No. 9 Maryland Too Much For Colonials

Dec 8, 2002

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WASHINGTON (AP) - When Gary Williams demanded an emotional performance to end a rare losing streak, Steve Blake and Drew Nicholas delivered.

Blake had career-highs of 27 points and five 3-pointers, and Nicholas added 27 points to lead No. 9 Maryland to a 93-82 victory over George Washington on Sunday in the third-place game of the BB&T Classic.

Blake didn't score until he converted his first 3-pointer with 9:29 left in the first half and the Colonials ahead 31-24. That started a streak of 10 straight points by the senior guard.

"We were struggling a little bit and I wanted to get things going," Blake said. "I told myself there was no way we were going to lose this game. I wanted to make things happen."

The Terrapins (4-2), who were only 4-for-17 on 3-point attempts in an upset loss to Notre Dame on Saturday, were 12-of-17 from beyond the arc against the Colonials (3-3).

"Against Notre Dame, none of us looked like we wanted to play basketball," Nicholas said. "I think we showed we do today."

Nicholas tied a career-best with five 3s as the defending national champions averted their first three-game losing streak since February 2001.

Chris Monroe led George Washington with 19 points.

Omar Williams scored 17 points and T.J. Thompson had 15 points and 10 assists for the Colonials, who have lost two straight. Mike Hall had 13 rebounds for GW.

Maryland, which shot only 37 percent from the field in the opening-round loss to the Fighting Irish, seemed unprepared for George Washington's effective up-tempo attack.

"We didn't press," Gary Williams said. "We just tried to get back down the court before they did. We were able to shorten the court a little bit."



George Washington coach Karl Hobbs' strategy of utilizing the transition game hit a roadblock when the Terrapins starting making shots and grabbing rebounds for second-chance baskets. In the middle of the Maryland comeback were Blake and Nicholas.

"They played like a team committed to win today," Hobbs said. "Blake and Nicholas played like seniors are supposed to play. They played like guys who have won a national championship. They played well when they found themselves in a little bit of a hole."

The Colonials used runs of 14-5 and 10-2 to take a 29-17 lead with 11:12 left in the half. But after Monroe's two free throws gave GW a 31-19 lead with 10:23 to go, Blake rallied the Terrapins.

Scoreless until that point, Blake had the final 10 points of a 12-0 Maryland run that tied the game at 31. After Thompson's four-point play put the Colonials up 35-31, the Terrapins closed the half by outscoring GW 17-8 as Nicholas, who had 20 first-half points, knocked down three 3-pointers.

Blake's driving layup with 3:37 left in the half gave Maryland the lead for good at 38-37.

The Terrapins led by as many as 21 points on Travis Garrison's jumper midway through the second half. GW used a 3-pointer by Monroe and a nice followup by Williams to close within 86-77 with 2:31 remaining.

"I didn't know how we'd come out today, to be honest," Gary Williams said. "I told the players before the game that I've never known a great basketball player that didn't show emotion on the court. ... I was very disappointed with our emotional level yesterday. Our teams are usually more emotional."

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