Maryland went to the Puerto Rico Shootout not having been tested in its first five games. The fifth-ranked Terrapins left with three more easy wins and the championship trophy.
The third of the victories was an 87-52 destruction of Pittsburgh on Saturday night that left the Terrapins (7-0) with an average margin of victory of 37.1 points for the season.
In the Shootout they started with a 50-point win over American University of Puerto Rico, the Division II host school, and followed that with a 70-54 victory over No. 10 UCLA, but they had a 23-point lead in that one with 8½ minutes to play.
Laron Profit led Maryland with 23 points, while Steve Francis added 19.
Pittsburgh (6-1) beat no. 13 Xavier and No. 4 Kentucky in its first two games, but the chance at knocking off three ranked teams in as many days was gone quickly against Maryland.
The Terrapins went on a 20-0 run to take a 30-7 lead with 10:23 left in the first half. They were perfect in the run making eight shots in as many possessions, while holding the Panthers 0-for-4 from the field with three turnovers.
Profit had a 3-pointer
| Steve Francis gives Maryland an early lift and finishes with 19 points. (AP) |
Maryland's biggest lead was 87-41 with 2:18 left and Pittsburgh closed the game with an 11-0 run.
Vonteego Cummings led the Panthers with 19 points, while Ricardo Greer added 16.
Pittsburgh, a team beset by injuries over the past few seasons, was the story of the tournament as it knocked off Xavie94-76 and then stunned Kentucky, the defending national champions, 68-56.
The Panthers had not beaten a ranked team since March 1997, a season when they beat three teams in the Top 25.
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