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Terps Prevail Over Charlotte, 85-75

Two teams that struggled to shoot the ball entered Comcast Center on Saturday afternoon and proceeded to catch each other off guard. Charlotte, which shot a robust 32.5 percent from three-point range entering the contest, hit 47.8 percent from beyond the arc against the Terps and built a lead that lasted the entire first half. However, Maryland recovered from yet another slow start with some hot shooting of its own.

With exactly one week remaining until the start of conference play, the Terps stand 11-2 with many assets and a few possibly-critical shortcomings. Though, until Maryland actually loses another game, perhaps those shortcomings should be categorized instead as flaring irritants.

Three Up:

1) Second-half shooting. Unsurprisingly, Maryland bailed itself out of a halftime deficit with renewed intensity on defense and in the transition offense. But those quick points did not all just come from lay-ups and dunks. This time, the Terps were able to strike quickly with effective shooting from long- and mid-range. Maryland shot 36.4 percent from the field and 33.3 percent from three-point range in the first half, in which it trailed the entire time. In the second half, the Terps shot 54.5 percent from the field and 50.0 percent from beyond the arc.

2) Rebounding adjustments. Charlotte implemented unique defensive schemes, such as the box-and-1 and the triangle-and-2, in the first half. Not a lot of major D1 programs utilize those defensive looks, which through Maryland for a loop early on, especially on the boards. The 49ers out-rebounded the Terps with ease in the game's first 10 minutes, before Maryland adjusted by switching to a zone defense of its own, which enabled a more collective effort on the glass. In the end, the Terps won the rebounding battle, 40-30. Half of those boards came from Landon Milbourne, Adrian Bowie, Sean Mosley and Dino Gregory, who tallied five rebounds each.

3) Sean Mosley. This kid has been a bit of a puzzle over the past couple of weeks. Coaches and teammates have said Mosley routinely catches fire on offense during team workouts and makes a majority of his shots. But then he would get into games and struggle to find his stroke. Last night, then, served as a breakthrough performance for the freshman guard. Mosley shot 4-for-6 from the field and scored 11 points. He was 2-for-2 from three-point range.

Three Down:

1) Slow start on 'D'. Typically, it's the offense that gives Maryland fits immediately following the opening tip. But today, the defense took its turn lacking focus and organization early on. It didn't help that Charlotte made half its three point attempts and nearly half of all its field goal attempts. Still, the defensive effort early in the first half left much to be desired.

2) Half-court 'O'. Dino Gregory called it "a work in progress," and that seems like a very appropriate description. It's not so much that the half-court sets aren't working, but rather, that the Terps struggle to generate momentum, consistency and rhythm while operating at a slowed pace. This team seems to need to run high-octane at all times, which is fine, I suppose, if they have the endurance and discipline to do that for 40-straight minutes. So far, though, they have not proven they can do so, which means at some point they're going to have to rely on the half-court offense. Which means some significant adjustments need to be made in that area. Soon.

3) Charlotte guard Charles Dewhurst's knee. Dude went down hard in the second half, and it appeared as though his right knee was bent at an unnatural angle before he received medical attention. They finally got him up on his feet and helped him hop on one foot halfway across the court before noticing a stretcher had been brought out near where he was originally laying. Saw Dewhurst in the hallway after the game and he was sporing a heavy-duty knee brace. He finished with six points and four rebounds in 18 minutes.

By Steve Yanda  |  January 3, 2009; 7:42 PM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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Next: Solid Bench Play

Comments

That injury sounds painful. Hopefully the kid's ok.

Glad we got the win, but watching that gametracker was wracking my nerves for the first half and into the second.

Posted by: Colm1 | January 3, 2009 9:03 PM | Report abuse

"...at some point they're going to have to rely on the half-court offense. Which means some significant adjustments need to be made in that area. Soon."

All too true. Problem is they can't shoot. Not with any consistency, at least. That leaves them waiting for somebody to get hot. And that's risky.

Maybe Sean Moseley will become their shooter. Somebody needs to.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 3, 2009 11:50 PM | Report abuse

The team has been dealing with this shooting problem since Drew Nicholas left. I mean, c'mon. Sometime the halfcourt offense has to work again, right? Is this Gary's fault? Is it the players'? I dunno, but it's been a pretty big deal. I know Gary likes turnover and transition ball. I do too. It's fun to watch. But when you have guys like Juan Dixon and Steve Blake it works out. Maybe Greivis Vasquez and Eric Hayes (or John Gilchrest and Nik C-M or whoever) aren't up to it>

Posted by: pipkin42 | January 4, 2009 2:45 AM | Report abuse

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