4:30 PM ET, March 23, 2003
Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tennessee
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- No need to beat the buzzer this time. Maryland is off on another run in the NCAA Tournament.
The defending national champion Terrapins, who got a game-winning 3-pointer from Drew Nicholas in the most exciting finish of the first round, shut down David West early and beat Xavier 77-64 Sunday to reach the round of 16 for the third straight year. "That shot gave us a lot of confidence coming into this game,'' Maryland coach Gary Williams said. "But this was a totally different game, and we were playing great defense and turning it into offense.'' Nicholas and Ryan Randle scored 17 points apiece for sixth-seeded Maryland, which will play the winner of Sunday night's Florida-Michigan State game in the South Regional semifinals Friday at the Alamodome in San Antonio. Steve Blake, the most experienced player in the tournament, had nine points and nine assists as the Terrapins (21-9) shot 51.7 percent (30-of-58) from the floor. "We're the only team in the tournament who's the defending champs,'' Blake said. "We want to prove how good we are and make a name for ourselves.'' West, the three-time Atlantic 10 player of the year, finished with 22 points and nine rebounds for No. 3 seed Xavier (26-6), but most of it came way too late. "If Maryland is a sixth seed in this tournament, man, they're the best one I've seen,'' Xavier coach Thad Matta said.
Drew Nicholas lit up the Musketeers for 17 points.
|Dick Vitale: The Terps played brilliantly, coming out of the gate on fire, still with the fire from the Drew Nicholas 3-pointer that allowed them to survive and move on to this game. Like Jimmy V always said, it's not about the margin of victory, it's about advancing. More|
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|» Mar 23, 2003||MD 77, @XAV 64||Recap|