Maryland keeps on rollin' with an 81-59 win over Miami
If you were in search of the hottest team in the ACC, you're best served focussing your attention on the squad based in College Park. With a 22-point win over Miami on Tuesday night, Maryland has now defeated three straight ACC opponents by 16 or more points.
The Terrapins are shooting well, rebounding well, defending well, starting well and finishing well. Consequently, they sit alone tonight atop the ACC standings.
Maryland discombobulated Miami early by viciously executing on defense. The Hurricanes coughed up 14 turnovers in the first half and trailed at halftime by 17. Matters only got worse for Frank Haith's squad -- and better for Gary Williams's bunch -- after the intermission. The Terrapins' lead grew to as many as 32 points.
"If you’re playing ahead, there’s a fine line there with slowing down too much where you get away from what got you the lead, but you don’t want to give them the ball quickly where they get a lot of possessions to score," Williams said. "So we came out of the locker room tonight with that in mind, especially coming off of the game at Miami last year. I think we blew a -point halftime lead or something like that. I thought about that, and we played very smart with a lead this time."
1) Landon Milbourne. The senior forward is playing better now than he has at any other point in his collegiate career. Milbourne tallied 16 points on 7 of 10 shooting Tuesday night, which marked the ninth straight contest in which he has totalled 11 or more points. He is shooting 55.3 percent from the field on the season. Most importantly, Milbourne is not showing signs of fading, as he did at times during conference play last season. Part of that may be due to the presence of freshman forward Jordan Williams; part of that may be due to a better understanding of how best to space the floor and find his shot at his position in Maryland's offense. Regardless, his play has been superb of late.
2) Greivis Vasquez. He also tallied 16 points Tuesday night, but his performance went beyond his point total. The senior guard dished out nine assists, and he disrupted the Hurricanes' offense frequently with his defense. He got credit on the stat sheet for only one steal, but there were several times when Vasquez poked the ball loose or tipped a pass or otherwise made his man uncomfortable.
3) Team-wide defense and rebounding. Maryland's defense hasn't looked this good in quite some time. The Terrapins held Miami to 38.3 percent shooting from the field and 30.8 percent shooting from three-point range. The Hurricanes committed 17 turnovers on the night, 14 of which came in the first half when the game essentially was decided. On the boards, Miami held the size advantage, but the Terrapins claimed the rebounding edge anyway. Sean Mosley grabbed seven rebounds, Jordan Williams tallied six and Milbourne added five. Maryland out-rebounded Miami, 35-29.
Three One Down:
1) Durand Scott's final steal. With roughly two seconds remaining in Tuesday's game, Miami point guard Durand Scott stole the ball from Cliff Tucker, who was simply attempting to run out the clock. Scott tallied one final basket to make what would have been a 24-point loss merely a 22-point loss (which apparently is far less embarrassing). The crowd booed. Then the game ended. There wasn't any harm done by Scott's final act, and one supposes you could choose to view it as a sign Miami never stopped fighting. But you could also choose to see it as a sign of a sore loser. So, take your pick.
January 26, 2010; 10:34 PM ET
Categories: Men's basketball
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