Juggling Necessary In Terps Win
The first 90 seconds of yesterday's game foreshadowed a tightly-called affair, one that would include many whistles and, therefore, frequent substitutions. With 18:26 left in the first half, Sean Mosley had been called for a foul and Dave Neal had picked up a pair himself, the second of which sent him straight to the bench.
Whether you thought the game was called fairly or not, the manner in which fouls were called definitely altered the course of the game for both squads. For Maryland, that meant relying more on reserve big men Jerome Burney than perhaps the Terps had anticipated. Late in the second half, it also meant asking 6-foot-4, 210-pound freshman guard Sean Mosley to guard 6-foot-8, 245-pound junior forward Deon Thompson.
"To get that win today, we had to do some juggling because of foul problems, but every guy really concentrated, really focused," Gary Williams said. "We were able to run some plays even though we had some guys out of position. Sean Mosley had to guard their 6-8 guy a couple of times those last few possessions. That's what you're trying to do with your team is get better as the year goes on and focus on that and not focus on anything else."
The fouls came fast and furious, especially at the start of the second half. In the first five minutes following the intermission, 11 fouls were called (seven against Maryland; four against North Carolina). The Tar Heels were in the bonus with 15:03 to go.
When North Carolina swingman Danny Green was whistled for a foul on Adrian Bowie with 14:41 remaining, the crowd mockingly cheered the call.
As a result of their foul trouble, Milbourne and Neal spent more time on the bench than perhaps they would have otherwise. Milbourne played 25 minutes before fouling out with 5:45 to go in the second half. He tallied six points, four rebounds and two blocks. Neal tallied two points and five rebounds in 30 minutes of play before fouling out with five seconds remaining in the overtime period.
Reserve forward Dino Gregory experienced foul trouble as well. He tallied three rebounds and three blocks in 19 minutes before fouling out with 2:23 to go in the second half.
In all, 23 fouls were called against Maryland, while 21 were called against North Carolina.
The biggest beneficiary of all those foul calls against the Terps was Burney, who saw 12 minutes of action. He recorded just two points, one rebound and one block, but was a servicable defender against a bigger and taller North Carolina frontcourt.
"Jerome came in and played extremely well, and that's what we needed," Neal said. "You never know what's going to happen. Landon got in foul trouble; I got in foul trouble, and Coach Williams said, you never know when you're time is going to be called. Jerome's and Dino's times were called, and they played extremely well. Without them, I don't think we would have won that game."
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