COLLEGE PARK, Md. – In the moments immediately following Maryland’s 92-71 thrashing of North Carolina on Sunday afternoon, an emotional Gary Williams had to stop at two different points to compose himself during a post-game interview with Johnny Holliday.
The raucous crowd of dedicated Maryland fans braving the remains of a historic blizzard to get to Comcast Center coupled with the tremendous play of his three senior captains brought a perfect ending to an unforgettable weekend for the Maryland coach, who spent the entire weekend in College Park due to the weather.
“When you coach, you don’t want any change with what you’re trying to do and what we went through with the snow trying to get ready for the game,” he said. “It wasn’t just us; they had to get [here early] and just sit around. You want to play well. We get proud of the guys when they make the effort in a little different situation, and I think we did that today.”
Other highlights from Williams’ comments to the media:
On his team’s mindset following the win:
“Our team is interesting. We were just in the locker room with the players. It’s a great feeling obviously, but we weren’t getting carried away
On the Terps’ senior leadership:
“I think their composure–both on and off the court–has been a big thing for us this year. We’re a very competitive team.”
On appreciating the win:
“We get proud of the guys when they make the effort in a little different situation, and I think we did that today.”
On his team answering the North Carolina comeback:
“We weren’t moving very well, and we had to dig deep to get it going again. It came from the defense.”
On Maryland’s 3-point shooting:
“The ball moved pretty well, and we had good 3-point shooters. If you look at the percentages from the 3-point line, we’re a pretty good shooting team if we get the looks. I thought we did a pretty good job of taking them when they were open.”
On beating North Carolina:
“It is special to beat a good program. I have a lot of respect for Roy Williams, at Kansas and Carolina. They’ll [always] come to play. Regardless of their record today, they showed up.”
- Maryland knocked off North Carolina for the fourth time in five tries and the third-straight time at Comcast Center. It was the Terps’ largest defeat over Carolina since a 96-56 win on Feb. 22, 2003.
“The past couple times we beat them it’s been overtime or a close game,” Eric Hayes said. “Anytime you can beat a North Carolina or a Duke or anybody like that, it’s something special. Not a lot of teams can do that on a consistent basis.”
The Terps have now won three straight games over ACC opponents at Comcast Center by a margin of at least 20 points. Those three wins (over NC State, Miami and Carolina) rank among the seven largest margins of victory over an ACC opponent at Comcast.
- Greivis Vasquez made a career-high-tying six 3-pointers in the game, bringing his career total to 205. He has now passed Mike Jones into second place on the Maryland career list, behind only Juan Dixon (239 in his career).
Vasquez also posted his second double-double of the season with 26 points and 11 assists. It was his 10th 20-point game of the season.
- Landon Milbourne became the 49th Terp in history to reach the 1,000-point mark in his career. The senior forward finished with 15 points against the Tar Heels.
- Hayes made three of his four 3-pointers in the first half on Sunday. The senior finished with 16 points on 5-for-6 shooting.
- Not expected to be a great perimeter shooting team entering the season, the Terps entered the game leading the ACC (conference games only) in 3-point shooting with a .439 mark. The Terps were successful on 9 of 16 attempts in the first half, a season high in attempts for a half. Maryland finished the game 12-for-23 (.522) from beyond the arc.
“We’re a very good shooting team,” Hayes said. “When we’re shooting like that, it’s tough to cover.”
- Gary Williams has repeatedly emphasized his team’s defense as the primary reason for their success on the offensive end of the floor. Maryland has held its last seven opponents under 40 percent shooting from the field. The Terps are second in the conference in field goal percentage defense (.388 in league games).
- The win improves Maryland’s record to 6-2, a half-game behind Duke but tied in the loss column and in second place in the ACC.
“I’m not surprised because I know how hard we’ve worked,” Milbourne said. “We deserve the right to do that. We worked so hard in the preseason and we’re working hard now. We’re not changing anything, even though we’re getting the wins. We’re not getting complacent. We’re coming out to practice everyday and we’re working just as hard as we worked the last day.”
- Maryland recorded an assist on 12 of its 16 first-half baskets. Vasquez led the Terps in assists with 11.
- The 21-point margin of defeat was the largest of the season for the Tar Heels.
- After struggling against Clemson and Florida State (a combined 11 points in the two games), the Maryland bench rebounded against North Carolina with 19 points. The boost was especially felt in the first half, as Cliff Tucker (7), Adrian Bowie (3), and Dino Gregory (2) contributed 12 points.
- The Terps outscored Carolina in the paint, 42-26.