Cooley's equation for a blowout
By the time Tuesday night’s 29-point Maryland win was complete, Fairfield Coach Ed Cooley had figured out all the components of the equation that doomed his squad.
“Twenty-five turnovers, that’s the game,” said Cooley, who formerly served as an assistant under Al Skinner at Boston College. “You’ve got to credit Maryland. They had a lot of run-outs and made some timely threes. They had 16 offensive rebounds. Offensive rebounds, turnovers on the road for an inexperienced team equals blowout.”
Yep, that sounds about right. Maryland Coach Gary Williams said the Terrapins’ defense kept them in the game early on last night when the offense was lagging. Fairfield struggled – as most teams do – to handle Maryland’s variety of presses and turned the ball over five times in its first six possessions. The Stags’ plethora of turnovers led to an abundance of Maryland transition points, which is not an ideal source of sustenance but one that will do for now.
Also encouraging for the Terrapins was that they won the rebounding battle, 41-36, despite missing three of its frontcourt options. Senior forward Landon Milbourne led the way with eight rebounds, while freshmen forwards James Padgett (seven) and Jordan Williams (five) did their part as well. Milbourne and Padgett combined to pull down nine of Maryland’s 16 offensive rebounds.
It was a rougher go for Padgett and Jordan Williams in their second collegiate game. Both seemed perplexed at times by Fairfield’s defensive strategy of switching frequently between zone and man-to-man defense, though Padgett was able to use his quickness to compensate. The freshmen duo combined for 12 points and 12 rebounds, still a serviceable performance to say the least.
As the game progressed, Maryland appeared simply to wear Fairfield down. The Stags shot 19.2 percent from the field in the second half. The Terrapins, on the other hand, improved their shooting both from the field (45.5 percent) and from three-point range (40 percent) after halftime.
“I'm pleased with the effort that we made tonight,” Gary Williams said. “We had a lot of guys that had to play a little different positions at times, but that's okay. We have to adjust to that. I was pleased overall that we were able to get it back offensively a little bit as the game went on.”
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