Maryland's basketball team maintained intensity in the face of its customary second-half swoon and defeated Cal-Irvine, 93-79, last night at Cole Field House.

Walt Williams and Cedric Lewis scored 21 points each for the Terps (3-3), who broke a three-game losing streak. The point total was a career high for Lewis, who tied his career best with 14 rebounds and blocked eight shots in a dominant performance.

The 79 points marked a season low for Cal-Irvine (3-4), which was averaging 95.8. The Anteaters were led by Ricky Butler and Jeff Herdman with 18 points each.

"Playing at home helped and maybe being there before did too. Maybe we just got tough and decided not to give it away tonight," said Maryland Coach Gary Williams, whose team lost second-half leads in dropping three consecutive road games.

Maryland's aggressiveness was perhaps best typified by Lewis and sophomore guard Kevin McLinton. In his second straight start, McLinton had nine points, four rebounds and five assists.

Three of those points came at a crucial time. A 15-2 run out of a 57-all tie had given Maryland a 72-59 lead with just less than 10 minutes to play but the Anteaters rallied, closing to 81-77 on a jumper by Herdman with 2:24 left.

There were less than 10 seconds on the 45-second clock on Maryland's ensuing possession when McLinton drove hard, made a layup, was fouled and added a free throw. The play began a game-ending, 12-2 rush for the Terps, who got only 51 field goal tries against 82 by Cal-Irvine but shot 43 free throws to 11.

"The middle was open all night long but the refs were calling charges all night," McLinton said. "I was a little hesitant but I decided that I had to just go to the basket."

The Terps faced in Butler a 6-foot-7, 245-pound pivot man averaging 19.3 points and 7.8 rebounds, a player similar to Tim Burroughs, who did them in at Jacksonville on Saturday. But Lewis, who had but eight points and four rebounds against Jacksonville, never let him get untracked.

From the start, the Maryland senior established himself defensively. He blocked five shots in the first half, then grabbed most of the defensive rebounds toward game's end. Throughout, Lewis was a factor on offense, hitting six of 10 shots from the field and nine of 10 from the line.

"We lost by one point to Jacksonville," said Lewis. "I don't want to say it was all my fault but looking at the films {of the game-winning play} you could see the ball going behind me and I couldn't do anything about it. I just decided I had to put that game behind me and redeem myself."

Lewis scored six points during the 15-2 run that put Maryland ahead for good, including a powerful rebound dunk off a miss by Garfield Smith, who contributed 14 points.

Terrapins Notes:

Kevin Chamberlain, a little-used 6-8 sophomore forward from College Park, Ga., left the team and is expected to transfer closer to home, probably to Morehouse.

He scored two points in six games as a freshman in 1989-90. This season he played one minute.