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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 [12]-point halftime lead or something like that. I thought about that, and we played very smart with a lead this time."

Three Up:

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.

By Steve Yanda  |  January 26, 2010; 10:34 PM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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Next: Turnovers key early Maryland lead

Comments

The "One Down" is hilarious. Nice one.

Posted by: bermanator34 | January 26, 2010 11:05 PM | Report abuse

Great win for the Terps! I could get used to dominating teams...

These next 2 are going to be tough. Let's hopefully get at least a split.

Posted by: TerpFan2001 | January 27, 2010 12:07 AM | Report abuse

Jon and Drew Barry were calling the game on ESPNU and they didn't much like that steal at the end of the game either.

Posted by: Hobes | January 27, 2010 12:36 AM | Report abuse

That was three of the lousiest announcers I've ever heard at any college game. They seemed to spend more time yakking about the Barry's NBA careers and family than the game like they were totally disinterested in announcing it. That and their assessment of various player's NBA prospects.

Posted by: bullwinkle1 | January 27, 2010 7:42 AM | Report abuse

Johnny Holiday & Co. seemed stunned that the Terps were so far ahead. I turned off the ESPNU commentary and listened 105.7 instead. This sustained level of play is welcome albeit unexpected. 6 ACC wins to go. Nice overall performance. Note that GV sat early and LM had a good long break in the first half. Both played focused and efficient. Seriously expected it to be a lot closer than this - especially having seen Miami play earlier this season.

Regards -

-hgr

Posted by: HughGRection | January 27, 2010 7:52 AM | Report abuse

How does everyone think Jordan Williams will end his career with the Terps? As a freshman, he seems better than Baxter, but not close to Smith or Booth (only looking at freshman years). I think he has more upside than Baxter and Booth because of his size. His hands are great. He just needs to work on his stamina and develop a short jump or hook shot. He won't ever be a Joe Smith, but I don't we ever will see another Smith.

Posted by: TerpFan2001 | January 27, 2010 12:37 AM | Report abuse

In a perfect world, he stays 4 years. Its very unlikely that he does so. Now Joe Smith was so efficient - he only threw up 10-11 FG attempts per game and with Keith Booth were great college players, albeit not great NBA players. JW has the size ad speed to play at the next level. I see him this year as having surpassed Brian Williams as a freshman. I see him on a lot of single season lists as a sophomore, but not on many of the all-time lists since he likely won't be in school for four.

Regards -

-hgr

Posted by: HughGRection | January 27, 2010 7:58 AM | Report abuse

The steal at the end was very petty and I'm not surprised because he was a Freshman. 22 doesn't look better than 24. You still got man-handled and basically admitted it with the steal. I wouldn't be surprised if Maryland remembers that the next time they meet him though they're not a vengeful team. Miami is one of the teams that looks like it's going to be close to the basement and that might provide some motivation should we have to meet them again this year in the ACC tournament.

Posted by: DiehardTerp | January 27, 2010 8:23 AM | Report abuse

While the entire performance was very solid, the defense was spectacular. Great energy, constant help and excellent communication.

I watched on the U last night and the Barry Boys were so boring and self-absorbed it was unlistenable.

The next four games are so big. I am a little surprised at HughG for starting the countdown to 10 wins. HGR, I hope the team doesn't do that. We need to stay on the roll and get a higher seed. The goal this year, given our conference start, the way the team is playing and the topsy-turvy conference results, should be to break out of our NCAA slump and actually win a Regional. If we keep playing like this, especially with focus, energy and confidence, then we should be looking for 12 wins or more. Why shouldn't we be thinking about staying on top of the ACC throughout the season?

The mentality now needs to be "expect to win."

Am I asking for too much? I am only thinking the way they do at Duke and (even this year) UNC.

What do I think will happen? I have no idea...

Posted by: petecard | January 27, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

This feels strange, but I'm actually with petecard. Terps need to go into every game expecting to win and matching the intensity of the opening 5 conference games. No team in the ACC was beating the Terps last night, great all around effort. If they keep it up they have a good chance at the ACC regular season title and a top 4 seed.

Big game Sunday. I can't wait.

Posted by: jpfterps | January 27, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

I'm with petecard as well. I'd be extremely disappointed if we went 6-5 the rest of the way. I think, given the relatively even field this year, I would expect (especially if we keep playing the way that we have the last few weeks) to be able to take on anyone else in the league. I think Duke is the only team that, though not playing particularly well of late, I would not be extremely disappointed to lose to, if for no other reason than that they are not as turnover prone as the teams we have faced so far.

