Maryland found some alternative offense and ran up a predictably one-sided, 99-75 victory over Holy Cross at College Park last night, but not without some back talk from the Crusaders.
The Terrapins got a career-high 19 points from Speedy Jones, who picked up the slack when leading scorers Len Bias and Adrian Branch, who scored 18 and 26 points, respectively, ran into early foul trouble. But first Maryland allowed a couple of big leads to disappear and were victimized by Holy Cross' Jim McCaffrey, who had a game-high 27 points scored from everywhere.
Maryland, which raised its record to 14-5, was a remarkable 19 for 19 from the foul line, which was fortunate in light of Holy Cross' keeping it a 10-point contest for much of the night. The Crusaders' several comebacks were mostly thanks to McCaffrey, a swift 6-foot-1 guard with a deadly outside shot and some improbable moves inside for a player of his size.
With Branch and Bias on the bench midway through the second half (Branch fouled out at 5:03), the Terrapins were forced to look elsewhere for a game-breaker. Jones finally got into the act with a little over eight minutes to go and the score 70-58. He turned a steal into a layin and drew the foul shot, which he made for a 73-58 lead.
McCaffrey countered with a jumper but Keith Gatlin hit one of his own. Jones then added a tip in and a 15-footer from the base line for 79-60.
Derrick Lewis' dunk and another stuff from Jones gave the Terrapins an 83-63 lead with four minutes to go, and they ran it out from there.
"It looked like the team was depending on Len and Adrian to do the scoring too much," said Maryland Coach Lefty Driesell. "But when they were on the bench because of foul trouble, Speedy picked it up." Maryland led by 16 in the first half, but Holy Cross trailed just 41-34 at halftime, thanks to a five-minute scoreless drought by the Terrapins while the Crusaders ran off 11 points.
Coach George Blaney helped the Terrapins toward their biggest lead of the first half when he was called for a two-shot technical foul with 7:08 remaining by referee Mike Moser, who called three technicals. The first came when Branch was knocked down after Bias' dunk put the Terrapins up, 31-21. Blaney vehemently disputed the call, and the result was Branch making four foul shots for a 35-21 margin.
The other technicals were issued to Bias and McCaffrey, both early in the second half. After Branch's four foul shots, Jones added a 14-foot jumper, but that was the last offense the Terrapins showed in the period until Branch's layin with 1:36 remained made it 39-32. He followed with a 20-foot jumper for the Terrapins' final basket of the half.
The Crusaders' feistiness has been one of the few things holding the team together in the aftermath of a well-publicized racial controversy that resulted in the departure of three players.
All four black members of the team walked off Dec. 29 when sophomore Dennis Ahern hit senior forward Jim Runcie in the face during practice. Runcie responded by slashing Ahern's coat in the locker room and landing a punch of his own, then left the team making charges of racism.
Only 6-8 center/forward Walter Coates, the team's leading rebounder, returned. Runcie and guard Larry Westbrook were dismissed from the team for what Blaney called "inappropriate behavior after the fight" and guard/forward Doug McCrory transferred to the University of Hartford.