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Massachusetts (#5) 50, Maryland (#19) 47
From The Associated Press, 12/2/1995

Marcus Camby scored 14 points and snapped a tie with 1:13 left as fifth-ranked Massachussetts edged 19th-ranked Maryland, 50-47, in the first round of the Franklin Bank Classic at Landover, Maryland.

Tyrone Weeks hooks it over the Terp defense.
The Minutemen (2-0) will play Florida in the championship game on Sunday. Florida defeated George Washington, 75-66.

Donta Bright added 14 points, including a jumper with 7:12 to play that give Massachussetts its first lead of the game, 43-42. Edgar Padilla's jumper put the Minutemen ahead, 47-45, but the Terrapins tied it on Duane Simpkins' jumper.

Camby then hit a short jumper for a 49-47 lead with 1:13 to go and hit the first of two free throws with six seconds left for the final margin. Keith Booth, who finished with 11 points, missed a three-pointer at the buzzer for Maryland (1-2).

The Terrapins raced to an nine-point lead in the first half, taking an 11-2 lead on a layup by Johnny Rhodes with 15:08 to play in the first half.

The Minutemen shot just 21 per cent (7-for-34) and fell behind 28-13 with just under four minutes to play before going on a 6-0 run to get within 28-19 at halftime. Camby had a rough first half, scoring four points and picking up three fouls in just 11 minutes.

"We played a very aggressive, intense basketball team today," Massachusetts coach John Calipari said. "We played poorly in the first half because of what Maryland did to us. I am very happy with my team's 'refuse to lose' attitude. Down nine, we came back to tie and eventually found a way to win."

Bright added 10 rebounds as the Minutemen enjoyed a 41-20 advantage on the boards. Massachusetts finished 17-of-55 (31 per cent) from the field.

Sarunas Jasikevicius scored eight points for Maryland, which fell to 2-3 all-time against Massachussetts.

"This was disappointing because of our nine-point lead at the half," Maryland coach Gary Williams said. "We tried to get Camby his fourth foul, but couldn't do it. We have to be able to score at other positions than inside. We did a pretty good job defensively, but we gave up too many second shots.

UMass rises up, downs Maryland
By Joe Burris, The Boston Globe Staff, 12/3/1995

LANDOVER, Md. -- Yesterday, the "U" in UMass stood for ugly. The numbers told the story: 21-percent shooting from the floor in the first half. A 16- point halftime deficit. Sluggishness. Bad timing. Inconsistency.

Marcus Camby and the Minutemen took control in the second half.
But the University of Massachusetts kept coming -- and Maryland's 16-point had lead dwindled to 9 at halftime. That's when you knew the Terrapins had blown it. They allowed UMass back into the game. Gave the Minutemen a confidence builder. Gave coach John Calipari a theme for his halftime speech.

The second half hardly mirrored the first. The fifth-ranked Minutemen returned to the kind of relentless play that burned No. 1 Kentucky Tuesday night; UMass outplayed Maryland at both ends of the floor -- particularly over the last five minutes -- to register a 50-47 victory over the 19th-ranked Terrapins in the first round of the Franklin National Bank Classic.

UMass center Marcus Camby fought off a slow start and first-half foul trouble to tally 14 points, 7 rebounds and 4 blocks. Donta Bright also had 14 points and added 10 rebounds and frontcourt mate Dana Dingle had 10 points and 7 boards for UMass, which held Maryland to just 2 points over the last five minutes in both halves.

"We didn't come out and play the way we were supposed to play," said Calipari, who also picked up his first technical foul of the season. "We had a lot of plays in the first half where I just said, "We can't play that way and win."

The Minutemen (2-0) will meet Florida today; a victory could vault UMass to No. 1 in next week's national poll.

In the early going yesterday, the Minutemen's effort hardly resembled Tuesday night's. UMass scored once in its first seven possessions and didn't reach double figures until the 6:15 mark of the first half. Maryland, on the other hand, got off to a good start.

With balanced scoring and tenacious defense, the Terrapins (1-2) took a 16-6 lead midway through the first half. Things looked bleakest with 4:31 left before intermission, when guard Sarunas Jasikevicius drained a trey to give Maryland a 28-12 lead.

"We played poorly in the first half because of what Maryland did to us," said Calipari. "We played a very aggressive, intense basketball team today."

