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MARCH MADNESS / NCAA TOURNAMENT | WEST REGIONAL / GAME
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Maryland Has a Lot in Reserve

March 23, 2001|LON EUBANKS

Maryland Coach Gary Williams gave a lot of the credit for his team's 76-66 victory over Georgetown in the West Regional at the Arrowhead Pond Thursday night to his reserves.

"We really used our bench tonight," Williams said. "All our guys did an excellent job. That made it a good team win."

Forward Tahj Holden, a 6-foot-10 sophomore, led the way for the Terrapin reserves with 10 points on three of four from the field and four of five from the free throw line. Holden also had five rebounds, helping Maryland to a 51-41 rebounding advantage.

Reserve Danny Miller scored seven points, working open for two layups in the final 3 1/2 minutes. Another reserve, Mike Mardesich, had five points and three rebounds.

Holden missed nine games this season because of a broken little toe on his left foot before returning on Jan. 17. He came into the regional semifinal round averaging 3.9 points and 2.1 rebounds.

"It's been a tough year for him because of that," Williams said. "But he's strong, and he's a good passer and a great outside shooter."

Georgetown Coach Craig Esherick also thought Holden made a key contribution.

"I saw him play in high school [Red Bank, N.J.], and he's really improved as a rebounder," Esherick said. "He's always had the offensive skills, but he's also improved on defense since he's been with Gary."

Another key for Maryland was good free throw shooting down the stretch. The Terrapins made 11 of 12 in the final 7:02.

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Two Hall of Famers, basketball's Bill Russell and football's Jim Brown, sat next to each other at the Georgetown-Maryland game, in the row behind former Georgetown Coach John Thompson.

"I invited Russell to the game, and he invited Brown," Thompson said. "Russell and I have been good friends, and Russell and Brown have become friends. They play golf together a lot."

Thompson was a teammate of Russell for two seasons with the Boston Celtics. "Russell has followed the team and been supportive ever since I've been at Georgetown, and he's still supportive now," Thompson said.

Thompson said he still attends many Georgetown home games. "I usually sit up a lot higher there than I did tonight," he said. He was only a few rows from the floor Thursday.

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Some of the fans attending the Georgetown-Maryland game were more than a little bit distracted trying to keep track of the USC-Kentucky game in the East Regional.

Many of the fans in the sky boxes had their televisions tuned to the Trojan game .

It was obvious that USC had won when fans emerged from the sky boxes celebrating. Then, when the score was officially announced, it drew a cheer from the crowd.

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