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Terps Win Season Opener

Much like my Honda Civic, the Maryland's performance Friday night in its season opener against Bucknell was not pretty, but it will do. The Terps won convincingly, 81-52, but the final score in no way does justice to the offensive struggles Maryland faced in the first half.

The Terps missed their first eight shots and shot 34.2 percent from the field before the intermission. But thanks to a sufficating full-court press and a Bucknell offense that was equally dreadful, Maryland maintained control of the game until its shots started to fall. The Terps forced 20 turnovers on the night.

Landon Milbourne led all scorers with 16 points, while three other Maryland guards scored in double digits. Cliff Tucker had 14, Greivis Vasquez had 13 and Adrian Bowie had 12.

And as for that frontcourt everyone's been talking about? Well, it certainly could have been worse, but the production was far from desirable. Maryland was outrebounded in the first half, but eventually ended up on top. Braxton Dupree, Dave Neal and Vasquez each recorded six rebounds to lead the team.

"We need more rebounds from our big people," Coach Gary Williams said. "It’s as simple as that."

Williams said Neal played the best of all his post players and that Dupree showed some improvement in the second half. The tone of his comments, however, indicated the team's frontcourt will continue to be a very real concern, at least for the time being.

"We’re still looking for ways to find the right combination," Williams said. "You know, we obviously need to have an inside presence, especially on the defensive end of the court. I thought the ball got to the rim a little too easy tonight. You know, we get beat a little bit out front."

Overall though, Williams and the players were satisfied with the victory. I'll post more reaction from Williams and some players tomorrow. But until then, what did you all think of the Terps' first performance of the season? Encouraged? Discouraged? Somewhere in between?

By Steve Yanda  |  November 14, 2008; 11:18 PM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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