Blake, Nichols score 27 apiece to lead Terps

WASHINGTON (AP) -- When Gary Williams demanded an emotional
performance to end a rare losing streak, Steve Blake and Drew
Nicholas delivered.

Blake had career-highs of 27 points and five 3-pointers, and
Nicholas added 27 points to lead Maryland (No. 8 ESPN/USA Today, No. 9 AP) to a 93-82 victory over George Washington on Sunday in the third-place game of the
BB&T Classic.

Blake didn't score until he converted his first 3-pointer with
9:29 left in the first half and the Colonials ahead 31-24. That
started a streak of 10 straight points by the senior guard.

''We were struggling a little bit and I wanted to get things
going,'' Blake said. ''I told myself there was no way we were going
to lose this game. I wanted to make things happen.''

The Terrapins (4-2), who were only 4-for-17 on 3-point attempts
in an upset loss to Notre Dame on Saturday, were 12-of-17 from
beyond the arc against the Colonials (3-3).

''Against Notre Dame, none of us looked like we wanted to play
basketball,'' Nicholas said. ''I think we showed we do today.''

Nicholas tied a career-best with five 3s as the defending
national champions averted their first three-game losing streak
since February 2001.

Chris Monroe led George Washington with 19 points.

Omar Williams scored 17 points and T.J. Thompson had 15 points
and 10 assists for the Colonials, who have lost two straight. Mike
Hall had 13 rebounds for GW.

Maryland, which shot only 37 percent from the field in the
opening-round loss to the Fighting Irish, seemed unprepared for
George Washington's effective up-tempo attack.

''We didn't press,'' Gary Williams said. ''We just tried to get
back down the court before they did. We were able to shorten the
court a little bit.''

George Washington coach Karl Hobbs' strategy of utilizing the
transition game hit a roadblock when the Terrapins starting making
shots and grabbing rebounds for second-chance baskets. In the
middle of the Maryland comeback were Blake and Nicholas.

''They played like a team committed to win today,'' Hobbs said.
''Blake and Nicholas played like seniors are supposed to play. They
played like guys who have won a national championship. They played
well when they found themselves in a little bit of a hole.''

The Colonials used runs of 14-5 and 10-2 to take a 29-17 lead
with 11:12 left in the half. But after Monroe's two free throws
gave GW a 31-19 lead with 10:23 to go, Blake rallied the Terrapins.

Scoreless until that point, Blake had the final 10 points of a
12-0 Maryland run that tied the game at 31. After Thompson's
four-point play put the Colonials up 35-31, the Terrapins closed
the half by outscoring GW 17-8 as Nicholas, who had 20 first-half
points, knocked down three 3-pointers.

Blake's driving layup with 3:37 left in the half gave Maryland
the lead for good at 38-37.

The Terrapins led by as many as 21 points on Travis Garrison's
jumper midway through the second half. GW used a 3-pointer by
Monroe and a nice followup by Williams to close within 86-77 with
2:31 remaining.

''I didn't know how we'd come out today, to be honest,'' Gary
Williams said. ''I told the players before the game that I've never
known a great basketball player that didn't show emotion on the
court. ... I was very disappointed with our emotional level
yesterday. Our teams are usually more emotional.''


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