***Don’t forget to head to the Audio Vault to hear from Gary Williams, Sean Mosley, Jordan Williams, and James Padgett following the win over Longwood.***
As much as fans thrive on the feel-good stories of David going against Goliath in the world of sports, 99 times out of 100 the giant ends up crushing the shepherd boy with one violent blow.
Longwood, one of only six independent schools in Division I men’s basketball, came into College Park with the dream of an upset victory over a power-conference school, but the Terps immediately crushed those hopes, pummeling the Lancers, 106-55, at the Comcast Center on Tuesday night.
Six Terrapins scored in double figures with Sean Mosley leading the way with 21 points on 8-for-8 shooting. Maryland jumped out to a 14-3 lead in the first three minutes of the game and never looked back on its way to a 51-point victory.
“I was pleased that we got off to a good start,” coach Gary Williams said about the dominating performance. “We didn’t let it get sloppy after we got a lead.”
Truthfully, the game more closely resembled a staged match-up between the Harlem Globetrotters and the Washington Generals than a Division I basketball game. Every active player on the roster (Steve Goins is sidelined with a knee injury) got on the scoreboard for the Terps as they now look ahead to resuming the ACC schedule against NC State on Saturday.
It’s difficult to take much of anything away from a win over a hapless school, but the most encouraging sign may have been the play of Mosley. The sophomore had averaged only 7.6 points per game in five contests after suffering a sprained ankle on Christmas, but Mosley showed an improved shooting touch Tuesday night, hitting several perimeter shots. The Baltimore native has been putting in extra time on his shooting, working out in the Comcast Center late Sunday night, to regain the improved touch he displayed earlier in the season.
“I didn’t realize I was 8-for-8 tonight,” Mosley said about his performance. “That’s what happens when things are going your way and your shots are falling. I think I did a great job by getting open and guys getting down the court.”
In addition to Mosley’s improved shooting, freshman forward James Padgett brought a stronger presence in the paint, scoring 10 points and grabbing seven rebounds against the smaller Longwood forwards. Fellow freshman Jordan Williams continued to show why he’s the most dominant player in the Maryland frontcourt by scoring 13 points and securing 10 rebounds. Unlike Williams, Padgett has struggled to find minutes in the first three ACC games but took advantage of his 20 minutes on Tuesday night.
“Hopefully [Padgett] can do the same things when we go against bigger teams,” Gary Williams said about the reserve big man. “We need him to step up now.”
The win against Longwood does little for the Terrapins other than to build momentum for the final 13 games of the regular season, all ACC games. The mood around the team is upbeat after the convincing win at Boston College on Saturday and a strong start to the three-game homestand against the Lancers (with NC State and Miami next up).
There will be no more gimmes as the Terps have finished the non-conference schedule and will likely need to finish no worse than 9-7 in the ACC to give themselves a realistic chance for the NCAA tournament.
“I think we did a good job,” Jordan Williams said. “We didn’t care who they were. We wanted to play hard, and I think we did tonight.”
– Maryland reached the 100-point mark for the first time since a 101-50 victory over UMKC on Dec. 13, 2006. The 51-point win tied the largest margin of victory in the history of Comcast Center (also against UMKC).
The 106 points was the most scored by a Maryland team since a 111-85 win over Fairleigh Dickinson on Nov. 18, 2005.
– Landon Milbourne grabbed the 400th rebound of his career and had a strong start in Tuesday’s win. The senior forward scored 11 of the team’s first 25 points and did not miss a shot until 7:20 remaining in the first half. Milbourne had 19 points on 7-for-9 shooting.
– Jordan Williams posted his second double-double of the season (the first against Villanova) with 13 points and 10 boards.
– Maryland had six players score in double figures: Mosley (21), Milbourne (19), Williams (13), Eric Hayes (10), Greivis Vasquez (10), and Padgett (10).
It’s the first time six players have scored in double figures for the Terps since Nov. 21, 2008.
– The Terps scored a season-high 68 points in the paint as they effectively ran the half-court offense and got to the basket in transition.
– All 11 Terps who played against Longwood scored at least one point.
– The Terps outrebounded the Lancers, 52-35, marking the fifth time in six games Maryland has won the rebounding battle.