Posted by: stjerome03 | January 27, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Wow! That's the only word I can think of to describe how poorly Miami played last night. A lot of it had to do with Maryland's incredible defense, but almost half of their first half turnovers were because someone just carelessly threw the ball away. Frank Haith didn't seem to be interested in the game from the opening tip, and his team mirrored that interest. The fact that Collins did not start the game I think had a lot to do with Maryland running out to the big early lead. If the 'Canes were able to weather those first few minutes, this game would have probably been a little more interesting in the second half.

Nonetheless, the Terps have managed to hit teams at the right time, and now get a Clemson team that will probably be missing their point guard (Stith) after losing to an inconsistant BC team. Littlejohn will be rocking on Sunday night, and I hope the Terps bring the same effort they have put forth over the past 2 weeks.

Vasquez still needs to be a little better with his shot selection, and in this game he threw up a few too many ill-advised shots (5-11 and 2-6 from 3). However, he was doing a fine job running the team, and Miami could not find a way to stop the flex. The Terps were running the same sets throughout the whole game, and they just never figured it out. Frank Haith should be ashamed of his coaching performance in this game.

Maybe it's the yellow jerseys, maybe its a trio of very experienced seniors, but the Terps are looking like a team that could make a run at the ACC title.

Posted by: Russtinator | January 27, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Oh sure Yanda, kiss Garry Williams butt now. You're still a jerk.

The Terps are a better "underdog" team then favorties. I'm interested in seeing what happens the next few games.

They have had some stinkers this year but if you look at the top 10 there's teams with 5-7 losses. I can't remember the last time I have seen that.

They put a nice string together, who knows?

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | January 27, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

One game at a time.

Posted by: BrokenClipboard | January 27, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Why shoot for only 10 wins? A struggling Clemson team, albeit playing at home, is next and a mediocre Carolina comes to College Park after a tough away game at FSU.
Split the games against Duke, grab another road win against N.C. State and maybe VT and 11-12 ACC wins is a real possibility.
But it is a long season. The two factors that make this hopeful scenario something more than a fantasy is that this team plays defense with the kind of energy that Gary Williams demands, and we have tons of experience (three seniors, three juniors). Plus, only Duke is a legitimate top-10 team in the conference.
Vasquez is the star, but Sean Mosley is the quintessential Gary Williams player--dives for every loose ball, strong rebounder and drapes himself over whomever he's guarding like a cheap suit. He sets the tone for this team.

Posted by: dzukijason | January 27, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

MD is going through a horrible ACC like Sherman marched through Georgia. Clemson on the road offers the best test yet to see if this is for real.

Posted by: restonhoops | January 27, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

One game at a time.

Posted by: BrokenClipboard | January 27, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

AMEN!!!

Posted by: deadskin | January 27, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

dzukijason is exactly right about Mosley. Vasquez and Milbourne get most of the press, but Mosley is such an indisposable force on defense and around the ball.

Posted by: petecard | January 27, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

The Terps level of play and intensity is very high right now and I agree with other posts saying we shouldn't settle for splitting the remaining games left. We can beat any team in the ACC playing like that. Jordan Williams is getting better everyday, Milbourne is so efficient right now, Vasquesz is playing smart and in control, Hayes still needs to be a little more aggressive but is playing well, and Mosley is locking people down, out muscling PF's for rebounds and adding offense all in the flow of the game. Real good team right now. Great coaching by Gary.

Posted by: lavar609 | January 27, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Great win for the terps...like i've been saying all along, this team can win the ACC this year.

I'm curious though, do Restonhoops and Petecard still think Vasquez sucks and Gary should be booted from the University?

Posted by: Barno1 | January 27, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

I've always liked GV. I thought he was NBA ready last year, but he clearly took a step back the first 10 games this year. He needs to do this and MORE the rest of the ACC season to get himself into the first round. I still think Gary needs to go for someone that is going to put the effort to bring us back to mattering on a national basis more years than not. It would be great to win the ACC this year, but lets not kid ourselves. The ACC is garbage this year. If you've watched a number of games and not just the MD games you have to agree. There are no great teams in the ACC this year and its arguable if there any good teams. It wasn't a fluke we lost the ACC-Big Ten Challenge for the first time ever. We are probably the 4th best conference this year after the Big East, Big 12, and Big 10.

Posted by: restonhoops | January 27, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

so yes, the play at the end of the game was bad, but didnt grevis do that at the end of a game last year? i think it was the opposite situation where maryland was up big and greivis had the ball and shot a three at the end of the game to pad his stats? @ wisconsin maybe?

Posted by: aubartolomei | January 27, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse

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