But Maryland couldn't add precision to its repertoire, and for the remainder of the half turned the ball over four times. Even when Maryland ran its routes well, it had trouble finishing plays. Meanwhile, with Camby on the bench with foul trouble, Dingle stepped up, tallying 7 points, 1 steal and 2 boards. UMass trailed, 28-19, at halftime.

"But then I said to them at halftime, 'Can you imagine what they did to us and we're only down 9?' " said Calipari. "I said, 'Let's try to win the game.' "

Dana Dingle tracks down the loose ball.
The 9-point deficit was equally disturbing to Maryland coach Gary Williams, who knew UMass headed to the locker room with the momentum.

"I thought we did a good job getting the ball inside but we didn't finish," he said.

That carried over to the second half. Many of Maryland's problems were self-imposed. The Terps went ahead, 37-24, on a bank shot by Johnny Rhodes with 15:16 left, then turned the ball over three times in their next four possessions. UMass slowly closed the gap, and with 7:30 left took a 43-42 lead on a layup by Bright (assist, Camby).

"We got it to single digits at halftime and we knew we were going to make a run at some point in the game," said Camby. "My teammates just stepped it up."

The game contained only two lead changes and two ties, the latter coming when Maryland guard Duane Simpkins scored on a drive with 4:26 left to knot it at 47-47. But with 4:03 left, Camby swished a 15-foot turnaround jumper while double-teamed, then blocked Booth at the other end.

With 41 seconds left, Rhodes stole the ball from Camby and Maryland called timeout with :22.4 to go. After Simpkins missed from the key, Camby came up with the ball and sank a free throw for the final margin.

"The biggest thing is, if the other team comes out against us with more passion and more intensity, we're losing," said Calipari. "UMass basketball is based on that."

Florida prevented an early meeting of Atlantic-10 rivals in today's tournament final. The Gators defeated George Washington, 75-66, yesterday and will meet UMass in today's championship game at 4 p.m.

Guard Greg Williams had 20 points and forward Dametri Hill added 17 for Florida (2-1).

Today will mark only the second meeting between UMass and Florida; the Gators won the first during the 1978-79 season.

Camby is starring in the feature role
By Dan Shaughnessy, The Boston Globe Staff, 12/3/1995

LANDOVER, Md. -- The game was tied after a scrappy 37 1/2 minutes. Fifth- ranked Massachusetts was trying to complete a comeback after trailing 19th- ranked Maryland by 16 points.

Camby rises up over Johnny Rhodes and Dana Dingle for the rebound.
It hadn't been much of a day for highly-touted UMass center Marcus Camby. After his 32-point, 9-rebound, 5-block game against top-ranked Kentucky, Camby got into early foul trouble and struggled against the Terrapins in the Cap Center.

But Camby's eyes got big when he saw 6-foot Maryland guard Duane Simpkins driving the lane in crunch time. Simpkins launched a running one-hander and . . .


Poom. That is the sound of a human hand smacking a basketball and that is the sound that 16,302 heard as Camby swatted Simpkins' shot in the direction of Red Auerbach's loge seat.

This blocked shot had Ray Guy Hang Time. Several Cap Center fans could be seen calling for a fair catch. If Camby was Barry Bonds, he'd have admired his work and gone into a home run trot.

The best blocks, of course, are controlled blocks. Bill Russell, the godfather of swat, was the master of the gentle re-direction. Russell never went for the flamboyant leather sandwich. He tipped the ball to his teammate, then tried to beat the other team down the floor.

But Camby's was a demoralizing deflection. It took the air out of the Terps. The game was tied, but the game was over. When UMass next came down the floor on offense, it ran a play for Camby. Marcus got to his spot on the left baseline, took a pass, turned and shot over four arms. Two points.

"Everybody in the building knew where the ball was going," said UMass coach John Calipari. "Everybody watching on TV knew where it was going. But he gets the ball and makes a turnaround."

There was more. After the big bucket, Camby blocked another shot, then got the final key rebound and made a free throw. His final line was a measly 14 points with 7 rebounds and 4 blocks, but when Maryland coach Gary Williams was asked to name the difference in the 50-47 UMass win, his answer was, ''Camby."

Camby was asked whether he'd rather drain the turnaround in traffic, or swat a shot.

He smiled. Easy question. "Definitely the blocked shot," he said. "I like it when they are so intimidated by me on defense."

Fools rush in when Camby's standing in the paint on defense.