Check out the final stats right here and the live blog below.
9:56 p.m. — This one is FINALLY over. The Terps win a laugher, beating Longwood by a score of 106-55.
Back in a bit with the post-game wrap.
9:54 p.m. — Levent drains his first free throw, and every Terp has got on the scoreboard in this one. Doesn’t happen very often, so it’s great to see the end of the bench get some love.
9:53 p.m. — Got to run something for Levent in the final minute here. He’s the only Terp not to score in this one.
9:52 p.m. — The fans chanting for Ersin Levent, as Pearman scores and is fouled. Good for him.
105-53 with 1:28 remaining.
9:50 p.m. — Padgett throws one away trying to get it inside to Gregory. The freshman has had a strong night, but you know his coach doesn’t want to see carelessness with the basketball.
9:47 p.m. — A THUNDEROUS dunk by Gregory off the Bowie miss. That one will give the Terps a season-high 100 points in this one.
As mentioned earlier, the previous mark came against Winston-Salem State.
9:45 p.m. — With two free throws, Mosley now has a game-high 21 points. Very strong night for the Baltimore native.
And the eruption from the crowd signals the entry of Levent and Pearman into the game. Nice to see those two get the last 4:35 to play in this one.
9:43 p.m. — It’s been a very quiet night for Vasquez, but he’s just scored five points on the last two possessions. A one-hander in the lane followed by a triple gives the senior 10 points for the game.
The Terps now have an astonishing six players in double figures.
And on that note, I think we’ve seen the last of Vasquez, Hayes, and Milbourne for the night as they’re replaced by Jordan Williams, Tucker, and Bowie.
9:39 p.m. — We’ve reached the under-8 media timeout with Maryland ahead, 88-48.
You would have to think Gary Williams will be pulling his starters very shortly. No need to risk a freak injury as the team gets back into the ACC schedule against NC State on Saturday evening.
9:37 p.m. — Maryland has looked a little sloppy over the last few minutes as the Lancers have cut the lead to 38 points. Hard to keep your focus with a 40-plus point lead.
Padgett scores inside to give him 10 points and to get the lead back to 40.
9:32 p.m. — Milbourne drains a pair of free throws, giving him 18 points for the game despite four personal fouls.
9:29 p.m. — With Maryland at the 82-point mark with 11:26 remaining in the game, it’s safe to assume the Terps will eclipse the previous season high of 98 points scored against Winston-Salem State on December 22.
For those wondering, the school record for points scored in a game is 138 against Morgan State in the fall of 1994. I’m guessing Joe Smith had his fair share of those.
9:26 p.m. — We’ve reached another official timeout with Maryland holding on to a 43-point lead.
In all seriousness, you have to feel for Mike Gillian and his Longwood kids. Not only do they face the prospect of having no chance at making the tournament as an independent, but it cannot be easy to go up against high-profile schools and get thoroughly embarrassed.
9:23 p.m. — Tucker with the acrobatic layup. This one’s little more than a scrimmage against the junior varsity at this point. And I think I’m being kind in saying that.
78-37, Terps lead with 13:02 remaining. Maryland has outscored Longwood in the second half, 21-7.
9:19 p.m. — Gregory with the thunderous dunk off the Bowie miss. That one brings the relaxed crowd to its feet in a hurry!
9:17 p.m. — We’ve reached the first media timeout of the half with Maryland leading the Lancers, 71-34.
9:14 p.m. — Jordan Williams just owning the paint tonight. The freshman now has 12 points.
9:13 p.m. — Maryland is on a 10-2 run to begin the second half and now leads by 35. This just isn’t fair.
9:10 p.m. — The second half is underway, and if you’re still watching this one, you’re a HUGE Terps fan or just really bored.
Either way, I’m glad you’re still with me if you’re reading.
9:07 p.m. — Three questions for the second half:
1. Will the Terps break the 100-point mark?
2. How many minutes will Ersin Levent and David Pearman see?
3. Will Glenn Clark sneak out to go watch his man-crush Andy Roddick in the Australasian Open?
9:00 p.m. — Check out the first half stats right here.
8:58 p.m. — Two area youth teams are playing a quick scrimmage on the Comcast floor as I type. Rumors are floating around that the winner will take on the Lancers in the second half.
