Bulldogs Look To Knock Off Terrapins
Nov. 20, 2005
Gonzaga has ruined an early season tournament for Maryland before.
The ninth-ranked Bulldogs will try to do it again when they meet the No. 24 Terrapins in the quarterfinals of the Maui Invitational at the Lahaina Civic Center on Monday.
Gonzaga (1-0) has split a pair of meetings with Maryland, including an 82-68 victory in the first round of the 2003 BB&T Classic in Washington, which the Terrapins co-hosted. The win was keyed by Adam Morrison - a freshman at the time - who scored 18 points in only his sixth college game.
Morrison, named Gonzaga's first ever preseason Associated Press All-American, does not believe his team should be favored against the Terrapins despite its higher ranking.
"I feel we are the underdogs," Morrison said.
The Bulldogs are playing in the Maui Invitational for the second time after losing two of three games in 2002. Gonzaga defeated Utah in the first round before losing to Indiana and Kentucky.
With Morrison leading the way, Gonzaga is expected to have one of its best teams after enjoying the highest preseason ranking in school history (eighth). The Bulldogs return four starters from last year's team, which finished 26-5, as they seek to advance past the second round of the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2001.
J.P Batista scored 23 points and Derek Raivio added 19 as Gonzaga opened the season with a 69-60 victory over Idaho on Friday. Morrison was limited to 15 points and eight rebounds for the Bulldogs, who extended their home winning streak to 26 games.
"We're still in the growing process," Batista said.
Maryland understands that its hopes center on slowing down Morrison.
"He's very versatile for a guy that's 6-8," Terrapins coach Gary Williams said. "He can do a lot of things with the basketball, which makes him very difficult to stop and helps the other guys get a little better."
Gonzaga is hoping that freshman Josh Heytvelt will make his season debut sometime in Maui after the 6-foot-11 forward missed the opener with a sore foot. Junior swingman Erroll Knight - the 2005 West Coast Conference defensive player of the year - is out indefinitely due to torn cartilage in his knee.
Maryland (1-0) features a roster that includes four seniors and six juniors as it makes its third appearance in Maui. The Terrapins finished fourth in the 2001 event and lost to Arizona State in the championship game in 1994.
The Terrapins' experience has Gonzaga coach Mark Few worried.
"My heart sunk when Maryland showed up as our opponent here when they were chosen in the summer just because I think they're really, really good," he said. "We played them two years ago and they were really, really young and Gary did a great job with that team and rallied them and got them to the tournament."
The Terrapins displayed their depth during a season-opening 111-85 victory over Fairleigh Dickinson on Friday. Mike Jones scored 22 points to lead six Terrapins in double figures as they had assists on 25 of 36 baskets.
"I was pleased the way our guys hung together," Williams said. "We were willing to help each other out scoring. Anytime you get that, you have a chance of scoring a lot of points."
The defensive effort and free-throw shooting also pleased Williams. Maryland had 11 steals and seven blocks and shot 84.2 percent (32-of-38) from the line.
Maryland's win over Gonzaga came in the first round of the 1995 NCAA tournament, the Bulldogs' first appearance in the event.
The winner will meet No. 4 Michigan State or Chaminade in the semifinals Tuesday.
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