Maryland knocks off Florida Atlantic, 72-59

December 27, 2009 | Luke Jones

In lieu of a post-game recap, here are some post-game notes following the Terps’ 72-59 victory over Florida Atlantic.

- Sean Mosley sprained his ankle during practice on Christmas night, but the injury is not considered to be serious. He was dressed to play but watched the game from the Maryland bench. Williams expects Mosley to be ready for the William & Mary game on Wednesday night.

“He probably could have played some if we needed him,” Williams said.

- Williams pointed to the team’s two weaknesses and how they stood out this afternoon, referring to team rebounding and defending the three-point shot (Florida Atlantic went 8-for-19 from beyond the arc).

The Terps were outrebounded by Florida Atlantic, 49-45.

“We have to do something [about the rebounding],” Williams said. “I think that’s critical to our success as a team this season and we need to go to the ball more. We’ll address it. Hopefully we can fix it.”

Williams also discussed how he doesn’t focus on technique when it comes to rebounding, pointing to John Wooden’s philosophy that boxing out doesn’t guarantee that you’ll get the ball. The head coach also quipped that maybe Wooden’s philosophy was more successful having the likes of Kareem Abdul Jabbar and Bill Walton at UCLA.

Players echoed Williams’ concern in their post-game comments.

“Sometimes we just get caught watching the ball,” said forward Landon Milbourne, who had 19 points and five rebounds.

- Vasquez finished with a game-high 26 points, grabbed eight rebounds, and tossed five assists. It is the third game in a row the senior reached the 20-point plateau.

Williams described Vasquez’s play as “flat” at the start of the season and believed his busy summer (with the NBA Draft and not taking a break from playing) contributed to his slow start.

“I just want to continue to get better,” Vasquez said.

- Cliff Tucker and Jordan Williams were in the starting lineup, replacing Mosley and Dino Gregory respectively. Tucker earned his first start of the season, but Williams started for the first time since Gregory returned from suspension.

The head coach pointed to Gregory’s success and energy coming off the bench last season as the main reason for the change.

“That was my call,” Gary Williams said. “I just thought maybe a different look would help those guys.”

3:45 p.m. — This one’s in the books. Maryland defeats Florida Atlantic, 72-59. Check out the final stats right here.

Back soon with some post-game thoughts.

3:42 p.m. — With the Terps firmly in control, leading by 13, with just over a minute to play, they’ll begin looking ahead to Wednesday night with an interesting meeting with William & Mary. While it’s certainly a game the Terps should win, they cannot take the CAA team lightly.

3:38 p.m. — Too much Vasquez this afternoon for the Owls to overcome. Terps lead, 72-54, with 2:40 remaining. The senior now has 26 points.

3:35 p.m. — Vasquez scores inside, giving him 23 points for the game. It’s the senior’s third straight game with 20 or more points.

3:33 p.m. — Gregory with the nice block, leading to a Vasquez breakaway dunk!

Timeout, Florida Atlantic. Maryland leads with 4:35 remaining, 67-54.

3:31 p.m. — Hayes just took a shot from Baltimore (WAY behind the line!) and misses it. Taylor (back in the game after being injured earlier in the half) drains a three of his own on the other end.

3:26 p.m. — We’ve reached the under-8 media timeout with the Terps leading and in control, 63-49.

3:21 p.m. — DeMonte Simpson drains the jumper for the Owls, but Milbourne hits the jumper on the other end. The senior forward now has 17 points as he and Vasquez have clearly been the stars of the day for the Terps.

Alex Tucker, however, hits the three ball for Florida Atlantic. The pace has definitely picked up over the last few minutes.

3:19 p.m. — Milbourne drains the jumper from the top of the key. The Terps then force the steal, leading to a Vasquez layup.

Jarvis wants a timeout with the Terps now leading 56-42 with 10:55 remaining.

3:15 p.m. — Vasquez drives inside, scores, and is fouled. The senior misses the freebie and the chance for the three-point play.

Florida Atlantic is still hanging around, trailing by 13 points, but the Terps are in firm control of this one.

3:13 p.m. — It’s been another quiet afternoon for James Padgett. He played four minutes in the first half and is on the floor right now with Gregory in the frontcourt.

The big man has a ton of athleticism, but he still looks lost in the flex. And now with Gregory back from the suspension, it will be tough for the freshman to find minutes when conference play begins.

3:11 p.m. — Gregory gets the steal but cannot finish the dunk with the opponent contesting the shot.

Taylor is down after the play and appears to be in pain. Looks to be a shoulder injury.

3:06 p.m. — Tucker scores, giving him 10 points in the game. Very nice seeing the junior follow up his strong performance against Winston-Salem State with a solid outing after getting the start for the injured Sean Mosley.

3:04 p.m. — The Terps play some exceptional half-court defense and force the 35-second violation.

On the other end, Milbourne sinks the jumper, and the lead is up to 18.

3:02 p.m. — With the shot clock winding down, Taylor throws up a prayer of a 3-pointer and sinks it. To say that was lucky would be putting it mildly.

3:00 p.m. — We’re ready for the start of the second half with the Terps getting the first possession and Hayes missing the 3-pointer.

A possession later, Vasquez drills the triple, giving him 15 points and growing the lead to 15.

