They broke out the gold uni’s for the second time this season, on Saturday night. Maryland got out to a (recently) uncharacteristically slow start, spotting the Wolfpack of NC State a 7-0 lead. The Terps stormed back to tie the game at seven, only to see NC State reel off another 7-0 run and take a 14-7 lead.
The Terps couldn’t throw the ball in the ocean in the first stanza, but led by James Gist’s 18 points and Greivis Vasquez’s 7 assists, Maryland managed to go into the half down only 33-31.
The second half was a completely different story. Maryland couldn’t miss, their defense stiffened as they turned a two point half time deficit into a 12 point lead which they would never relinquish.
The Terps 16-8 (6-3, 3rd place ACC) scored 53 second half points. James Gist was unstoppable and had a career high 30 points. All five starters scored in double figures and Bambale “boom” Osby patrolled the paint with 5 blocked shots.
Greivis Vasquez tied the all-time assist record at Maryland, held by Terrell Stokes with 15, to go along with 13 points and 9 rebounds…and only 4 turnovers. Not a bad day’s work.
It’s always interesting watching Vasquez play. You just have to take the good with the bad. For every ill-advised shot or forced pass, there is the 25 point scoring outburst against BC last week, or the near triple double he hung on NC State 15-8 (4-5 tied for 7th ACC) on Saturday night. When he’s on his game, the Terps are hard to stop.
Eric Hayes continues to shoot well from the outside and is an 80%+ free throw shooter. Landon Milbourne continues to improve and brings a level of athleticism to the WG/SF position the Terps haven’t had in a while.
Al l five starters played 30+ minutes again on Saturday night, which isn’t necessarily a good thing. It looks like Gary Williams has settled on a nine man rotation which includes the five starters plus Adrian Bowie and Cliff Tucker in the back court, with Dave Neal, Shane Walker or Braxton Dupree in the front court.
As the season progresses, Maryland will need to get more out of the front court reserves to keep James Gist and “Boom” Osby fresh down the stretch.
Maryland travels to Cameron Indoor Coliseum on Wednesday night to take on the 21-1 (9-0 1st place ACC) Duke Blue Devils. These two teams played a very up-tempo, competitive game in College Park last month. Maryland owned the paint in the first half, taking a 9 point lead into the locker room. Turnovers and Duke’s talented backcourt were too much for the Terps to overcome in the second half as the Blue Devils got the “w”.