Kentucky, Maryland Renew Rivalry
Dec. 10, 1999
By DAVID GINSBURG
COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) - Somebody's streak will come to an end Saturday night.
Maryland has won 68 straight non-conference home games, the longest such run in the nation. Kentucky has won five in a row against the Terrapins, including a 61-58 victory last month.
The last time No. 21 Maryland lost a non-league matchup at Cole Field House was in coach Gary Williams' seventh game at the school, against Coppin State in December 1989. Williams has since built the program into one of the nation's best, although he has yet to find a way to defeat the Wildcats.
The Terrapins lost at Rupp Arena last year, 103-91, and fell to the Wildcats 61-58 three weeks ago in the Preseason NIT. Maryland (7-2) expects to fare better in the rematch against the 23rd-ranked Wildcats (4-3).
"It should be a great game because we know each other well," said Williams, who will be gunning for his 200th career win at Maryland. "The biggest thing is we'll be rested. This is the first game in a while that I can say that."
Playing their third game in four nights Tuesday, the Terrapins almost had their impressive non-conference streak snapped by Winthrop, which took Maryland to overtime before falling.
The Wildcats are coming off a rout of winless North Carolina-Asheville that ended a three-game losing streak, a skid that started immediately after their win over Maryland.
"It certainly makes us feel better about ourselves," Kentucky coach Tubby Smith said after Tuesday's 86-41 victory.
Last month, Kentucky never trailed in handing the Terrapins their first loss of the season. The Wildcats led by 16 late in the first half, then let Maryland forge a tie with six minutes left before holding on.
"We expect Maryland to come out tougher than last time because they'll be playing in front of their home crowd," said Kentucky's Desmond Allison. "It will be tough to beat them twice."
In the first game, Maryland forward Terence Morris scored 25 points but received little offensive help. Lonny Baxter (10 points) was the only other Terrapin to reach double figures, and Juan Dixon was a miserable 3-for-17 from the floor.
"Morris is a star, but Maryland has other players who can score as well," Kentucky's Jules Camara said. "It will take another good team defensive effort for us to beat them again."
Kentucky last played Maryland at Cole Field House in 1957. That was the last time Maryland beat the Wildcats, but it was not Kentucky's last visit to Cole.
This marks the first time Kentucky has played in College Park since 1965, when Texas Western recorded a 72-65 upset in the NCAA championship game.
This year's Kentucky team might not find it any easier to emerge with a victory before a packed house at Cole. Maryland has won 34 consecutive home games played during the month of December, a streak that began in 1991 with a 101-91 victory over West Virginia.