Dec. 7, 1997
Maryland Stuns No. 3 Kansas, 86-83
WAHSINGTON, D.C. - Sarunas Jasikevicius snapped a tie with two free throws with 1:45 remaining as Maryland blew a 15-point lead in the second half before recovering to stun number three Kansas, 86-83, in the first round of the Franklin Bank Classic at Washington, D.C.
Rodney Elliott scored 21 points for the Terrapins (4-2), who will play George Washington in the championship on Monday. Laron Profit added 13 before fouling out for Maryland, which raced to a 54-41 halftime lead.
Paul Pierce scored 26 points before fouling out for Kansas (8-1), which missed three free throws in the final four minutes. The Jayhawks had a chance to tie the game in the final seconds, but Billy Thomas' 40-footer bounced off the rim.
Obinna Ekezie gave the Terps a 56-41 lead early in the second half before Kansas methodically cut into the lead. A 17-6 run, capped by a putback from Raef LaFrentz, left the Jayhawks down 62-58 with 13:55 remaining.
But Maryland responded as Ekezie and Profit hit free throws around a three-pointer by Matt Kovarik that pushed the lead back to nine. Kansas again charged, drawing within 69-65 after Nick Bradford missed 2-of-3 free throws.
Terence Morris gave Maryland a 78-72 on a follow of a miss by Ekezie, but the Jayhawks reeled off six straight points, capped by a three-pointer from Pierce on the right wing with 2:53 to play.
Profit and Pierce traded free throws before Jasikevicius hit two free throws. Mike Mardesich, who missed a pair of foul shots earlier, added two to make it 83-79 with 90 seconds remaining.
Kenny Gregory had a tip-in to pull Kansas within 83-81 with 26 seconds left, and Ekezie made the second of two free throws less than seven seconds later.
The Jayhawks worked the ball around on their next possession to Ryan Robertson, who had to lunge to corral the pass in the left corner before stepping behind the line to launch an off-balance three-pointer. LaFrentz, though, scored on the offensive rebound to make it 84-83 with 3.6 seconds left.
On the ensuing inbounds pass, Maryland point guard Terrell
Stokes appeared to step out of bounds, but a foul was called on
Thomas with 1.9 seconds left. Stokes made both free throws,
setting up Kansas' final play.