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Terrapins, Hoosiers to Meet in Final

Terrapins, Hoosiers to Meet in Final
Terrapins, Hoosiers to Meet in Final
By REUTERS


Filed at 3:21 a.m. ET

ATLANTA (Reuters) - The Maryland Terrapins and the Indiana Hoosiers will meet for the NCAA Tournament championship on Monday after semifinal victories on Saturday.

Juan Dixon scored 33 points as the experienced Terrapins overcame a dreadful start to defeat the Kansas Jayhawks 97-88 while the Hoosiers defeated the Oklahoma Sooners 73-64, continuing the Cinderella story of second-year coach Mike Davis' team.

``We knew if we ever got in that position again when we were up 22 points, we were going to find a way to pull the game out,'' Dixon said. We did.

``It's just our experience. We grew a lot over the last year or so. So hopefully we'll go out there and get one more.''

Maryland (31-4), the number one seeds in the East Regional, dominated after trailing by 11 points early on as the Jayhawks' (33-4) lead evaporated by the 13-minute mark of the first half.

Kansas, number one seeds in the Midwest region, rallied briefly early in the second half, before Maryland pulled away to lead by as many as 20 points at one stage.

Another late comeback attempt by the Jayhawks failed in the final minutes, although Kansas did get back to within five points with two minutes to play, and to within four with 20 seconds left.

Maryland coach Gary Williams felt his team's depth was key to victory, especially since one of his three senior starters, Lonny Baxter, ran into early foul trouble and as a result played just 14 minutes, picking up just four points.

``To win on a night when maybe a couple of our guys didn't have their A game with them is a great feeling,'' Williams said.

Nick Collison had 21 points to lead Kansas' scoring while Chris Wilcox had an outstanding night for the Terps, picking up 18 points and nine rebounds.

Oklahoma led 34-30 at halftime against the Hoosiers, thanks to Aaron McGhee's 14 points and another 11 by Ebi Ere.

TIGHT CONTEST

But Indiana came to life in the second half, hitting numerous 3-pointers in a tightly contested game that was tied eight times and featured 14 lead changes.

The biggest lead either team could manage until the final minute was seven points, by the Sooners late in the first half and by the Hoosiers late in the second half, before Indiana pulled away late on to win.

Oklahoma coach Kelvin Sampson was philosophical after the defeat.

``We didn't play good enough to win today, my hat's off to Mike Davis and his team. I thought Mike did a great job,'' he said.

Aaron McGhee had 22 points and eight rebounds to top Oklahoma's scoring, but he fouled out with 4:40 to play. Ere wound up with 15 points for the Sooners.
 
 

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