College Basketball Roundup
Dec. 08, 1998
WASHINGTON (AP) _ Maryland talked about avoiding a letdown, yet came out flat anyway. So did Stanford.
Both nationally ranked teams had little energy left Monday night, just over 24 hours after their emotional confrontation in the opening round of the BB&T Classic, a tense 62-60 Maryland victory.
Luckily, the No. 2 Terrapins and sixth-ranked Stanford had enough talent to record virtually identical victories over lesser foes.
Maryland won the championship, 92-75 over DePaul, after Stanford pulled away in the second half to beat George Washington 70-56 in the consolation game.
The Terrapins (10-0) led by only four points with 14:20 left before finally disposing of a young DePaul team that starts three freshmen.
``We came out today a little flat. They took advantage of it,'' said Maryland forward Terence Morris, who made 10 of 11 shots from the field and matched his career high with 22 points.
``I thought we were tired coming in,'' Maryland coach Gary Williams conceded. ``Of course, that's not something you can even talk about or worry about. You just have to be ready to play.''
The letdown was inevitable, given the emotion spent the day before. DePaul (5-2) came in with a five-game winning streak, but the Terrapins probably figured this game was going to be a comparative breeze compared to the tournament opener.
``That score is not indicative of how close the game was,'' Williams said.
The same can be said for the Stanford-George Washington game. Although the Cardinal (5-2) led the entire second half, the margin was only five points with 9:25 left.
That's when Mark Madsen took over, scoring six straight points _ two free throws, a layup and a dunk off an alley-oop pass _ to make it 61-50. Minutes later, Madsen made a foul shot and Kris Weems followed with a 3-pointer for a 67-54 lead with 4:33 left.
Clearly, Stanford wasn't in the proper frame of mind to play the feisty, physical Colonials.
``Whether we want to admit it or not, there was a letdown,'' Madsen said. ``It's easier to get up for No. 2 Maryland; conversely, George Washington can always get up to play Stanford.''
In the only other Top 25 game, No. 23 Arkansas routed Western Carolina 90-54.
The two-day BB&T Classic was valuable for all four teams, each of which learned something that can be applied later in the season.
``This shows our players we can do some things better, and that's good,'' Williams said. ``Our rebounding is not where it should be. We were outrebounded both games here, and you can't do that and expect to beat good teams.''
Stanford, meanwhile, got a lesson in playing the physical brand of basketball often associated with teams from the East.
``It was a gritty, tough win for us, just like they're all going to be,'' coach Mike Montgomery said. ``It was a pretty good bounce-back for us, considering how emotional and physical the game was yesterday.''
DePaul coach Pat Kennedy talked about the benefit of playing one of the best teams in the nation virtually dead-even for 26 minutes. After going head-to-head against Maryland, they'll certainly be prepared for the competition in Conference USA.
``(Maryland) is a team that can win the national championship. We learned a lot,'' Kennedy said. ``This is what it's about, growing as a young team. This game will be incredibly beneficial to us down the stretch.''
And even George Washington (3-3) expected to profit, despite losing twice.
``Stanford was very tough, but every team needs tests like this one before conference play starts,'' forward Yegor Mescheriakov said. ``I think we learned a lot, even though we lost both. The effort was there, so the future is very optimistic.''
No. 23 Arkansas 90, W. Carolina 54
At Fayetteville, Pat Bradley scored 32 points, including 8-of-12 from 3-point range, as Arkansas defeated Western Carolina.
Arkansas (6-2) shot 59 percent from the field, including 67 percent on 3-pointers.
Kareem Reid, making his first start since a loss to Villanova on Nov. 22, scored 17 points for the Razorbacks. Derek Hood added 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Cory Largent scored 22 points for Western Carolina (1-6), which shot 32 percent from the field.