BUFFALO, N.Y. — Wildcat freshman Stephen Curry poured in a game-high 30 points, but Maryland placed six players in double figures to hold off 13th-seeded Davidson, 82-70, in the first round of the 2007 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at the HSBC Arena in Buffalo, N.Y. The Wildcats conclude the season with a school record 29 wins against just five losses, while Maryland advances to meet Butler in the next round with an overall mark of 25-8.

A 6-1 shooting guard from Charlotte, N.C., Curry connected on 9-of-21 shots from the floor, including five jumpers from behind the arc to reach the 30-point plateau for the fourth time this year. The son of former NBA sharpshooter Dell Curry, Stephen (pronounced STEFF-in) concluded his debut season in a Wildcat uniform with 730 points (21.5 ppg.) to lead the Southern Conference, and an NCAA freshman single-season record 122 three-pointers.

Maryland’s starting five each finished in double figures, led by Mike Jones’ 17 points and three long-range buckets. The other starters for the Terps that added at least 10 points were James Gist (12), D.J. Strawberry (12), Ekene Ibekwe (11) and Greivis Vasquez (10), while Bambale Osby contributed 11 in 21 minutes off the bench.

Ibeke led all-players with 10 boards, including seven on the offensive end, to finish with a double-double as Maryland outrebounded Davidson, 54-35.

 

Davidson hit just 3-of-17 (17.6 percent) from three-point range and only made 29.4 percent of its overall attempts in the second half to finish its second straight appearance in the “Big Dance” with a 34.3 field goal percentage. The Terrapins, who have now won eight straight first-round NCAA games, shot 45.6 percent and 6-of-17 (35.3 percent) from the outside.

Curry and the Wildcats began the second half with a flurry as the frosh nailed a trifecta and followed with a layup to start a 9-0 run, giving Davidson its second eight-point lead of the contest, 52-44, with 17:32 left. Just like the opening stanza, Maryland responded in a flash scoring the next eight points to tie the game for a seventh and final time.

A Boris Meno jumper with just over 10 minutes to play put the margin back in favor of the 'Cats, but that's the last time they would lead as Maryland got back-to-back buckets from Osby to go up 62-59. The Wildcats cut the deficit to one on two separate occasions, but managed just two field goals, both from Curry, over the final 8:16 of play. br>
Trailing 27-25, Curry sparked a 10-0 Wildcat run to give Davidson its largest lead of the first half, 35-2. But the advantage lasted just under two minutes as Maryland scored 10 unanswered of its own to retake the lead, 37-35 with 4:33 to go in the period.

After the two clubs traded buckets over the next 2:33 of action, Parrish Brown’s only field goal of the game, a three-pointer from the top of the key, sent the Terps into the break with a slim 44-43 advantage.

Curry led all scorers at intermission with 18 points on 5-of-9 shooting, including three buckets from deep and a perfect 5-for-5 effort at the line.

Despite all five Maryland starters picking up two first-half fouls, the Terrapins shot 50.0 percent (19-of-38) from the floor and controlled the glass, 28-17, thanks to 11 offensive rebounds in the stanza.

This back-and-forth affair featured 14 lead changes and seven ties.

Davidson point guard and All-SoCon performer Jason Richards was the only other Wildcat to reach double digits as the nation’s second-leading assist man scored 11 points and handed out seven helpers.

The Wildcats forced Maryland into 22 turnovers and recorded a season-high 13 steals. This year’s trip to the NCAA Tournament was the ninth for Davidson and fourth under 18th-year Head Coach Bob McKillop, whose club concluded the 2006-07 campaign winners of 25 out of their last 27 games.