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Maryland pushes past Chaminade, 79-51

Another game, another sizable Maryland victory. The final score would indicate the game was a breeze, that the Terrapins asserted their dominance over an inferior Chaminade squad. And throughout the second half, that was most certainly the case.

Maryland shot 47 percent from the field, out-rebounded the Silverswords by 12 and left no doubt which team fielded the superior talent.

But for the game's first 15 minutes, Chaminade challenged the Terrapins with everything its undersized arsenal could muster. With more than 12 minutes expired in the first half, the Division II program with a 5-69 all-time record in the Maui Invitational held a lead. Maryland recovered, of course, but not before making its coach a little nervous.

"I was worried," Coach Gary Williams said. "I’m always worried. In any game I’ve ever coached. As a jay-vee high school coach if it was 14-14 I was worried. So that’s how I coach. But we’re trying to get better this time of year. You know, whoever the best team in November is doesn’t really matter come March. You want to win in November, obviously, but you also want to continue to get better. You know, I’m going to coach for 40 minutes and try to make us better."

Three Up:

1) Sean Mosley. I'll tell you what, I'm just going to reserve a spot in this section for Mosley every game this season. Rather than write his name (or how about, in addition to writing his name), I'll put "Duh!" The guy has transformed into Maryland's most valuable, most well-rounded player. He tallied 19 points, eight rebounds and three assists. Less tangibly -- but just as importantly -- he pushed the Terrapins to recover from their early struggles. He remained steady and involved throughout nearly the entire game.

2) Field goal percentage. Even when Chaminade was hanging tough in the first half, Maryland shot the ball fairly well. In fact, Maryland shot the ball consistently well all night. The Terrapins shot 46.9 percent (15 for 32) in the first half and 47.1 percent (16 for 34) in the second half.

3) Second-half rebounding. Maryland possessed the taller, bigger lineup, so this should have been a given. But at halftime, the Terrapins held only a slight edge on the boards. During the second half, Maryland's size advantage paid dividends. More than that, the freshman duo of Jordan Williams and James Padgett stepped forward in a major way. Both freshmen forwards pulled down six rebounds after halftime.

Three Down:

1) Slow starts. Prior to this game, Maryland's slow starts were due to offensive sluggishness. Against Chaminade, the Terrapins' defense was what initially let it down.

"The little guard they had was really, really quick," Eric Hayes said, referring to Chaminade point guard Steven Bennett. "We weren’t doing a good job of getting all the way back and getting into the paint and stopping the ball. We just did a poor job of stopping him from getting to the basket. And we knew that once they got into transition that they would probably want to kick it out for threes and get open looks from there. Once we started getting back in transition more that kind of slowed down."

Bennett and the Silverswords tried to push the pace and create as many possessions as possible in an attempt to make up for the size it was giving up to Maryland. For a while, it worked. But over time, Maryland wore Chaminade down with its defensive pressure, which seemed invigorated after halftime.

2) Greivis Vasquez. The slump continues. Vasquez shot 2 for 7 from the field and finished with six points. He attempted just two shots in the first half. Maryland has been able to thrive without Vasquez's offensive proficiency to this point. Whether the Terrapins can do so tomorrow against a physical Cincinnati squad remains to be seen.

3) Landon Milbourne. The senior forward did not get off to a great start and struggled to get engaged in the action for much of the game. Last season, this was a recurring trait for Milbourne, one he hoped to have rid himself of in the offseason. He finished with 10 points and made half of his shot attempts. But he was rarely a presence on the boards (two rebounds) and did not make a single trip to the free throw line. Much like Vasquez, he will likely will need to have a much better showing tomorrow against Cincinnati in order for Maryland to prevail.

By Steve Yanda  |  November 24, 2009; 12:58 AM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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Tonight's game is can't miss TV. Cincinnati will be the first real test of the season. Milbourne and Vasquez MUST play better - GV has not really been GV yet this season. DG is missed. Could be a very good year nonetheless b/c the rest of the team is delivering.


Posted by: HughGRection | November 24, 2009 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Hugh, Landon's averaging 15 PPG and 5+ rebounds. If he keeps that up, he could be garner All ACC this year (not first team obviously).

Posted by: Barno1 | November 24, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

I'll take it a step further and say Milbourne has an outside shot at making an NBA roster next year. The guy is clearly athletic enough, has decent size for a small forward, and in the past year or so has developed a very nice mid range shot.

I've always liked him, ever since his ferocious dunk against st. johns his freshman year...possibly the nastiest dunk MD has had since wilcox was here.

Posted by: Barno1 | November 24, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

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