In December, Marlin Wise and Pete Mauro were Towson University's basketball version of Mr. Gloom and Mr. Doom.
Wise could not play because he had lost a battle with the books and Mauro did not want to play because he was frustrated with everything surrounding the game.
But life on the court was beautiful for the two junior guards yesterday as they put on a clinic, leading Towson to a stunning 89-79 victory over Maine, which entered the game tied with Drexel for first place in the America East.
While Wise was nearly flawless running the Towson offense at point guard, Mauro went on a career-high 33-point shooting binge that led the Tigers to their most prolific offensive show in two years under coach Mike Jaskulski.
Jaskulski, 13-32 at Towson, was an assistant at Maine from 1988-93.
Wise was razor sharp from the start, distributing the ball beautifully and making sure the Tigers didn't get caught up in a run-and-shoot game with the Black Bears (12-5, 7-2).
But more important than his career-high-tying eight assists, he realized he did not have to shoot yesterday for the Tigers (5-12, 4-5) to pull off the upset.
Wise took only three shots from the field, letting Mauro and Brian Barber combine for 39 shots and 57 points. In addition to 11 rebounds, Barber had a career-high 24 points on 7-for-19 shooting.
Mauro hit 12 of 20 from the field, including 5-for-8 from three-point range. He also had four assists.
"Pete makes plays for himself and his teammates," Jaskulski said. "He makes Josh Davalli and Raul de Pablo [out for 10 days with a sprained foot] better. Pete seems to be much more relaxed now that he knows he's going to start and play the whole game. "
Mauro was making only his second start due to de Pablo's injury.
Wise, who beat New Hampshire three days ago with a reverse layup with 2.2 seconds left, said he was just carrying out Jaskulski's game plan yesterday.
"We get scouting reports that tell us what to do and I was out there trying to execute," Wise said. "It might have looked like a clinic, but it was really the game plan working. Like the other night, you have to give credit to the coach."
Jaskulski said, "I saw the light at the end of the tunnel three weeks ago. I just hope these guys see it now. We did beat a really balanced Maine team today by playing good defense and being aggressive on offense."
Maine was led by 6-foot-8 forward Nate Fox, who posted up for 31 points.
MAINE -- Wills 2-5 1-1 5. Fox 13-19 5-11 31, Ledbetter 3-3 3-4 9, Bedard 9-17 2-2 21, Meeks 1-6 0-0 2, Faison 0-0 0-0 0, Dye 2-6 1-2 6, Haynes 1-3 2-2 5. Totals 31-59 14-22 79.
TOWSON -- Barber 7-19 8-10 24, Davalli 1-5 6-7 8, Hawes 3-6 5-7 11, Wise 1-3 2-2 4, Mauro 12-20 4-5 33, Cason 1-2 2-2 5, Holtz 2-5 0-0 4, Zenou 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 27-61 29-35 89.
Halftime--Towson, 38-33. 3-point goals--M 3-21 (Bedard 1-5, Dye 1-4, Haynes 1-2 Wills 0-3, Fox 0-2, Meeks 0-5); T 6-15 (Mauro 5-8, Cason 1-2, Davalli 0-2, Holtz 0-1, Zenou 0-1, Barber 0-1) Fouled out-- Wills, Dye, Hawes. Rebounds--M 32 (Ledbetter 15); T 38 (Barber, Hawes 11). Assists--M 20 (Bedard 6); T 19 (Wise, 8). Total fouls--M 25; T 21. Technical--Wills. A--627.
Pub Date: 1/25/99