Gonzaga Stepps Over Maryland 82-68

Dec 6, 2003

Final Stats

AP Sports Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - Blake Stepp scored 27 points, and Adam Morrison keyed a second-half surge that carried No. 17 Gonzaga past cold-shooting Maryland 82-68 Saturday.

Stepp went 7-for-11 from beyond the arc and Gonzaga made 13 3-pointers, which served to offset its season-high 24 turnovers for the Bulldogs. The seven 3-pointers set a single-game record for the BB&T Classic.

"When you start popping, you start feeling good and you begin to look to getting a little more open off the break," said Stepp after his 27 points ranked tied for fifth highest by a player in a single game in the tournament. "Cory (Violette) and Adam (Morrison) were setting good screens for me so it's hard not to get open and get good looks."

The Bulldogs (5-1) play George Washington on Sunday in the championship game of the BB&T Classic. The Colonials advanced by beating West Virginia 70-64.

Maryland (4-1), coming off a surprise overtime victory over 15th-ranked Wisconsin, shot 36 percent from the field - including 4-for-20 from 3-point range - and missed 13 of 27 free throws.

"We were able to get to the line, but the problem with that is that we are not shooting well from there and tonight was no different," stated Maryland head coach Gary Williams. Williams feel to 1-1 againt the Bulldogs after he coach Maryland to a victory over Gonzaga in the 1995 NCAA Tournament, that being GU's inaugural NCAA berth.

Gonzaga opened the second half with a 7-0 run to take a 37-34 lead, then yielded five straight points before Morrison scored in the lane and Stepp hit a 3-pointer to start a 10-0 burst that made it 47-39.

After Maryland closed to 49-44, Morrison had a three-point play and a dunk and Stepp hit two 3-pointers in a 15-5 run that put the Bulldogs up 64-49 with 10:28 left.



"I think that goes a long way in showing the character of this club," added Bulldogs head coach Mark Few who won his 110th game at Gonzaga. "I got after them a little bit at the half because I didn't think we played well or strong in the first half. We changed that in the second half. I think the way we played in the second half is going to help us this season. We learned a lot tonight."

The Terrapins never cut the gap below double figures.

Morrison finished with 18 points and Kyle Bankhead had 11, including three 3-pointers. Stepp also had 11 assists.

Nik Caner-Medley scored 16 points for the Terrapins, who were seeking to go 5-0 for the first time since 1998. Jamar Smith had 13 points and seven rebounds, missing a double-double for the first time this season.

The Terrapins scored the final nine points of the first half to take a 34-30 lead. The Bulldogs missed 18 of 28 shots and committed 16 turnovers, but stayed close by going 6-for-12 from 3-point range.

Maryland led 23-14 before Morrison made a layup and Stepp scored the Bulldogs' next 10 points in a 16-2 run that put Gonzaga up by five. During that time, Maryland had seven turnovers and missed 10 straight shots.

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