Vasquez’s huge night leads Terps to 85-66 win over Virginia

February 15, 2010 | Luke Jones

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Maryland had no time to dwell on the aftermath of the humbling loss at Duke when faced with playing its second game in three days.

After all, Virginia was coming off a tough loss of its own at Virginia Tech on Saturday night and was playing its second game in 48 hours, both on the road.

A short memory and a return to Comcast Center was just what the Terps needed as they rebounded to roll over the Cavaliers, 85-66, on Monday night.

Oh, and a banner night from their leader certainly helped the effort.

“I thought we came out pretty strong as a team,” Greivis Vasquez said. “We got it going early.”

To say Vasquez—and the Terps—got it going early would be an understatement as the senior guard exploded for 25 points in the first half, shooting 10-for-13 from the field to push the Terps to a 18-point halftime edge. In all, Vasquez accounted for 36 of the team’s 52 first-half points after dishing out five assists that led to 11 points.

It was the polar opposite of the two-point first half from the senior in his last game at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

No matter who Virginia coach Tony Bennett assigned to guard the Terps’ leading scorer—as many as six different players matched up against Vasquez at different points in the game—the Cavaliers had no answers as Vasquez matched a season high of 30 points while also grabbing eight rebounds to improve Maryland’s home record to 12-1 for the season and a perfect 5-0 in conference play.

“I think he got all of his shots tonight as part of the offense, and he didn’t really force anything and when he does that he is really effective,” coach Gary Williams said. “He is such a great passer too, so when they started double-teaming him, he found the open man every time.”

Fellow senior Landon Milbourne—responding from a miserable, season-low two-point performance at Duke—scored 14 points while freshman Jordan Williams posted his fourth double-double of the season with 11 points and 11 rebounds. Maryland controlled the paint throughout the night, outscoring the Cavaliers 40-26 and outrebounding them 42-28.

“We wanted to go inside a lot more tonight and play close to the basket,” Gary Williams said about his frontcourt and the play of the freshman big man. “Tonight [Williams] got the ball in great positions and what he does best is that he is persistent.”

It was a competitive game in the first 11 minutes as an 8-0 run by Virginia cut the Terps’ first-half advantage to 24-21 with 9:04 to play before Maryland (17-7, 7-3) exploded on an 11-0 run to push the lead to 14 points. The Cavaliers (14-9, 5-5) would never recover on their way to a third loss in a row.

The Terps will continue its current stretch of three games in five days as they travel to Raleigh to take on NC State on Wednesday night. Following the win against Virginia, players were already shifting their focus to the Wolfpack and an opportunity to sweep the season series after winning the first meeting on Jan. 23.

“It’s going to take a lot of focus, a lot of mental preparation,” said Milbourne, who stressed the importance of being focused on NC State immediately during practice on Wednesday.

- Maryland has won its last four league home games by an average of 21.0 points. The Terps have won six in a row at Comcast Center.

- The Terps connected on 56.3 percent of their field goal attempts against the Cavaliers, their second-best mark of the season with only a 56.9 percent clip against Winston-Salem State besting Monday’s performance.

- Vasquez’s 30-point outing was the fourth 30-point game of his career, ranking him sixth on the career list at Maryland. Walt Williams is the all-time leader with 15 30-point games to his credit.

- Senior Eric Hayes has now made 20 consecutive free throws, a streak that started on Jan. 3 against UNC Greensboro. He went 1-for-1 from the charity stripe against the Cavaliers.

- Maryland shot 4-for-8 from beyond the arc, continuing its fine long-range shooting at Comcast Center.

In five conference home games, the Terps are shooting 49.3 percent from the 3-point line. In contrast, Maryland has shot just 32.8 percent from beyond the arc in its five ACC road games.

- Virginia suffered its largest margin of defeat for the season (19). The Cavaliers’ largest defeat had been a 66-49 defeat to USF on Nov. 16 for Monday’s loss.

“[The Terps] run their stuff hard, and they had something to prove after their tough loss, but they won,” Bennett said. “Any category you want to put up, they got it, as far as positive categories.”

Check out the final stats here and the live blog below.

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9:47 p.m. — This one’s in the books. Maryland wins it, 85-66.

Back soon with the post-game wrap.

9:45 p.m. — Levent scores coming off the screen. Great to see that.

One minute to go in this one.

