American U 55

(3-7, 0-6 away)

(16) Maryland 81

(8-2, 1-0 ACC)

    8:00 PM ET, December 23, 2005

    XFINITY Center, College Park, Maryland

    1 2 T
    AMER 17 3855
    #16MD 43 3881

    Top Performers

    American: J. Nichols 11 Pts, 7 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Blk

    Maryland: N. Caner-Medley 17 Pts, 9 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl, 3 Blk

    No. 16 Maryland overwhelms American

    COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) -- Bored with practice and worn out from taking exams, the Maryland Terrapins couldn't wait to get back on the basketball court in a game situation.

    Their enthusiasm was evident from the opening tip against American University on Friday night, especially on the defensive end of the court.

    Nik Caner-Medley and Chris McCray each scored 17 points, and No. 16 Maryland held the Eagles to 17 points in the first half of an 81-55 victory.

    Ekene Ibekwe had 13 points and 11 rebounds for the Terrapins (8-2), who showed little signs of rust after a 12-day layoff. Maryland led by 26 points at halftime after shooting 46 percent, outrebounding American 27-14 and forcing 12 turnovers.

    "Our defensive intensity was really good to start the game," Maryland coach Gary Williams said. "I had to sell the idea that if you play really good defense most of the time and you're struggling a bit offensively, the defense will break some things loose."

    Maryland scored 18 points off turnovers and had 27 fast-break points.

    "We were really looking forward to playing," Caner-Medley said. "When you have a layoff like that it can go two ways, and we just talked about not using that as an excuse. We looked at it as having plenty of rest, so there was no reason not to come out and play hard."

    Caner-Medley, 6-foot-8 senior forward, moved past Larry Gibson into 28th place on the school career scoring list with 1,201 points.

    Andre Ingram and Jordan Nichols each had 11 points for the Eagles (3-7), whose three-game winning streak ended. American has lost 13 straight to Maryland, including a 21-point defeat last season.

    "We would have preferred if they had overlooked us and kind of came out and just wanted to get the game over with," American coach Jeff Jones said. "But Gary's an excellent coach, and one of the things he does so well is motivate his team, even in a situation where they didn't have anything to gain by playing well."

    In his first game with the Eagles, 6-11 center Paulius Joneliunas missed his first six shots and finished with two points and two rebounds in 21 minutes. Joneliunas sat out a year after transferring from South Carolina in the middle of last season.

    The Eagles had more turnovers (12) than baskets (7) and shot 26 percent in falling hopelessly behind by halftime.

    After American's Brayden Billbe made the game's first field goal, successive baskets by Caner-Medley sparked a 12-0 run that included by six straight points by Ibekwe.

    Five minutes into the game, the Eagles were 1-for-4 from the field with six fouls and six turnovers.

    "We've had a habit of coming out of the gate slowly in a number of games," Jones said. "It's something we've tried to address and will continue to address. But Maryland just came at us tonight. You've got to weather that early barrage, but we weren't able to."

    It was 17-6 before D.J. Strawberry banked in a jumper and seldom-used guard Parrish Brown scored off a steal to begin a 16-2 spurt that put Maryland up by 23. Strawberry had seven points in the run and McCray contributed a 3-pointer and a layup.

    The Eagles finally scored successive field goals late in the half to make it 33-15, but Caner-Medley answered with a three-point play and McCray added a 3-pointer to start a 10-1 run that ended the half.

    American cut the gap to 20 early in the second half, but simply didn't have enough firepower to pose a threat.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 55 81
    FG Made-Attempted 21-59 (.356) 30-68 (.441)
    3P Made-Attempted 5-17 (.294) 8-23 (.348)
    FT Made-Attempted 8-15 (.533) 13-17 (.765)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 16 (0/0) 15 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 2 31

    2005-06 Season

    » Dec 23, 2005 @MD 81, AMER 55Recap