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Terps follow Williams' road map to take opening victory

November 19, 2005|By DAVID GINSBURG

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Balanced scoring. Precision passing. Solid defense.

That's what Maryland coach Gary Williams stressed during the offseason, and it appears as if the Terrapins got the message.

Mike Jones had 22 points off the bench, and No. 24 Maryland had five other players score in double figures Friday night in a 111-85 season-opening rout of Fairleigh Dickinson.

Chris McCray and Nik Caner-Medley had 18 points apiece, Ekene Ibekwe scored 16, James Gist 12 and Travis Garrison 11. Jones, a junior guard, went 8-for-11 from the field and sank all three of his foul shots.

"It's the first game, you don't know what to expect," Williams said. "I was pleased the way our guys hung together. We were willing to help each other out scoring. Anytime you get that, you have a chance of scoring a lot of points."

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Maryland had assists on 25 of its 36 baskets, and reached the 100-point mark in an opener for the first time since 1998.

"As long as we keep looking for each other, keep passing the ball real well and bascially playing unselfish basketball, we can go as far we want to," McCray said. "Everybody can score, and everyone will be happy."

Except the opposition.

"You put six guys in double figures, that's the sign of a veteran team and a quality team," Fairleigh Dickinson coach Tom Green said. "Gary's got an excellent team. I've got a vote in the (coach's) Top 25, and I'll be voting them pretty high this week, for sure."

Gordon Klaiber had 20 points, and John Blackgrove and Cameron Tyler both scored 17 for Fairleigh Dickinson (1-2), the defending Northeast Conference champions.

"It's our third game of the season, and we made a lot of mistakes. Maryland's pressure defense caused us a lot of problems, more than what we expected," Green said.

Maryland opened the second half with a 21-6 run to take a 73-48 lead with 14:57 left. Ibekwe and Caner-Medley had seven points apiece in the surge and McCray added six to help the Terrapins pull away.

"Defensively, we took it out there in that first 10 minutes stretch of the second half. We couldn't do that in the first half," Williams said. "Part of that is you try to wear out the other team with pressure, so they might have been a little tired when they started the second half."

Exactly.

"We knew the first five minutes of the second half was going to make us or break us, and obviously it broke us," Green said.

FDU missed seven of eight shots to open the half and had only two baskets over the first six minutes.

McCray had 12 points, Jones added 10 and Maryland outscored FDU 15-5 at the foul line in taking a 52-42 halftime lead.

The Knights kept it close early, overcoming a 16-9 deficit with a 10-2 run that gave them the lead for the third - and last - time. Maryland moved in front on a dunk by Jones, and Will Bowers added a jumper and a free throw before McCray sank a 3-pointer to make it 26-19.

After Klaiber scored from beyond the arc, the Terrapins rattled off seven straight points for an 11-point cushion.

It was 35-26 before Blackgrove scored Fairleigh Dickinson's next 11 points, including a four-point play that made it 43-37, but the Knights would get no closer. Blackgrove's previous career high was eight points.

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