9:43 p.m. — Here comes David Pearman and Ersin Levent to the score table. The fans are now chanting for Jerome Burney to enter the game.

9:40 p.m. — In case you had any doubts, Greivis Vasquez has been named tonight’s player of the game at Comcast Center. I’d say 30 points and eight rebounds is worthy of the honor, wouldn’t you?

9:38 p.m. — Milbourne hits a baseline jumper to give him 14 for the night.

We’ve reached the final media timeout of the evening with Maryland leading the Cavaliers, 83-54.

9:36 p.m. — While it’s certainly nice to be leading by 27 points with under 5:00 remaining in this one, it’s even better that Gary Williams has been able to spread out the minutes. With a trip to Raleigh in 48 hours, it’s nice to see Vasquez and company not have to play an extensive number of minutes.

Vasquez goes to the bench, presumably for the night, with 4:54 to go in this one.

9:34 p.m. — Milbourne scores again to give him 12 for the game. Not a sparkling performance but certainly a strong bounce-back from his outing in Durham.

On the next possession, Mosley travels. The Baltimore native has not scored in this one.

9:31 p.m. — We’ve reached the under-8 media timeout with Maryland pushing the lead to 27 points and leading the Cavaliers, 75-48.

9:29 p.m. — The season-high allowed by Virginia all year is 76 points. With a Vasquez three, the Terps now have 75 points.

9:27 p.m. — Padgett gets swarmed in the paint but decides to throw a wild shot toward the basket anyway. I’m sure Gary Williams will chat with him about that possession a little later.

Gregory scores plus the foul. He’s have a quality game off the bench and now has six points on the night.

9:25 p.m. — Bowie just picked up his third foul. I forgot he was even playing tonight. It’s amazing comparing how much he contributed a season ago to what he’s done to this point in the season. Night and day.

9:23 p.m. — With Maryland leading by 23 points with 10:59 remaining, I wanted to point out the Terps already have three ACC victories of 20+ points against NC State, Miami, and North Carolina.

Regardless of the ACC being down this year, this is a very impressive stat.

9:22 p.m. — Gregory shows the nice jump hook in the paint off the feed from Bowie.

Vasquez returns to the floor, but Virginia will take a timeout. After scoring 25 in the first half, Vasquez has yet to score after intermission, but it’s not like the Terps have needed him.

9:18 p.m. — We’ve reached the under-12 media timeout with Maryland in complete control, 65-44.

9:17 p.m. — Tucker’s triple gives the Terps a 19-point lead.

Padgett has checked into the game and just dunked home a missed shot, drawing the huge cheers from the Maryland crowd. It’s been interesting to see the Terps go with a frontcourt of Padgett and Gregory on a couple different occasions tonight.

9:14 p.m. — Landesberg gets inside and scores on the layup but then immediately picks up his third foul. Maryland finds the open shooter against the Virginia zone, but Hayes cannot hit the triple from the corner.

Following the Virginia miss, Tucker with a nice pass running in transition to find Milbourne for the lay-in. The senior forward now has 10 for the game.

9:09 p.m. — Very unselfish play by Vasquez on the fast break as he gives it to Williams who is fouled and will go to the line for two.

We’ve reached the first media timeout of the second half with Maryland maintaining the same 18-point advantage it enjoyed at the break. Terps lead the Cavaliers, 58-40.

9:07 p.m. — Nice effort by Sean Mosley to keep the possession alive off the Vasquez miss. Following another miss, Williams cleans up the glass and scores. He has six in the half already.

9:05 p.m. — Williams with the jump hook over Heyinsse to give the Terps a 22-point lead. He now has nine for the game.

Greivis who?

9:04 p.m. — We’ve started the second half and Williams scores inside off the assist from Hayes. On the other end, Williams ERASES the shot from Zeglinski.

Great start to the second half for the freshman big.

9:02 p.m. — The teams are back on the floor to warm up for the second half, and the big story for the second half will be how many more Vasquez can score. After scoring 25 points in the first half, he can eclipse his season high of 30 against Wake Forest, career high of 35 against North Carolina, the Comcast Center record of 35 (which Vasquez shares with Nik Caner-Medley), and the Maryland record of 44 set by the great Ernie Graham.

We’ll see what the senior guard can do.

8:55 p.m. — Despite the Terps holding a very comfortable 18-point lead, it’s important to point out Virginia’s second-half success this season. The Cavaliers are 5-3 this season when trailing at the half, the most wins in the ACC with no other teams recording more than three wins when trailing at the break.

