Dec. 7, 2005
College Park, Md. -
Western Carolina only trailed by four at halftime, 39-35, when senior Maryland's Nik Caner-Medley made a jumper at the buzzer. However, the 17th-ranked Terrapins went on a 15-5 run to start the second half en route to an 87-57 victory over the Catamounts Wednesday night in the Comcast Center.
Western played Maryland even in the first half, except for one key stat as the Terrapins out-rebounded the Catamounts 25-7. Most notably, Maryland's Travis Garrison pulled down 14 rebounds in the first half alone, scoring 16 points. Despite that fact, Maryland never led by more than five points, with Western taking the lead on thee occasions.
Garrison set the tone early, getting an offensive rebound and a layup to start the game. Five minutes into the game, Antonio Russell drained the first of six WCU 3-pointers to give the Cats' their first lead, 9-8. After Maryland led by five at the 12:13 mark and once again at 18-13, Western found its stride, going on an 11-2 run over the next five minutes to take a 24-20. During the run, Kyle Greathouse hit three treys and David Berghoefer made a layup. Garrison scored eight points over the final 6:45 and Caner-Medley added six over the final 3:50, including his buzzer-beater to end the period.
Maryland scored the first four points of the second half thanks to a turnover and a fast break layup. After an early WCU timeout, Corey Muirhead got the Cats back on track with two free throws. However, the Terps scored four straight to take their first double-digit lead of the game, 47-37, at the 16:57 mark. Jared Outing answered with a back-door layup on a Berghoefer assist o cut the WCU deficit to eight, 47-39. That was the last time Western would trail by single digits as UM's Mike Jones came back down the floor to drain a 3-pointer.
While senior big man Garrison did the damage in the first half, fellow post player Ekene Ibekwe led the Terps to start the second period, scoring eight of Maryland's 15 points during its early run.
Garrison led all scorers with 23 points. Although he did not get a rebound in the second half, Caner-Medley had seven in the final 20 minutes as Maryland out-rebounded WCU 49-20 for the game. Ibekwe added 18 points, while D.J. Strawberry scored 13.
For Western, Outing had 12 points and four rebounds, while Russell added 11. Charles Bouie came off the bench to score seven points in 11 minutes, while getting a career-high three blocked shots.
Western Carolina will return to action Saturday (Dec. 10), playing at East Carolina in the Cats' last game before final exams. Tipoff in Greenville is set for 7:00 pm. After exams, Western will play two home games, hosting The Citadel Dec. 18 and Gardner-Webb Dec. 22.