Manhattan 87

(20-10, 14-4 MAAC)

Maryland 84

(19-13, 8-8 ACC)

11:00 AM ET, March 18, 2006

Comcast Center, College Park, Maryland

1 2 T
MAN 47 4087
MD 37 4784

Top Performers

Manhattan: J. Xavier 31 Pts, 8 Reb, 6 Stl

Maryland: T. Garrison 21 Pts, 12 Reb, 1 Ast

Manhattan edges listless Maryland by three in NIT

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) -- If the result of the game hinged solely on talent, Manhattan probably wouldn't have stood a chance of beating Maryland.

The Jaspers were far more inspired than the Terrapins, however, and that's one big reason why Manhattan eliminated No. 1 seed Maryland from the National Invitation Tournament with an 87-84 victory Saturday.

Jeff Xavier scored a career-high 31 points and Jason Wingate added 21 for the Jaspers, who finished first in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference before losing in the MAAC tournament.

Instead of sulking, Manhattan decided to make up for the disappointment of missing the NCAA Tournament with an inspired performance against an Atlantic Coast Conference foe.

"It's very rare that a team in the MAAC goes on the road to beat an ACC team," Jaspers coach Bobby Gonzalez said. "The bottom line is, it came down to who wanted to win the game more."

Angered over being left out of the NCAA Tournament, the Terrapins (19-13) initially declined the NIT bid late Sunday night. But coach Gary Williams reversed the decision after speaking with NIT committee chairman C.M. Newton.

The disappointment, however, lingered.

"It was tough to refocus because we thought we should have made the NCAA Tournament," Maryland senior Nik Caner-Medley said. "The way we played today didn't prove it, but it was a tough, emotional hit. It was tough to prepare, and I think Manhattan was looking forward to it more."

Without question.

"This was monumental, and a national win," Gonzalez said. "Maryland is a powerful program. We would kill for their eighth man. But I'm sure they had a letdown because they didn't get into the NCAA Tournament. We didn't get their A-game."

Manhattan (20-10) will next face Old Dominion on Monday night. The Jaspers opened the NIT with an 80-77 win over Fairleigh Dickinson, a team Maryland beat by 26 points in November.

Xavier went 12-for-24 from the field, made four 3-pointers and sank all three of his foul shots in topping his previous career high of 25 points.

Travis Garrison had 21 points and 12 rebounds in his final game with Maryland and Caner-Medley added 16 on 6-for-16 shooting. The Terrapins had 20 turnovers and were 3-for-13 from 3-point range.

The Jaspers led by 14 with 13 minutes left, then had four players foul out. But Manhattan overcame that -- and some shoddy free throw shooting -- to end the Terrapins' 29-game non-conference home winning streak.

"In a game like that you expect Manhattan to play with a lot of emotion. They did," Williams said. "We didn't play with enough emotion. That can make the difference."

Maryland made a run at the end, but couldn't overcome its sins over the first 35 minutes. Wingate missed the front end of three straight one-and-one opportunities down the stretch before seldom-used sophomore Franck Traore sank two free throws with 32 seconds left to make it 84-79.

"We really didn't have our heads into it. We made silly plays the whole day," Maryland guard D.J. Strawberry said. "It was frustrating, because we're a better team than that. We definitely should have beat them."

Following an opening-round bye, the Terrapins displayed their indifference in the first half, when the Jaspers used 16-for-33 shooting to take a 47-37 lead. It was the most points yielded by Maryland in the first half this season.

The Terrapins opened the second half with a 6-0 run to close to 47-43 before Xavier scored eight points in a 14-4 surge that made it 61-47.

It was 75-65 before a 3-pointer by Mike Jones and a layup by Caner-Medley got the Terrapins within five points with 5:42 to go. Xavier followed with a three-point play to ignite a 7-0 run that gave the Jaspers enough breathing room to weather Maryland's last comeback bid.

Playing in a half-filled arena, the Terrapins appeared lethargic from the outset. They missed their first four shots, then built a 12-8 lead before Wingate scored seven points in a 17-3 spurt that put Manhattan up by 10.

With 9 minutes gone, Maryland had seven turnovers and six baskets.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 87 84
FG Made-Attempted 31-67 (.463) 28-71 (.394)
3P Made-Attempted 9-23 (.391) 3-13 (.231)
FT Made-Attempted 16-23 (.696) 25-36 (.694)
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 26 (0/0) 22 (0/0)
Largest Lead 14 1


» Mar 18, 2006 MAN 87, @MD 84Recap