LAHAINA, Hawaii (AP) – Ekene Ibekwe had 16 points and Chris McCray added 15 and No. 23 Maryland beat Arkansas 75-62 on Wednesday in the fifth-place game of the Maui Invitational.
The Terrapins (3-1) bounced back from an opening-round loss to No. 8 Gonzaga with wins over Chaminade and Arkansas but it was the first time in their three appearances in this tournament they failed to reach the semifinals. Maryland was second in 1994 and fourth in 2000.
Ibekwe, a 6-foot-9 junior forward, had six rebounds, four steals and three blocks but like point guard D.J. Strawberry he was saddled with foul trouble in the second half. McCray and the rest of Maryland’s reserves came up big in the second half, though, scoring the team’s final 20 points.
Arkansas (2-2) pulled within 53-50 with 6:39 to play on a rebound basket by Darian Townes. Ibweke hit two free throws 20 seconds later – the last points scored by a Maryland starter – to start a 13-3 run that gave the Terrapins control. McCray had five points in the run and he scored 12 points in the closing 5:08.
Ronnie Brewer had 19 points and five steals for the Razorbacks, who lost to No. 3 Connecticut in the opening round and beat Kansas in the consolation semifinals.
Three of those steals come on consecutive Maryland possessions in the first half as Arkansas stretched a 16-14 lead to 20-14 at the 8:39 mark. UA turned the ball over six times the rest of the way and the Terrapins led 30-27 at the break.
Darian Townes finished with 13 points, Jonathon Modica 11 and Charles Thomas 10. UA’s big men got in foul trouble in the second half with Townes, Thomas and Steven Hill all finishing with four fouls.
Maryland, despite holding a 10-point lead, kept fouling in the final minute but Arkansas was unable to take advantage, going 4-for-8 from the free throw line.
Ibekwe was the key inside for Maryland as the Terrapins struggled from the perimeter by going 3-for-12 from 3-point range. The Terrapins finished with a 35-27 rebound advantage and both teams committed 21 turnovers. They combined for 25 turnovers in a ragged first half that reflected the 9 a.m. start.
This was Arkansas’ second appearance on Maui as the Razorbacks finished second in 1991.
Arkansas plays host to Radford Saturday at 3:05 in a game televised by FSN.
Download: maryland box.pdf