After narrowly escaping a defeat at the hands of the College of Charleston, Maryland came out of the tunnel firing, clicking all cylinders. Head coach Gary Williams called their last game a wake-up call; and they were more than alert Sunday afternoon.
The offensive prowess was led by a dominant shooting performance on the part of Cliff Tucker in the first half, who matched a season-high with 16 points, nailing four of six attempts from downtown. Williams said his senior swingman is confident, and it is showing on the court.
Once I hit the first shot I got real confident. My teammates did a great job of finding the ball for me, Tucker said. For me, once I see one shot go in I just get confident.
While Tucker had his way with the Maine defense to begin the game, it was his Jordan Williams capitalizing in the second half. Williams notched his third consecutive double-double, scoring 20 points and grabbing 11 rebounds.
Williams eight first-half points were matched within the first five minutes in the second. It was his six offensive rebounds, however, that led his head coach to compare his big man to Moses Malone, who Williams indicated was notorious for padding his own statistics.
Thats not true. I promise, Williams said after the game. He clarified that he can just tell when he is going to miss his shots, so he makes the effort to chase them down afterwards.
Adrian Bowie also enjoyed his best performance on the season, scoring nine points for the third straight game, but dishing out a team-high five dimes and eight rebounds, a rarity at the point guard position. He said if he were to get involved on the boards, it would allow Williams and Dino Gregory to get open in transition.
After nine turnovers to start off the season, including seven in the opener versus Seattle, Bowie did not turn the ball over at all against Maine. He shot a perfect 3-3 for the field too in his 27 minutes of action.
I didnt play good at all in the first two games, Bowie admitted. Being able to play again and get back on track is what I wanted to do.
Freshman guard Terrell Stoglin was Marylands third-highest scorer after his fellow frosh grabbed the spotlight in the win over the College of Charleston. Stoglin came off the bench to provide 14 points, 11 of which came in the first half.
Stoglins stellar effort led a Maryland bench that provided 38 points against Maine. Williams said the younger players got to see more minutes due to the foul trouble of some of the starters. They were following in the footsteps of the starters, who made a conscious effort to start off faster.
Coming into the season, we did know what we were going to get from our bench, from our young guys. It is definitely great to know they are scoring for us, coming up big – big plays, big rebounds, Williams said. Anything they give to us is definitely big for us.
Four fouls plagued starting guard Sean Mosley, who went scoreless in Sundays action, and has a total of three points in the last two games after he scored 21 in the season opener. His head coach stated he has confidence in his struggling guard, but will continue inking him in the starting five.
For the Black Bears, it was sophomore forward Murphy Burnatowski building off his All-America East rookie campaign, scoring 17 against the Terps and lighting it up from long range. Burnatowski hit four of nine from downtown.
It was Gerald McLemore, however, who struggled shooting. The junior guards 102 three-pointers in 2009 were the second most in the country. This season, McLemore had one three-pointer in 18 attempts, including an 0-9 effort versus Maryland.
The 40-point win, Marylands third straight to begin their 2010 season, ends a three-game series in the friendly confines of the Comcast Center. The team will head to the Mecca of basketball, Madison Square Garden, to battle No. 5 Pittsburgh in the National Rounds of the 2K Sports Classic on Thursday.