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A Needed Respite

Landon Milbourne was not off to the best start last night. In the first five minutes, Milbourne scored a bucket and tallied a steal. But he also gave up a turnover and got beat repeatedly on defense. Milbourne got caught trying to provide too much help defense, which left his man open for three-point shots. Early on, Elon's shooters sank their attempts from beyond the arc, which made Milbourne's defensive lapse more costly.

Following a timeout at the 14:42 mark, Milbourne was replaced by Dino Gregory. At that point, Maryland trailed by four. When Milbourne returned five minutes later, the Terps led by five, and while that momentum shift was not all Gregory's doing, the sophomore forward certainly played a role, which was all Gary Williams sought.

"I thought Landon was just out of sync there early," Williams said. "Landon played great when he got back in there, but it helped that we could put Dino in there."

Upon his return, Milbourne returned to form. He scored 12 of his 14 points in the first half and helped raise Maryland's defensive intensity back to its typically elevated level.

As for Gregory, he finished with five rebounds and a pair of blocks in 11 minutes. His was a serviceable showing, one unspectacular when glanced at on a stat sheet, but one valued deeply by a team in search of help off the bench.

In fact, Maryland's bench as a whole showed significant improvement over its performance in recent games. It accounted for 22 points, though many of them came late in the game once the outcome was all but decided. Still, the Terps reserves often were reliable on defense and adequate on the boards. Braxton Dupree finished with six rebounds and two steals in 18 minutes. Sean Mosley scored six points and grabbed five rebounds in 16 minutes.

"Hopefully, we can have a group that can come into the game and help us," Williams said. "They don’t have to play a lot of minutes to help out; they just have to come in and keep us at a level for a while until we can get a guy that’s playing really well or a guy that’s had a couple of fouls back in the game."

Or, in Milbourne's case, a guy who needed a quick breather to assess and recover from a slow start.

By Steve Yanda  |  December 31, 2008; 1:21 PM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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Next: Shhh! Terps Are Making Their Free Throws


With Dino steadily improving, and Neal proving that he can rebound and score--and maybe getting some improved play from DuPree, I wonder if Landon can return to his natural small forward position.

Posted by: Trippey | December 31, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

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