Of course, an 18-point lead is a much different story as the Cavaliers’ biggest comeback from a half-time deficit came against Cleveland State when they trailed by seven at the break.

8:50 p.m. — We’ve reached the end of the first half with Maryland thoroughly in control against the Cavaliers. The Terps lead 52-34 with Vasquez leading the way with 25 points. Unbelievable.

8:44 p.m. — Hayes picks up the foul on Jones, sending him to the line for 1-and-1. Jones hits both to cut the lead to 16 points.

The Terps throw it away on the other end. One of the few mistakes we’ve seen here in the first half. By my count, that’s only the fifth turnover of the half for Maryland.

8:42 p.m. — Milbourne hits the mid-range jumper to give him eight for the half, and Maryland leads 48-30 before Landesberg hits the jumper on the other end.

Quite the offensive output as the Terps have doubled their first-half total from Saturday (24).

8:40 p.m. — Vasquez scores again to give him 23 in the first half. His season-high is 30 and career-high is 35. At this rate, he may have it before the first media timeout of the second half.

8:38 p.m. — Former Terp and Pro Bowl tight end Vernon Davis is in attendance tonight, and he has to love this first-half effort from the Terps.

8:36 p.m. — Hayes comes off the screen and hits the jumper at the foul line. He now has eight points in the first half.

For Virginia, Scott just hit a bucket, but he needs some help from Landesberg to keep the Wahoos in it.

Vasquez with a 3-ball, giving him 21 points in the first half. Unbelievable 17 minutes of basketball for the senior from Caracas!

8:34 p.m. — Maryland continues to do an outstanding job on Landesberg, as he hasn’t really been much of a factor other than one early bucket.

Williams is fouled going up for the shot in the paint and will go to the line. After missing the first, he’s perfect on the second, and Maryland’s lead has grown to 14 points.

It’s quite a different energy level than what we saw during the first half in Durham.

8:29 p.m. — I apologize for the delay in updates as I was dealing with some network issues here on press row. We’ve seen much of the same as when I left off as Vasquez is having an incredible night with 18 points already in the first half. His career high is 35 points against North Carolina last season.

Maryland has gone on an extended run, and now leads 34-21 with 6:26 remaining.

8:17 p.m. — James Padgett has checked in early and immediately contributes an offensive rebound, leading to an easy scoring chance for Vasquez. Nice to see the frosh get some early minutes in this one.

We’ve reached the second media timeout of the evening with Maryland leading the Cavaliers, 20-13 with 11:30 remaining.

8:15 p.m. — Vasquez hits a pair of freebies to give him 10 points already. On the Terps next possession, Milbourne throws down a thunderous dunk.

Dino Gregory has checked in for his first action and picks up the foul against Scott. The Maryland bench clearly wanted a walk on that one.

8:12 p.m. — With Vasquez having nearly a half-foot advantage on Zeglinski, it’s clear he’ll want to take the ball inside as much as possible.

Following a Milbourne bucket, old friend Jeff Jones hits a jumper for the Cavaliers.

8:09 p.m. — Mosley will clearly have a tough battle against Landesberg, but he got the best of that last possession as Virginia’s star is whistled for the push-off, turning it back over to the Terps.

We’ve reached our first media timeout with Maryland leading 10-5 with 15:58 to go.

Quite a different start for Vasquez, as the senior already has six points in this one after scoring only two in the first half at Duke.

8:08 p.m. — Milbourne is matched up against Scott who holds a definite size advantage over the senior forward. As I type that, Scott grabs the offensive board and is fouled going up by Williams.

Scott hits a pair of free throws to cut the Terps’ early lead to three points.

8:05 p.m. — Vasquez scores inside again, and the Terps are doing a fine job crashing the boards in the early going. Following another Virginia miss, Vasquez scores inside to give Maryland a 6-0 lead.

Landesberg answers with a 3-pointer to get the Cavaliers on the board. The Wahoos will need a big game from him tonight.

8:02 p.m. — Milbourne faces off against Meyinsse to get this one started, and Maryland controls the tip.

The Terps work it around the arc before Milbourne hits a mid-range jumper to give the Terps the early lead. Following the miss by Scott on the other end, Maryland tries to get it inside quickly to Jordan Williams, but he cannot handle the pass.

