NEW YORK (Ticker) -- South Carolina coach Dave Odom was happy to see an old foe.
Carlos Powell scored 17 points and Josh Gonner added 12 as South Carolina held on to advance to the championship game of the NIT with a 75-67 victory over Maryland.
Odom, who battled against the Terrapins for 12 years in the Atlantic Coast Conference as Wake Forest's coach between 1989-2001, improved to 12-3 all-time in the NIT, guiding the Gamecocks to the title game for the second time in four seasons. In Odom's first year in 2002, South Carolina endured a 72-62 loss to Memphis.
The Gamecocks (19-13) will face Saint Joseph's in Thursday's title game.
"We don't want to finish playing," said Powell, who also had 12 rebounds. "The young guys are doing this for the seniors and we are doing it for ourselves and them."
"I know Carlos wants to win because he is a senior and I'm going to be a senior (next season)," South Carolina guard Tarence Kinsey said.
Snapping a five-game losing streak against Maryland coach Gary Williams, Odom improved to 13-14 against the Terps in the schools' first meeting since 1997.
After a tightly contested opening 11 minutes, South Carolina used a 9-0 run to take a 27-18 with 6:21 left in the first half. Powell had four points during the spurt.
Gonner added six points in the final 2:51 of the first half to help the Gamecocks take a 41-29 lead at the break. South Carolina took advantage of 10 turnovers, converting them into 12 points in the opening 20 minutes.
Overall, South Carolina finished with 21 points off of 21 turnovers by Maryland.
"You've got to give our players credit for that," Odom said. "We'll have our hands full on Thursday."
"I thought our turnovers were the key in the game," Williams said. "It's disappointing."
In the second half, the Gamecocks reeled off a 12-4 spurt, opening a 53-35 cushion with 17:08 left.
"We just tried to pick it up in the second half," Powell said. "We knew they were going to go on a run so we just tried to stay a lot more aggressive than them."
The Terrapins (19-13) rallied to close within 62-53 on Mike Jones' 3-pointer with 6:15 remaining. Jones had a chance to cut the deficit to seven points, but his follow shot with 5:14 left was waved off as offensive interference.
Powell, who made 5-of-6 free throws in the final 54 seconds, went 9-of-12 from the line.
Rocky Trice scored 10 points and Antoine Tisby added eight and nine boards off the bench for South Carolina, which had 20 offensive rebounds that led to 15 second-chances points.
Jones, Chris McCray and Travis Garrison scored 15 points apiece for Maryland, which made 4-of-15 attempts from 3-point range.