the way to their 13th victory.
Albert King left the lineup for good after scoring seven points, the first time in 48 games he had not scored double figures.
"I would have put him in if the game was on the line," said Driesell. "But it wasn't necessary." A team spokesman said King's shoulder had been bruised but that he would be fine by Thursday.
Even when King was playing, his usually high-flying game was contained by Barkley, who blocked two of King's jump shots and converted each into UMES baskets.
With King not in form, Ernest Graham took up the scoring slack with 12 of his 21 points. Reggie Jackson, who started in place of Dutch Morley, and Charles Pittman, playing in place of King, scored 10 each.
The Hawks (8-7), who swished some unbelievably long jump shots in the first half and shot 53 percent, went to the deep freeze the second half, making only 10 of 37 field-goal attempts for 27 percent.