Two players fought in the basketball game between the University of Maryland and Maryland Eastern Shore last night. Unfortunately, only the fight was stopped.
The Terrapins, coming off three straight Atlantic Coast Conference losses, needed a break and the Hawks provided it. In a game where the turning point was the center jump, Maryland cruised to a 101-51 victory.
Maryland, which will play Wake Forest Saturday afternoon in Greensboro, is 14-10 and 4-7 in the ACC. It was the third loss in as many nights for the Hawks (7-20, 5-11 in the Mideastern Athletic Conference). Last night, they had more turnovers in the first half (22) than they had points (19) or minutes played.
Though there were two early ties, Maryland never trailed, led by 26 at halftime and by as much as 52. Actually, the game was closer than last year's, in which Maryland won 117-51. Last night all 11 Terrapins who played also scored, with freshman Brian Williams leading with 21 points.
"We got a lot of kids in the game," Maryland Coach Bob Wade said. "It was nice to get out of league play. It gives them a break."
He used every player who dressed in the first half, except Tony Massenburg, who sprained an ankle in practice Tuesday
Though no one could be heard snoring, the crowd of 4,765 slept most of this game. The fans came alive momentarily with 7:18 left.
As Teyon McCoy was making a three-pointer, Rodney Walker was called for fouling Mike Kirkland under the basket. Kirkland landed an overhand right just under the left eye. Kirkland was ejected and Walker went to the bench for a bag of ice.
"We were going for position," Kirkland said. "He got a little upset and shot an elbow to my face. Then I got upset myself."
"His jaw got caught under my elbow," Walker said.
When Derrick Fooks went to shoot Kirkland's free throws, the Maryland student section began chanting, "Let's Go Hoyas! Let's Go Hoyas!"
The first few minutes of the game were quite sloppy. Maryland missed its first five shots and Eastern Shore had trouble holding onto the ball to even get in position to shoot. The Terrapins had a 5-0 lead, but the Hawks drew even at 5-5 and then 7-7 with 15:52 left in the first half on a basket by Terry Barge. That was it for suspense.
Walker, who had scored just one point in the eight games in which he has played, was feeling brave. The husky forward made a 15-footer for a 27-13 lead with 8:10 left in the first half. He would finish with nine points.
Barge scored with 4:39 left in the first half to slice the Maryland lead to 33-19. But that was the last time the Hawks scored in the first half.
Watching Williams dunk was the only redeeming aspect of the final few minutes. A freshman center who had struggled from the foul line early in the season, he made his 13th and 14th consecutive free throws dating back to the Notre Dame game, to begin Maryland's 12-0 finish to the first half.
After John Johnson's two free throws, Williams jammed home Gatlin's miss, then dunked after rebounding his own miss. But then, after making his 15th straight free throw, the next one clanked off the iron. Steve Hood's three-pointer gave Maryland a 45-19 halftime lead.