Maryland 86, Rutgers 81
NEW YORK (AP) _ Walt Williams scored 30 points, including 10 of Maryland’s 12 in the deciding run, and the Terrapins beat Rutgers 86-81 on Thursday night in the opening round of the ECAC Holiday Festival.
In the final on Saturday night, Maryland (5-3) will meet No. 12 South Carolina, which beat Brigham Young 52-49.
Rutgers (5-3) had rallied from a 12-point first-half deficit to lead 76-68 with 8:03 to play when Keith Hughes was awarded a basket on goaltending. That was the Scarlet Knights’ last field goal until 1:57 remained and it ended a 10-0 Maryland run, with Williams scoring eight of the points.
The 6-foot-8 junior point guard, who also had nine rebounds and seven assists, started the run with a 3-pointer with 7:40 left that brought the Terrapins within 76-71. He made five free throws over a 2:26 span and then capped the run with an alley-oop pass from Matt Roe, then made a jumper that gave Maryland the lead for good, 80-78, with 1:27 left.
Donnell Lumpkin’s rebound basket with 1:57 left had ended Rutgers’ scoring drought and gave the Scarlet Knights their last lead before Williams hit his jumper 30 seconds later.
Roe and Kevin McLinton each made two free throws to give the Terrapins a six-point lead with 22 seconds left. Rutgers’ Craig Carter hit a 3-pointer with 11 seconds left and Roe ended the scoring with two free throws with 3 seconds to play.
Evers Burns added 16 points for Maryland, which built its first-half lead through an effective trapping defense. Roe and McLinton had 12 each.
Lumpkin led Rutgers with 21 points, while Hughes had 19.