Maryland finally got a strong start at the beginning of a game and were able to defeat the Maine Black Bears in the final preliminary game of the 2K Sports Classic Coaches vs. Cancer, 89-59 on Sunday afternoon. Even though Maryland was playing their third game in seven days, Maryland was able to get a halftime lead of 52-29.
After both teams began the game with two straight turnovers, Cliff Tucker nailed a 3-pointer, Jordan Williams dunked it and Tucker again connected from deep for an 8-0 lead with 17:30 on the clock. The Bears were able to trim the lead to two points until freshmen Pe’Shon Howard and Terrence Stoglin were able to trigger another run with an 11-3 run. A few minutes later Tucker became a one man wrecking crew with a dunk and another trey to ignite another 13-0 run and push the lead to 45-24.
Maryland shot 57% from the floor in the first half and after halftime, Williams scored 8 quick points pushing the lead to 24 eliminating all ideas Maine had for a comeback. The Terps D also limited Maine to only 9 field goals and forced 14 turnovers on the Bears in the first half. Anytime, you can play good enough defense that you force more turnovers than made hoops, it is a recipe for success and will lead to good things. “We certainly got a wake-up call against Charleston, both offensively and defensively. We played better today,” said Gary. He had to like the effort overall and especially in the first half since they struggled early with Seattle and College of Charleston. Murphy Burnatowski had 17 points and Troy Barnies chipped in 16 for the Black Bears.
Jordan Williams finished with 20 points and 11 rebounds and it was his fifth straight double double dating back to last year’s NCAA tournament. Williams will be a key this year for the Terps as he will provide the crucial inside presence. Tucker had 16 points and 4 steals and Stoglin finished with 14 points. It was a solid overall team effort by a deep Maryland team and a good final tune up before the Terps travel to MSG to play the #5 Pitt Panthers in the semifinals of the tournament. The Panthers will provide a good early season measuring stick for the Terps. “When we get out there Thursday night, we’ll see where we are,” said Gary Williams.