Mercer scored 18, American stuns Maryland 67-59

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COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP)—American University limited Maryland to five first-half baskets, got 18 points from Derrick Mercer and snapped a 14-game losing streak against the Terrapins with a stunning 67-59 victory Saturday.

Bryce Simon scored a career-high 17 for the Eagles (7-5), whose only previous win against Maryland came during the 1926-27 season. American led by 12 with 11 minutes left and never let the margin shrink below 5 points in handing the Terrapins (6-6) their third straight loss, all of them at home.

Greivis Vasquez scored a career-high 28 points for Maryland while going 6-for-9 from 3-point range. Coming off a nine-day layoff, the Terrapins shot only 36 percent, committed 13 turnovers and were outrebounded 40-33.

Maryland senior James Gist, who was averaging 14 points a game, fouled out with 5:16 left after scoring only 3.

It was the second consecutive non-conference home defeat for Maryland. Before falling to Ohio on Dec. 12, the Terrapins were 131-3 at home against foes outside the Atlantic Coast Conference under coach Gary Williams.

Maryland shot 5-for-24 from the floor in the first half, went more than 10 minutes without a basket and trailed 25-20 at halftime.

And then it got worse. After a free throw by Bambale Osby got the Terrapins to 25-21, Garrison Carr drilled a 3-pointer and Simon hit a jumper to stretch American’s lead to nine points.

Minutes later, a 3-pointer by Mercer sparked a 7-0 run that made it 43-31 with 11:32 remaining. Vasquez answered with a three-point play and a 3-pointer to halve the deficit, but the Eagles wouldn’t give in.

American had previously lost this season to Fairfield, Morgan State, Loyola, Md. and Maryland-Baltimore County.

Both teams shot poorly at the outset. A pair of 3-pointers by Eric Hayes staked the Terrapins to an early 8-2 lead, but Maryland made only three of its first 16 shots and was outrebounded 16-8 over the opening 10 minutes.

The Eagles started 3-for-20 from the floor. After Gist made a free throw with 13:44 left in the half to put the Terrapins up 11-7, neither team scored again until Mercer hit a 3-pointer with 6:23 to go.

Brian Gilmore followed with a layup to give the Eagles their first lead, and Carr added a 3-pointer to make it 15-11. After a Maryland timeout, Vasquez sank two free throws to end the Terrapins’ scoring drought at just under nine minutes.

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Top Performers

 Top Performers
 American
D. Mercer D. Mercer
8-14,  18 Pts
2 Rebs, 3 Assists
 Maryland
G. Vasquez G. Vasquez
9-15,  28 Pts
5 Rebs, 4 Assists

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Saturday, Dec 22