Nov. 10, 1997
Maryland Flies High Over Australia
COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- With a strong showing from its frontcourt, Maryland overpowered the Australian National Team on its way to a 71-65 victory at here at Cole Field House tonight. Led by junior All-American candidate Laron Profit and senior Rodney Elliott, each with 18 points, the Terrapins held their poise tip-off to final buzzer.
Although it was Profit's sixteen second-half points that sparked the offense down the stretch, the Maryland big-men were the deciding factor. In addition to Elliott's efforts, red-shirt freshman Mike Mardesich had eleven points and eight rebounds off the bench and ACC-Freshman of the Year candidate Terence Morris added eight and four respectively. Junior Obinna Ekezie also pulled down nine boards as the Terps out-rebounded their opponents by a count of 42-25.
Leading the way for Australia were guards Brett Maher and Aaron Trahair with seventeen and sixteen points respectively. The tandem also combined for 7-15 shooting from behind the three-point arc. Forward Tony Ronaldson, who has out-muscled other college teams in recent weeks, was held scoreless and only managed two rebounds in a foul-plagued performance.
As Australia continued to make runs to get back into the game, it was the high-flying athleticism of the Terps that kept the Maryland fans as the crucial spark plug. With seven minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, and Australia down only one point, Profit threw down a one-handed alley-oop from senior Matt Kovarik that brought a standing ovation from the crowd.
Other highlights included back-to-back dunks by Morris in the third quarter and a showcase of athleticism by Ekezie who mixed up low post moves confusing the Australian defense. Mardesich also had a strong performance with numerous hook-shots in the lane.
With the victory, Maryland improves to 2-0 in the preseason as they prepare for a showdown with the University of South Carolina at the Black Coaches Association Tournament in Minneapolis on Friday at 7:30 p.m.Game Statistics