2:52 p.m. — I mentioned earlier that the Terps were making a concerted effort to get the ball inside this afternoon, and the stats back it up. Maryland had an astonishing 32 points in the paint in the first half.

2:46 p.m. — Check out the halftime stats right here.

2:45 p.m. — Hayes drives inside and scores just seconds before the buzzer. Maryland leads Florida Atlantic at the half, 39-27.

2:43 p.m. — Florida Atlantic has gone on a nice little run to close out the half and cut the lead to 10 points with under a minute to go. That definitely won’t make Gary Williams a happy man in the locker room during the break.

2:39 p.m. — Vasquez gets the steal and scores on the layup, pushing the lead back up to 13 points. The senior is having a very strong afternoon. If it weren’t already, I think it’s now safe to say the slump is over.

Tucker scores on the jumper, giving him six points for the afternoon.

2:35 p.m. — We’ve reached the final media timeout of the half with the Terps leading 33-20 over Florida Atlantic. Vasquez continues to lead the way with 10 points.

2:30 p.m. — Tucker drives inside a hits the shot in the paint. If the enigmatic junior can build upon his performance in Tuesday’s win, the Terps have a very dangerous scoring option coming off the bench.

2:28 p.m. — We’ve reached the under-8 media timeout with the Terps leading 26-15. Hayes forces the turnover and feeds it to Milbourne who scores…and one!

Milbourne drains the freebie to complete the three-point play.

2:21 p.m. — Vasquez scores in the land with the one-hander, and the Terps are up by nine.

Following a block, Milbourne scores on the other end, and Maryland now has a double-digit lead. Mike Jarvis will call a timeout with 9:29 remaining. Terps lead, 24-13.

2:18 p.m. — Gregory just took out Greg Gantt with a shot that would make Ray Lewis proud. Everyone’s okay, thankfully.

Gregory’s grabs the offensive rebound off the Vasquez miss and is fouled. I’m definitely a fan of the junior forward coming off the bench.

2:15 p.m. — Vasquez misses the jumper, but Adrian Bowie grabs the offensive board and finds a wide-open Hayes for three. Money.

The Terps have built the lead to 18-13 with 12:21 remaining in the first half.

2:12 p.m. — The Terps are really making an effort to create shots inside the paint so far this afternoon. I was concerned they’d come out a bit overconfident after the strong shooting performance on Tuesday night.

Gregory has checked in for Williams and immediately announces his presence by blocking a shot inside.

2:10 p.m. — Jordan Williams goes to the line and makes one of two.

On the other end, Hughley scores and we’re tied at 11.

2:07 p.m. — Milbourne hits a very nice fadeaway jumper from the baseline. He becomes a very dangerous player when he’s hitting that shot.

Vasquez scores with the one-hander and the Terps are up, 10-7.

2:05 p.m. — Jordan Williams made a very nice cut and had an open shot underneath but could not finish. I like the move to start the freshman and have Dino Gregory come off the bench.

Taylor hits a three for the Owls, but on the other end, Tucker finishes inside off a beautiful pass from Milbourne.

Terps lead early, 6-5.

2:02 p.m. — Gantt scores off the glass to give the Owls an early lead and Hayes misses the short jumper on the other end.

Florida Atlantic’s point guard Taylor is a little guy at only 5-foot-6. Appears to be very quick though.

1:57 p.m. — In case you were ever wondering what happened to Mike Jarvis (former head coach at GW and St. John’s), he is the head coach at Florida Atlantic, taking over the program in 2008 after a five-year layoff from the coaching ranks.

1:54 p.m. — Mosley is dressed to play, but I would be surprised to see him go today. The Terps really shouldn’t have too many problems with a 5-6 team out of the Sun Belt.

1:51 p.m. — There are some interesting changes to the Terps’ starting lineup. Sean Mosley has a slightly sprained ankle and will not start. The injury is not considered to be serious, but the Terps will obviously take every precaution with the gifted Baltimore sophomore.

Jordan Williams is also in the starting lineup, replacing Dino Gregory.

Florida Atlantic
G Raymond Taylor
G Greg Gantt
G Sanchez Hughley
F Brett Royster
C Justin Davis

Maryland
G Eric Hayes
G Greivis Vasquez
G Cliff Tucker
F Landon Milbourne
C Jordan Williams

1:40 p.m. — After a difficult stretch in which the Terps lost three of four games, they’re now looking to win their third game in a row this afternoon and will wrap up the current homestand on Wednesday night against William & Mary.

After getting off to a very slow start, Greivis Vasquez is back on track after posting back-to-back 20-point games for the first time since early last season (Youngstown State and Vermont).

The headline from Tuesday night’s victory over Winston-Salem State was Maryland’s new-found perimeter shooting, making nine of its 12 3-pointers in the first half. The Terps are now making nearly 40 percent of their shots from beyond the arc.

1:30 p.m. — Greetings from Comcast Center as the Maryland Terrapins (7-3) are set to take on the Florida Atlantic Owls (5-6) in about 30 minutes.

With most of Baltimore focused on a certain football game taking place in western Pennsylvania, I’m in College Park to bring you updates throughout the afternoon. Today’s game can only be seen on TerpsTV (available on the Terps official site), so feel free to keep me company and provide good news from the happenings in Pittsburgh.

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