Steve Blake Lonny Baxter and William and Mary's Sherman Rivers

Over the top: Steve Blake and Lonny Baxter (35) fight William and Mary's Sherman Rivers for second-half rebound. (Sun photo by Gene Sweeney Jr. / December 27, 2001)

COLLEGE PARK - There's a term in psychology that can be used to describe what Maryland applied to William and Mary last night: misplaced aggression.

Eager to wipe away the memories of an ugly 16-point loss to then-No. 22 Oklahoma last Friday, the eighth-ranked Terps overcame a sluggish first half to thump the Tribe, 103-75, at Cole Field House.

The sourness of last week's upset motivated some Maryland players last night.

"We took out a lot of our frustration," said forward Chris Wilcox, who had 11 points, four rebounds and two blocks. "Coming off a loss like that [72-56 setback at Oklahoma], the only thing to do is come out hard."

Guard Juan Dixon, who recorded 19 points and nine assists, echoed that sentiment, adding that the loss "got us out of our rhythm, but this is the time to get it back. This is the time when it counts."

The Terps established their dominance by relying on their speed at the guard position and inside bulk to improve to 9-2 and extend the nation's longest home winning streak against nonconference opponents to 83. Maryland hasn't lost a nonconference game at Cole Field House in 12 years.

Forward Byron Mouton matched Dixon for team scoring honors with 19 points, including nine of 12 free throws. Guard Drew Nicholas chipped in with 14 points on 5-for-8 shooting.

Equally impressive was the contribution from the Maryland post players. Center Lonny Baxter registered 12 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks, and reserve forward Ryan Randle had nine points and nine rebounds.

Forward Adam Hess, playing in his first game since transferring from Eastern Michigan and sitting out last season, led the Tribe (3-6) with a career-high 21 points and five rebounds.

The Terps claimed their 12th straight win over the Tribe and lead the series 22-8.

William and Mary, playing for the first time since Dec. 2, tried to stay close with shots from behind the three-point arc, but it connected on only nine of 35 attempts. Maryland was more proficient, hitting 13 of 24 from three-point range.

The Tribe also proved to be turnover-prone as it coughed up the ball 17 times, compared to 11 for the Terps. Maryland coach Gary Williams said the pressure was a marked improvement from the game at Oklahoma.

"We played good defense against Oklahoma, but they shot 40 percent and we didn't force anything," he said. "Tonight was an emphasis on creating some things."

William and Mary missed its first five shots and committed five turnovers in the first 4:12. The Terps used that time to build a 9-2 advantage.

But Maryland became lackadaisical, seemingly content to take long-range jumpers without following its shots for rebounds. Accordingly, the Tribe mounted runs of 10-4 and 4-0 to trim the Terps' lead to 21-19 with less than 10 minutes left in the half.

A three-pointer and two free throws by Nicholas and three free throws by Mouton helped Maryland regain a sizable lead at 31-24 with 7:18 left.

Maryland closed out the half with a 9-0 run for a 50-35 lead.

The second half was Maryland's cue to pull away. The Tribe never got closer than 15 points, at the 14:11 mark, and the Terps toyed with a 30-point margin late in the game before winning by 28.

Wm. and Mary Min FG FT Reb A F Pt