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Maryland pulls away late from Fordham

Dec 7, 2006 - 3:51 AM COLLEGE PARK, Maryland (Ticker) -- Fordham could only slow down Maryland's superior athletes for so long.

Mike Jones and D.J. Strawberry scored 16 of their combined 34 points in the second half as the No. 22 Terrapins pulled away from the Rams in the second half for a 79-59 victory.

Shooting 64 percent (14-of-22) after the break, Maryland (9-1) opened up a tight contest en route to its eighth straight win in the series. Overall, it is 8-1 against the Atlantic 10 Conference squad.

Despite making 15-of-30 shots in the opening 20 minutes, the Terrapins could not shake the Rams, holding just a 39-33 edge at intermission.

Foul trouble played a role in Maryland's slim advantage, with second-leading scorer Ekene Ibekwe limited to just 10 minutes with three fouls.

"Getting in foul trouble early made us do some things in the first half with the lineup," Maryland coach Gary Williams said. "You have to have a game like this to understand that you have to depend on your execution."

Jones, who finished with 18 points, made all four of his 3-point attempts, including two in the second half. Maryland went 4-of-6 (67 percent) from the arc after the break.

It was a strong rebound game for Jones, who managed just two points and missed all five shots from the field in the Terrapins' 81-74 loss to Notre Dame on Sunday.

"Against Notre Dame he passed up some open shots and when you have a shooter, it's not about missing, it's about passing up shots," Williams said. "That's a shooter's slump. We are trying to get everybody to take some easy shots. Mike made some shots and he carried us early in the game. His shots really made a difference in the game."

"I talked to coach Williams during practice over the past few days, and he definitely emphasized that I need to take shots when I'm open," Jones said. "I can't pass up too many wide-open shots, because I might not get that opportunity back."

Strawberry ended up with 16 points, as did freshman Greivis Vasquez, who scored nine after halftime.

"Greivis is just one of those guys that loves the game, loves to play and loves to compete," Williams said. "Greivis is a freshman but he makes great plays. He has a lot of confidence. He tries to do some things that maybe aren't the right thing for the situation but you don't want to take away that wanting of the ball in pressure situations and wanting to score."

Despite the foul problems, the 6-9 Ibekwe finished with eight points, seven blocks and six rebounds. He ended up with four fouls in 22 minutes played.

"It never worries me," Ibekwe said about playing with fouls. "I'm not going to play any differently or with any less aggressiveness because I have some fouls. If the referees are going to call a foul, they're going to call a foul."

Marcus Stout scored 20 points and Bryant Dunston added 17 for Fordham (4-3), which shot 33 percent (20-of-60) in having a three-game winning streak snapped.

While the Rams had three starters in double figures, the bench struggled, contributing just six points compared to 27 for the Terrapins.

"I just wasn't comfortable with our bench versus their bench," Fordham coach Dereck Whittenburg said. "I thought our first six could play with them, but I just thought that making a run with our guys, I needed to rest them. We tried to play zone a couple times to try to slow them down, and we missed some assignments. They wore us down."

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    FORDHAM 33 26 59
    MARYLAND (22) 39 40 79 FINAL

    Dec 6 10:00 PM

    FORDHAM 33

    Dec 6 8:55 PM