I hear Longwood is getting seven points against the yellow team.
8:52 p.m. — Off the in-bounds pass, Bowie is wide-open for the layup. That was embarrassingly easy.
However, Ian Persaud scores on the layup in the final two seconds. That’s not something you want to see to close out the half.
We’ve reached halftime, and this one has gone exactly as we though it would. Maryland leads the Lancers, 57-30.
8:50 p.m. — And as I just complimented the freshman, a pass goes right through his hands. Ugh.
Mosley finds the cutting Hayes who draws the foul on the floor. The Terps are now in the double bonus with one minute to play. Hayes drains them both.
8:47 p.m. — Padgett gets the ball inside and draws the foul. Yes, it’s a terrible opponent, but it’s nice to see Padgett play with aggression, something missing from his game since the early stages of the season.
The frosh makes the second free throw to give the Terps a 27-point lead.
8:45 p.m. — I think we’ve seen every possible combination of Maryland’s nine-man rotation in the first half.
I’d say it’s a safe bet we’ll see David Pearman and Ersin Levent in the second half.
8:43 p.m. — We’ve reached the final media timeout of the first half with Maryland simply dominating the Lancers. It’s 50-24 with 3:46 remaining.
I’m definitely keeping an eye on Georgia Tech-Clemson. Tech holds a three-point lead with eight minutes to play. The Yellow Jackets are playing very good basketball. Just imagine if they had a better backcourt.
8:40 p.m. — Mosley with an easy take to the basket, giving him 10 points on the night.
Following some good defense by Gregory in the low post, Mosley buries a three for the Terps to give them a 25-point lead. The sophomore form Baltimore has shot well against lesser competition this year, but it’d be nice to see that same perimeter game against the tougher opponents of the ACC.
We shall see, I suppose.
8:36 p.m. — Milbourne is having a brilliant game with 14 points on 6-for-7 shooting. The undersized forward just thrives against smaller teams.
The Terps are shooting 62 percent from the field.
8:34 p.m. — Bowie forces the steal, leading to a made jumper by Mosley. Bowie has definitely played better on the defensive end in recent games, as it seems the junior is good for a couple steals every game.
Milbourne hits a three, but the Maryland native Swecker hits one of his own for the Lancers.
We’ve reached the under-8 media timeout with the Terps comfortably ahead, 44-23, with 7:10 remaining.
8:31 p.m. — Padgett with a very nice block, but Tucker throws it away trying to force a pass into the paint. That won’t make Gary Williams very happy.
It was interesting to see Padgett and Williams on the floor at the same time before Williams picked up his second foul, earning him a trip to the bench.
8:28 p.m. — Padgett has checked into the game, and the frosh scores inside. While tonight’s game is shaping up to be a laugher, it’s a huge opportunity for Padgett to earn some more minutes.
Following a Tucker missed three, Padgett grabs the offensive board and scores…plus one!
We’ve reached the second media timeout with Maryland cruising to a 36-15 lead with 10:19 remaining in the first half. The Terps are currently on pace to score over 140 points. Might be a record.
8:24 p.m. — Antwan Carter gets the ball inside and takes it to the hole. The Lancers have broken double digits.
Following another Tucker basket, the Lancers’ Martiz Washington scores.
Definitely a very quick pace to this one with the Terps clearly coming up on the positive end.
8:21 p.m. — Bowie, Tucker, and Dino Gregory have checked into the game for the Terps. It’s fair to say all three have struggled this season, so you’d love to see them build some confidence against an inferior opponent tonight.
Milbourne hits another mid-range jumper, and Maryland leads, 25-6.
8:19 p.m. — Milbourne drains the baseline jumper, and the Lancers cannot buy a bucket.
A moment later, Milbourne is fouled on the off-balanced jumper. Count it, and the foul. The senior hits the freebie to complete the three-point play.
8:15 p.m. — Despite the strong start by the Terps, Vasquez is struggling early. The senior is 0-for-4 already by my count.
It’s 18-5 less than four minutes into the game.
8:13 p.m. — Vasquez with a nice cut to the basket but misses the layup. However, the Terps grab the offensive board and Williams finishes with the powerful, two-handed dunk!