Now that Lou Roe is gone, Marcus is the Man. This the way it's going to be all year. The Minutemen don't have a lot of depth, but they've got something few teams have; they've got a 6-11 center who can block shots, make turnaround jumpers while wearing defenders and handle the ball when needed.

There was speculation last spring that Camby would turn pro. No one in Amherst was certain that the Hartford native was coming back for his junior season. But that was before the Big Country incident.

In the East Regional final at the Meadowlands against Oklahoma State last March, 300-pound Bryant Reeves put his shoulder to Camby's chest early and took Marcus out of the game. Camby, who had been playing the best ball of his life, shot 2 for 10 and managed only four rebounds in 23 soft minutes. Oklahoma State went to the Final Four, Reeves went to the NBA, and Camby decided to come back to school.

Now he's the target every game. And the Minutemen will go only as far as he can carry them.

Camby has tried to put the Reeves game out of his mind.

"I don't dwell on that game," Camby said. "If I make it to the next level, I won't be playing against any 300-pound guys."

He's right. In today's NBA, the 6-11 Camby projects as a "small" forward. Sort of like a "jumbo shrimp" in reverse.

"He's a 7-footer who plays like a guard," Calipari said proudly.

Williams added, "He can face the basket and put it on the floor. You don't see that very much in a guy that size."

Today Camby will match up against Florida's best. Wednesday he goes Nike- to-Nike against Wake Forest's Tim Duncan. Duncan is regarded as the top college center in the country. Next Saturday, Camby and Co. come to Boston to face Danya Abrams and Boston College in the first annual Billy Bulger Classic.

"I always like playing against the top players and the top teams," said Camby. "Especially on national TV. It gives me, our team and our program a lot of exposure."

UMass and Camby won't be needing much more exposure. The secret is out. UMass-Hooterville has one of the top teams and top centers in the country.

Massachusetts Minutemen (#5) 50
Maryland Terrapins (#19) 47
Franklin Bank Classic First-round, at Landover, MD

                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Dingle          35   3-8   4-5   4-7  1  2   10
Bright          28  4-13   6-6  4-10  0  4   14
Camby           30  6-14   2-4   2-7  2  3   14
Travieso        39   0-5   0-0   4-6  1  1    0
E Padilla       40   2-6   4-4   0-2  1  2    8
Norville         3   0-0   0-0   0-0  0  0    0
Weeks           20   2-9   0-0   5-7  0  4    4
Nunez            5   0-0   0-0   2-2  0  0    0
TOTALS         200 17-55 16-19 21-41  5 16   50

Percentages: FG-.309, FT-.842. 3-Point Goals:
0-7, .000 (Bright 0-3, Travieso 0-3, E Padilla
0-1). Team rebounds: 3. Blocked shots: 6 (Camby
4, Travieso 2). Turnovers: 16 (Dingle 4, E
Padilla 4, Camby 3, Bright, Norville, Nunez,
Travieso, Weeks). Steals: 7 (Dingle 2, E Padilla
2, Travieso 2, Weeks).

                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Hipp            38   2-7   0-0   1-5  0  4    4
Booth           34   4-6   3-4   3-4  2  4   11
Lucas           31   1-5   2-4   0-3  1  0    5
Simpkins        23   1-4   2-2   0-2  3  4    4
Rhodes          35   3-8   1-3   0-3  3  2    7
Elliot          12   1-3   2-4   1-2  0  2    4
Stokes          14   0-1   0-0   0-0  1  1    0
Ekezie           4   1-1   0-0   0-0  0  1    2
Jasikevicius     7   3-4   0-0   0-0  0  1    8
Kovarik          2   0-0   2-2   0-1  0  0    2
TOTALS         200 16-39 12-19  5-20 10 19   47

Percentages: FG-.410, FT-.632. 3-Point Goals:
3-11, .273 (Hipp 0-2, Lucas 1-2, Simpkins 0-1,
Rhodes 0-2, Elliot 0-1, Stokes 0-1, Jasikevicius
2-2). Team rebounds: 3. Blocked shots: 3 (Booth
2, Rhodes). Turnovers: 17 (Lucas 5, Booth 3, Hipp
2, Jasikevicius 2, Simpkins 2, Ekezie, Rhodes,
Stokes). Steals: 10 (Booth 5, Rhodes 4, Simpkins).
Massachusetts      19   31  -   50
Maryland           28   19  -   47
Technical fouls: Massachusetts 1 (Head Coach
Calipari).  A: 16,302. Officials: Dick Paparo,
Carl Hess, Mike Wood.

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