Coming off an ugly road loss to the Clemson Tigers, Maryland needed to get back to the basics and prove they were a legitimate threat in the ACC. Maryland did just that last night as they fought hard against a more athletic Seminole team and came away with a road win, winning 71 – 67. The Terps improved to 5 – 2 and will face Carolina this coming Sunday.
The first half started slow as the Terps looked like they were still hung over from the Clemson loss. In that game they had a season high of 26 turnovers and I’m sure that didn’t sit well with Gary. This game would have to be different and different it was. To start, they looked tentative and unconfident in the shots they took as well as getting in close to the basket for rebounds. Jordan Williams did pick up where he left off grabbing a few early rebounds and making some close shots inside. He seems to grasp the concept of running the floor, getting out in front of the opponents defense and also getting an open lane to the basket. Williams had a good night with 14 point, 6 boards and 2 blocks all with a little foul trouble towards the end of the game. Milbourne bounced back well from the Clemson game scoring 18 points, 6 boards and 3 blocks.
The second half was much different as the Terps came out aggressive and defensively started making a stand. They forced the Seminoles into bad shots and bad passes. The Terps being down 4 at the half were suddenly looking at a 2 point lead four minutes into the second half. They slowly pulled away and went up by 9 taking the crowd out of the game. Greivis made a few layups and added a three pointer to get the scoring going in the second half. Vasquez led the Terps in scoring with 23 points to go along with 7 rebounds and 7 assists. Down the stretch though, things looked a little shaky as FSU made a small comeback, but clutch free throws by Vasquez and Gregory closed it out.
I liked the Terps tenacity in the second half. They looked as if they were getting their form back similar to when they won three ACC games in late January. Everything starts with their defense and if they can become consistent with this, then they’ll put points on the board. Mosley didn’t score and they’ll need that as long as the bench is held scoreless as well. The Terps have three tough games ahead of them – UNC, VA and Duke. UNC is on a down year, but they still play tough and then against two first place teams in Virginia and Duke will test the Terps mettle.