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Owls play wise game to top Terps

January 29, 2006|By DAN GELSTON


Mardy Collins saw a charge coming he wasn't willing to take.

With a frenzied Temple student section storming the court in celebration Saturday after a 91-85 victory over No. 18 Maryland, Collins deftly avoided the rush and scooted near press row. Let the students party, he had to stay healthy.

"I was kind of nervous," he said. "I didn't want anyone to step on my ankle. But if they stepped on my foot from celebrating, I guess that's fine."

Collins scored 25 points and had 12 assists and Dustin Salisbery had 23 points for Temple, which went on a 17-2 run late in the game.

"I think it's the biggest win I've had since I've been here," said Collins, a senior who's never played in the NCAA Tournament. "We did everything I think Coach wanted us to do."


Salisbery and Antywane Robinson each hit 3s during the spurt, Wayne Marshall added a soft touch to some clutch baskets inside as the Owls (11-7) held Maryland without a field goal for slightly more than 5 minutes to pull away.

With the usually half-full Liacouras Center nearly sold out, the fans started chanting "Over-rated!" as security lined the student section to prevent them from storming the court.

It didn't matter. Students spilled on the court and mobbed the Owls - minus Collins - and several fans went to shake the hand of smiling Temple coach John Chaney.

"I tried to celebrate with the students because I'm a student, too," said Mark Tyndale, who had 14 points and 10 rebounds.

The win wasn't too much of an upset considering the Owls are 7-1 at home and have won five of six overall.

Still, it's hard to believe this is the same team that scored only 34 points last week at Massachusetts. The Owls get another chance against the Minutemen on Wednesday.

Nik Caner-Medley led Maryland (14-5) with 30 points and 10 rebounds, and Mike Jones had 23 points. Coach Gary Williams remained tied with Lefty Driesell on the team's career win list with 348.

"We play North Carolina next. I'm more worried about that than the record," Williams said.

Maryland was simply too sloppy with the ball and went cold late against an Owls team needing every big win it can muster to even start thinking about the NCAA tournament.

After committing two turnovers and shooting an airball on three consecutive possessions, Jones and Caner-Medley hit consecutive 3s for a 63-61 lead.

Travis Garrison's 3 and a driving layup by Caner-Medley made it 67-64 with 6:22 remaining and that was the last basket the Terps would score until Jones made a 3 with 1:18 left in the game.

The Owls' offense started clicking late. Marshall, the 6-foot-11, 285-pound center who missed the first eight games because of dizzy spells, was left open on the block and scored two straight baskets for a 68-67 lead.

Salisbery hit a 3 - one of 12 for the Owls - and the season-high crowd of 10,025 erupted in celebration. Robinson added a 3 and Collins stopped on a drive and hit a little bank shot to give the Owls a 78-67 lead. When Tyndale made one of two free throws, the Owls capped their run and went up 81-69.

Caner-Medley temporarily hushed the crowd when he made two straight 3-pointers that made it 90-83 with just under 10 seconds left. It didn't matter, as the Owls hung on and beat their second ranked team of the season. They beat then-No. 18 Alabama 68-58 in early December.

"We turned the ball over, missed easy shots and didn't make plays," Williams said. "It's as easy as that."

Collins had his first double-double of the year and his 25 points were only three shy of tying his season high. He had all the assists on the two 3-pointers and Marshall's baskets that jump started the late second-half surge.

"Mardy did a tremendous job of being calm and poised in handling the pressure," Chaney said. "He made sure the guys were doing the things they were supposed to do."

Maryland shot only 48 percent in the second half after shooting 60 in the first, and had 20 turnovers in its second game since losing leading scorer Chris McCray, who was suspended from the team for academic reasons earlier in the week, ending his college career.

The Owls led 43-41 at halftime and Chaney was at his fiery best early in the second half with the refs as he argued for quite a while over a double foul. He continued his tirades toward the refs for most of the second half, waving his arms in frustration.

The Hall of Fame coach had his face buried his hands, nearly every time Temple went to the free throw line. The Owls missed 10 attempts in the first half and went 28-for-49 overall from the line.

"There were a few things we did wrong," a smiling Tyndale said, "but there were so many more we did right. This was probably the biggest win for all of us since we've been here."

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