Maryland up on the Lancers, 12-3, already. The Terps are just overwhelming the Lancers, as expected. They’re having serious problems against the press and have turned it over a few times already.
8:11 p.m. — Smith is called for the foul trying to fight for the offensive rebound against Mosley. I imagine we’ll see a lot of that tonight.
Vasquez misses his second inside attempt, but Jordan Williams grabs the offensive board and puts it in.
8:09 p.m. — The Terps control the opening tip, and Hayes draws an early foul on Swecker. With Maryland winning the rebounding battle against Wake and Boston College in the last two games, there’s no excuse not to do it again tonight.
Hayes drains both, and it’s 2-0, Terps.
8:06 p.m. — Maryland will sport the home whites this evening while the Lancers will wear their road blues.
We’re almost set for tip-off.
Don’t forget to follow our updates on Twitter (@ WNST) throughout the evening.
8:03 p.m. — It’s worth noting that Longwood has three players from the state of Maryland. Robinson (Columbia) and Swecker (Manchester) are in the starting lineup, and reserve Ian Persaud hails from Landover.
7:56 p.m. — It’s easy to see the spring semester has not started yet as you could count the number of students sitting in the “Wall” without any problem.
Classes resume next Monday, but hopefully the students will return in full force for Saturday’s game against NC State.
7:52 p.m. — Here are tonight’s starting lineups:
G E.J. Dawson
G Aaron Mitchell
G Kevin Swecker
F Dana Smith
F Billy Robinson Jr.
G Eric Hayes
G Greivis Vasquez
G Sean Mosley
F Landon Milbourne
C Jordan Williams
7:39 p.m. — Taking a look at the Lancers’ projected starting lineup, their tallest starter is Billy Robinson Jr., a 6-foot-7 forward (Columbia, Md.).
With all due respect to Gillian’s squad, as Longwood goes through pregame lay-up drills, it more closely resembles a high school team in terms of size. As Comcast Morning Show host Drew Forrester would say, “That’s not a low blow, just a fact.”
And speaking of being small, the crowd at Comcast more closely resembles a high school one less than 30 minutes away from tip-off. I think I can hear individual conversations going on as we speak.
7:30 p.m. — Greetings from the Comcast Center as the Terps (11-5, 2-1) take a brief respite from conference play to host the independent Longwood Lancers (4-14).
Maryland is fresh off its 73-57 road win against Boston College on Saturday afternoon and will resume the ACC schedule with a home contest against NC State on Saturday evening. Tonight’s game will mark the last non-conference contest for the Terps as they’ll finish the regular season with 13-straight conference games.
Greivis Vasquez led the way with 17 points on Saturday as the Terps controlled the tempo from the get-go while reserves Adrian Bowie (15 points) and Cliff Tucker (14 points) turned in strong performances off the bench.
I’m not going to pretend to hype this game as anymore than what it is—a non-conference game against an independent team that can only dream of making the NCAA Tournament. However, Longwood is clearly treating this game as its “Big Dance” while the Terps are looking ahead to their meeting with the Wolfpack on Saturday and the rest of the ACC schedule.
The Lancers have lost notable games to Virginia (85-72), Navy (79-76), Old Dominion (98-59), and William & Mary (84-65) as coach Mike Gillian is clearly desperate to secure any victory against a notable school in hopes of enticing a conference to expand and offer an invitation. Longwood is one of only six independent schools in Division I basketball.
John Feinstein wrote an interesting article about Gillian’s uphill battle to build an independent program following a narrow 81-80 loss to Navy last December. While highly unlikely, a miracle win over the Terps could just be the signature win the school needs to persuade a conference to open its arms and give the Lancers a real opportunity to eventually earn a trip to the tournament.
And for Maryland, tonight is solely about staying healthy and getting some quality minutes for a young player such as James Padgett. The freshman big man played only four minutes against Boston College as coach Gary Williams has cited the need for Padgett to earn his minutes by producing when he gets opportunities. He should get that chance tonight and needs to capitalize to earn more minutes in ACC play.
Tonight’s game can be seen on Comcast SportsNet with Steve Buckhantz and Ron Thompson providing the call.