Coverdale the hero for Hoosiers in early-season classic


INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Maryland's Steve Blake thought he had beaten
Indiana again.

Hoosiers coach Mike Davis never had a doubt.

Eight months after losing to the Terrapins in the national
championship game and minutes after having a potential game-winning
midcourt heave by Blake at the regulation buzzer waved off, the
Hoosiers (No. 11 ESPN/USA Today, No. 10 AP) beat Maryland (No. 8, No. 9) 80-74 in overtime Tuesday night.

''I thought he walked,'' Davis said of Blake's near
buzzer-beater. ''I walked over to the bench and said 'There's going
to be an angry crowd if they count that basket.'''

Tom Coverdale matched his career high for Indiana (5-0) with 30

Blake led Maryland (3-1) with 22 points and seven rebounds, but
the shot that mattered most didn't count.

With 7.1 seconds to go, Indiana freshman Sean Kline made one of
two free throws to tie the score at 68. Indiana rebounded the miss
and had two shots to win it. Both missed and when Tom Coverdale's
errant 3-pointer bounced to midcourt, Blake scooped it up and
heaved it.

The Maryland players began celebrating as the three officials
went to the scorer's table to view a replay.

''It definitely went in, I thought I got it off in time,'' Blake
said. ''They looked at instant replay and they didn't think so.
Everyone will probably look at ESPN and have their own decision on

After a few minutes, the officials huddled near midcourt, called
both coaches over and then waved off the basket.

That gave Indiana another opportunity to beat Maryland, which
defeated the Hoosiers 64-52 in the national championship game last

Tuesday, Nov. 3

What a special environment and incredible game at Conseco Fieldhouse on Tuesday night! It's only early December, but the intensity for the Indiana-Maryland matchup was truly special. In the end, senior guard Tom Coverdale would not allow the Hoosiers to lose to the defending champs.

''I was hoping,'' Coverdale said. ''I didn't think it counted at
first, but you never know. I was just relieved we got another
chance to play in overtime.''

For much of the game, it looked like almost an exact replay of
April's title game, right down to Indiana taking a two-point lead
midway through the second half.

Indiana again relied on its outside shooting and struggled,
making only 29.9 percent from the field. Maryland used inside power
and got 20 points and 16 rebounds from Ryan Randle.

The difference this time, though, was Coverdale. Hobbled by a
badly sprained left ankle in April, Coverdale scored just eight
points. On Tuesday, he was healthy at his best.

Coverdale was 8-of-16 from the field, including 5-of-10 from
3-point range, and he was 9-of-10 at the free throw line. He
rallied the Hoosiers from a 14-point first-half deficit, and when
the game went to overtime, he helped settle down Indiana.

Maryland had its chances.

The Terrapins regained the lead 50-48 with 8:18 left when Travis
Garrison put in a 7-foot leaner. They led the rest of regulation
and were still up 68-67 after Coverdale's 3-pointer with 28 seconds

But Jeff Newton, who finished with 19 points and 14 rebounds,
forced a tieup on the inbounds pass. Maryland got the ball back
after Coverdale's driving layup was blocked and went off an Indiana

Indiana's Marshall Strickland stole the inbounds pass and fed
Kline who drew the foul and tied it up.

In overtime, Maryland took a 72-69 lead, but Coverdale helped
settle down the Hoosiers. Kline made two of four free throws and
Newton's putback with 2:31 to go gave Indiana a 73-72 lead. Kline
made a layup, Strickland a 3-pointer and Kline two more free throws
to seal the win.

''Whenever you sit around all summer and think about you're 11
minutes away from a national championship and that's all you think
about, of course, it's going to mean something extra,'' Coverdale
said. ''I'm real happy with this win.''