7:51 p.m. — Here are tonight’s starting lineups:

Virginia
G Jontel Evans
G Sammy Zeglinski
G Sylven Landesberg
F Mike Scott
F Jerome Meyinsse

Maryland
G Eric Hayes
G Greivis Vasquez
G Sean Mosley
F Landon Milbourne
F Jordan Williams

7:48 p.m. — Johnny Rhodes is tonight’s honorary captain, one of my all-time favorite Terps.

Maryland leads Virginia in the all-time series, 103-67. The two teams have split the series the last two season with both holding serve on their home courts in back-to-back years.

7:44 p.m. — For those of you belonging to the Jerome Burney fan club, he is once again dressed to play and warming up. As Gary Williams reiterated on Sunday, Burney is little more than an insurance policy for the Maryland frontcourt. The 6-foot-9 junior was serving as the assistant strength and conditioning coach this season after chronic foot issues were believed to have ended his Maryland career.

7:30 p.m. — Good evening from Comcast Center as the Terps (26-7, 6-3 ACC) look to rebound quickly from a humbling defeat at Duke on Saturday when they take on the Virginia Cavaliers (14-8, 5-4 ACC) at 8:00 p.m.

Both teams are in the midst of a brutal stretch, with Maryland playing its second of three games over a five-day stretch. After falling to Duke 77-56 on Saturday afternoon, the Terps host the Cavaliers this evening before traveling to Raleigh to take on NC State on Wednesday night. Despite the predicament of playing two games in three days, the Terps getting back on the court after the meltdown at Duke may be the best thing for them—against Virginia anyway. It remains to be seen how much Maryland will have left in the tank against the Wolfpack on Sunday night.

Not to be outdone, the Cavaliers are also playing their second game in three days after falling at Virginia Tech on Saturday evening, 61-55. Virginia is in the middle of a five-game stretch in 11 days, with four of those coming on the road in four different states.

Despite dropping their last two games, the Cavaliers are having a surprising season under new head coach Tony Bennett. Virginia began the conference schedule by winning its first three games before dropping four of its last six and finding itself in fifth place, just a game behind Maryland.

Junior guard Sylven Landesberg continues to etch a spot as one of the best players in the ACC, scoring 18.0 points per game (tied for third in the ACC with Greivis Vasquez) and twice being named ACC Player of the Week.

Landesberg gets help in the frontcourt from fellow junior Mike Scott who averages 13.4 points and 7.7 rebounds per game. The Terps must also be aware of senior forward Jerome Meyinsee, who at 6-foot-9 could provide a challenge in the paint. While the Cavaliers may not provide the same imposing size as the Blue Devils (and the one whose name rhymes with “Brew-beck”), but the Terps cannot allow second-chance opportunities in tonight’s game.

Virginia also does an impeccable job taking care of the basketball, ranking seventh in the nation in fewest turnovers a game at 10.6 per contest.

I do expect the Virginia backcourt of Jontel Evans (5-foot-11) and Sammy Zeglinski (6-foot) to struggle against Maryland’s taller guards. Vasquez was on the Comcast floor earlier in the evening working on his inside game, perhaps a sign of things to come against the Cavaliers.

Maryland will certainly hope to rebound from its poor shooting effort in Durham. The Terps have shot a remarkable .492 from 3-point range in four conference home games this season while shooting just .328 in five road games. In the Terps’ last three conference road games (Duke, Florida State, and Clemson), they’ve shot just 7-for-37 from beyond the arc, a putrid .189 clip.

Tonight’s game is the makeup from the snowed-out meeting scheduled for Feb. 10. And what more would you expect than more snow in the forecast for this evening? Thankfully, the forecast lacks the punch of our last two storms, and I have already safely arrived at press row.

The Terps will once again don the gold uniforms in tonight’s contest against the Wahoos. At this point, can we really call them “alternate” uniforms?

And as I’m sure you’re well aware, tonight’s game will only be shown on ESPN360, otherwise known as the flagship station of Maryland Terrapins football (and yes, I know that joke has been used already, but I still like it!). If you’re able to access 360, Quint Kessenich and Dwight Freeman will have the call.

If you’re unable to access 360, stay right here at WNST.net, as you’re always encouraged to comment at the bottom of the page. Of course, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter (@WNST) as Glenn Clark and other WNST personalities will chime in with analysis and thoughts throughout the evening.

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