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Maryland holds off Curry and Davidson

March 16, 2007|Robyn Norwood | From Times Staff and Wire Reports

When Davidson's Stephen Curry fouled out, no one was as relieved as D.J. Strawberry. He finally got a break and knew what it all meant: Maryland was on its way to the second round of the NCAA tournament.

Helped by Strawberry's efficient 12-point, five-assist and eight-rebound performance, the Terrapins overcame the Wildcats in an 82-70 win Thursday at Buffalo, N.Y., in their first NCAA tournament appearance in three years.

"He was tiring me out just as much as I was tiring him out," Strawberry said of the freshman guard.

Curry scored 30 points but ran out of gas, missing five of his last six attempts before fouling out with 21 seconds left. The Wildcats had no one else to pick up the slack, managing only one field goal -- Curry's transition layup -- in the final 5:51.

"I don't think it was anything about fatigue," Curry said.

"It's just shots weren't falling and had loose balls go the other way, just a couple of bad bounces here and there."

That was all Maryland needed in a game that featured 14 lead changes and the Terrapins -- the Midwest Regional's fourth-seeded team -- rallying from an eight-point second-half deficit.

Mike Jones led Maryland (25-8) with 17 points, and reserve forward Bambale Osby had 11, playing a key role in an 11-4 run that put the Terrapins ahead 69-63 with 7:27 left.

Davidson (29-5) had a 13-game win streak ended and lost for only the second time in 27 games. The Wildcats also lost their seventh straight first-round game, their last tournament victory coming in 1969 when they beat St. John's 79-69 in the East semifinals.

The Terrapins advanced to the second round for the 20th time, and overcame questions of how prepared they were after losing to Miami in the first round of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament.

Maryland will face fifth-seeded Butler in the second round Saturday, with the winner advancing to St. Louis.

Butler 57, Old Dominion 46 -- This time, it was a No. 5-vs.-No. 12 matchup with no real underdog.

Matter of fact, it never really felt like an upset was brewing until Butler -- the higher-seeded team -- finally pulled ahead midway through the second half on a hail of three-point baskets and a 17-0 run to defeat Old Dominion at Buffalo, N.Y.

Butler (28-6) earned a No. 5 seeding after being ranked for much of the season, but drew another mid-major, No. 12 Old Dominion, a team that received one of the final at-large berths partly on the strength of a November upset of Georgetown.

The difference came when Butler broke open a game it trailed, 33-29, with five three-pointers and a layup.

A.J. Graves made the first long-range shot. Then 6-foot-7 forward Pete Campbell made three consecutive three-pointers, and guard Mike Green had another three-pointer and a layup for a 46-33 lead.

Graves led the Bulldogs with 18 points, and Green, a 6-foot guard, had 14 points and 10 rebounds. Campbell finished with nine points, making three of seven three-pointers.

Brandon Johnson led the Monarchs (24-9) with 11 points, and Gerald Lee had 10 points and 11 rebounds.

-- Robyn Norwood

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