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Maryland knocks off Florida Atlantic, 72-59

Posted on 27 December 2009 by 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

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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Wednesday Morning's Crab Cakes and Light Beer

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Wednesday Morning’s Crab Cakes and Light Beer

Posted on 01 April 2009 by Chris Bonetti

The Swinging Bunt

The rotation is set?!  Maybe Drew said it best with the line, “Hayden Penn’s ink has run out.”  In his last Spring Training start Penn went an abysmal 3.2 innings where he gave up 8 hits and 6 earned runs against the Cardinals.  Afterward, on the heels of saying Alfredo Simon will be in the rotation, manager Dave Trembley announced that Penn is no longer being considered in a starter’s role.  Could we actually be down to 5?  Peter Schmuck says Guthrie, Koji, Simon, Eaton, and Hendrickson.  So after weeding through like 58 pitchers, that’s what’s left to come north!  Be excited Baltimore!  It’s a real shame Cal can’t pitch.

Still waiting on Lance.  Gary Williams and the rest of us will have to wait just a little bit longer to learn where high school standout Lance Stephenson will play his probably one and only season of college hoops.  The Lincoln High School scoring guard from Coney Island, Queens was supposed to make his announcement at the McDonald’s All-American game Thursday night, but instead said yesterday that he and his family were still not ready to make a decision.  His playground nickname is “Born Ready” but I guess that doesn’t apply to picking between St. John’s, Kansas, and Maryland.

Scanning the Blogosphere

Camden Chat has a comprehensive history of the Orioles’ Opening Day starting pitchers since Bill “The Big Show” White in 1957.

The Loss Column says, “More HD O’s On the Way.”

College Hoops Journal has a nice list of all the NCAA Tournament Final Four’s storylines.

The Big Leads asks the question “Is the NHL more physical than the NFL?” And takes a stab at what the NBA Lottery might look like in June.

Awful Announcing informs us that ESPN might be swapping out ESPN Classic for ESPNU in many cable providers’ programming.

Coed Magazine has “The Cheerleaders of the 20009 NCAA Final Four.”

Inside Lacrosse has an in-game blog of UMBC’s 14-4 victory over Towson in Catonsville.

SI’s Fantasy Clicks says Alexander Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom is the NHL’s top ‘Dynamic Duo.’

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Men’s Lacrosse: #16 Loyola commences conference play with an 8-7 win at Penn State

Posted on 28 February 2009 by Chris Bonetti

Loyola started its ECAC title defense in a successful way this afternoon with an 8-7 win against Penn State, in State College, Pennsylvania.  Shane Koppens, playing in his first game of the season after being granted a 5th season by the NCAA, had a dominant debut as he and teammate Cooper MacDonnell each registered hat-tricks.

Starting in style has worked out pretty well for Loyola (2-1, 1-0) in their last two games.  A week ago Loyola jumped out to a 4-0 lead in an 11-8 win over Towson, while today they attacked the Nittany Lions and All-American goalie Drew Adams with three unmatched first quarter goals.  Koppens, a team captain for the second consecutive season got the Greyhounds on the board first, with MacDonnell, Loyola’s leading goal scorer from a year ago, tallying the latter pair.

The Greyhound defense, which was superb all afternoon, made the 3-0 score stand all the way until intermission.

Jimmy Daly’s 4th goal of the season with 5:12 left in the 3rd gave the ‘Hounds a 5-1 lead but then the Loyola would let momentum slip and Penn State went on to score 5 of the next 6 goals to get it  to 7-6 with under 5 minutes left in the game.

They say big players step up in big moments… well when Koppens’ team needed a play he did just that and provided his 3rd goal of the afternoon just 40 seconds after Penn State came to within 1.  The Nittany Lions would get one last ball by Hagelin with only 36 seconds remaining to put the 8-7 final in the books.

From central Pennsylvania, the ‘Hounds are back on the road and will be in Albany, New York to sleep this evening in anticipation for Tuesday afternoon’s game against Siena.  The travel continues mid-week as Loyola will hop a flight to Durham, North Carolina to take on the Duke Blue Devils in a big match up next Saturday on WNST Radio.


–  Shane Koppens, an honorable mention All-American last season for the Greyhounds, looks like he could be back on his way to similar recognition if he plays the rest of the year like he did this afternoon.  Not only is he the player who Coach Charlie Toomey trusts most at the X in a crucial offensive possessions, but Koppens value extends past that.  He also makes his whole fellow attack unit much more dangerous with the attention he attracts from opposing defenses.

–  It was especially encouraging to see MacDonnell’s trio of goals.  The junior attackman had just one score in the Notre Dame and Towson games and it almost seemed like he, maybe more than anyone else, was hurt by Koppens’ absence.  Last year the two proved to be a lethal combination for opponents, with Koppens dishing and MacDonnell swishing.

–  Aside from Koppens and MacDonnell’s 3, and Daly’s goal, Jake Wilcox added the only score for the Greyhounds.  Taylor Ebsary and Matty Langan’s single assists were the only ones of Loyola’s 8 goals.

– Notably absent from the score sheet was Collin Finnerty, who had 10 points in Loyola’s first two games.  He put 6 shots on net, but Drew Adams was able to see his shots from distance clearly and make stops on  them all afternoon.

–  Through the first three games of the season, goalie Jake Hagelin and face-off specialist John Schiavone have been consistently solid.  Playing perhaps the two most important positions on the field, Hagelin stopped 10-17 shots on target by Penn State and Schiavone won 11-19 draws.

–  Keeping an eye on the rest of the ECAC… Georgetown, who knocked off then #3 Maryland last weekend in College Park, got down 4-0 early and was stunningly upset by St. John’s 10-9.  Also, in another surprise St. Joe’s knocked of Rutgers 10-7.  The Scarlet Knight were picked third by ECAC Coaches in the preseason poll, but the state university of New Jersey is now 1-3 with losses against future Big East rival Villanova, #9 UMBC, and the previously mentioned bad L against St. Joe’s.

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