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WHAT IT MEANS: With a win on the road in one of the most hostile environments in the conference, Maryland's three-game winning streak is exactly what the need before returning home to face Duke. Jordan Williams righted the ship and returned to his dominant form, while both Sean Mosley and Terrell Stoglin played the role of sidekicks.
Despite only 11 assists, six shy of their season average, the Terps showed they can win even when they are not playing to their full potential. Off the bench, Cliff Tucker had one of his less effective nights, contributing just six points, two dimes and a board, but excelled on the defensive end, which may have proven to be more necessary to get a win on the road.
ABOVE .500 IN THE ACC: Maryland's 14th win on the season is also their fourth in conference, meaning they are now a game over .500. After beginning the year winless in two attempts in Atlantic Coast Conference play, the Terps now are riding a 4-1 winning streak against ACC foes. It also puts the Terps in a tie with Virginia Tech and Boston College for the third-best conference record, both of whom the team will see again on the road in February.
A NEW STREAK: I guess Jordan Williams was a bit upset that his record-breaking string of double-doubles was snapped Thursday night in Charlottesville, when his four points and six rebounds marked the first time he recorded single digits in those categories since before Thanksgiving.
Williams started off the game with 11 points and nine boards, and finished the game with a game-best 21 points and game-best 15 rebounds. My guess is this was a statement that he wants to start up a new streak, possibly en route to breaking his new record. Tonight was a good start.
ON THE ROAD: As I mentioned in my article earlier this week, the Terps needed to improve their record on the road. Now riding a two-game win streak over both the Yellow Jackets and Virginia last Thursday, this young team is figuring out how to win outside of College Park. They are now 3-1 on the road in Atlantic Coast Conference play, a plus for their post-season resume.
BOWIE DISSAPEARANCE: After exploding for a season-best 22 points Thursday against the Cavaliers, senior guard Adrian Bowie finished tonight's action with a mere three spot. After getting the start again at the off-guard slot, consistency is the only thing holding back.
Bowie shot an unthinkable 1-10 from the floor, but tried to stop the bleeding with three rebounds and two assists. As I always seem to mention, with Jordan Williams in the paint drawing double-teams, the perimeter players need to connect on shots to keep the defense honest. Tonight it was Sean Mosley and Terrell Stoglin playing those roles, but the team would fare much better when Bowie and Cliff Tucker joined in.
BENCH PRESSED: A five-point first half from Cliff Tucker was all the scoring from the Maryland bench in the first 20 minutes, in addition to two assists and zero boards. The guilty party: James Padgett, Pe'Shon Howard and Haukur Palsson.
The second half was not much better, although Howard was able to score all six of his points then and add two dimes. But it is clearly a cause for concern when Gary Williams' sixth, seventh, eighth and even ninth men cannot contribute more than 12 points, two rebounds and four assists.
RETURN OF MOSLEY: Despite averaging under eight points per game, and coming off a scoreless effort versus the Cavs, Sean Mosley rediscovered his touch in Atlanta. A 16-point explosion came on behalf of the junior guard, good for the second-most on the team. Mosley added four boards, three assists and two steals, which puts him over the 100-mark in that category for his Maryland career.
RICE LEADING THE WAY: Glenn Rice Jr. got off to perhaps the hottest start of anyone on the court Sunday night. His first half double-double, 10 pounds and 10 rebounds, was the different for Georgia Tech as they climbed out of a slump to start the game, and kept pace until halftime.
In the second half though, Rice was slowed down, scoring just six and grabbing two boards, with not a single make from beyond the arc. Still, Rice finished the night as Tech's best with a team-high 16 points and 12 rebounds, in addition to five assists and a block.
DEFENSIVE FORTE: Three days removed from limiting Virginia to 16 field goals and 33-percent shooting from the floor, the Terps, owners of the ninth best FG-defense in the country, held Georgia Tech to just under 40 percent shooting on this night. Their season average is about 38 percent.
SLOWING DOWN SHUMPERT: Iman Shumpert, coming off a 22-point triple-double, was stifled by the Terps defense. A seven-point first half was complemented by an even more intense defensive effort in the second. Then, Shumpert was held to five points and no assists.
STARTING FAST: Gary Williams tweaked the starting lineup yet again in hopes of finding a unit that can start the game off better. Tonight, Williams reverted to what we expected would be the starting five -- Jordan Williams, Sean Mosley, Dino Gregory, Adrian Bowie and Terrell Stoglin. That likely was the best option, as the team got off to a 12-4 start, still having the scoring of Cliff Tucker and always energetic Haukur Palsson to come off the bench.
WHAT'S NEXT: A strong win on the road for the Terps, beating a tough division foe in their building before returning home from a 2-0 road trip. However, the team will face two tests now. Wednesday night marks the game every Maryland player marks on their calendar when schedules are released – a home showdown with Duke. Coming off a tough loss to St. John's earlier in the day, the Blue Devils will be more than just hungry for a rebound game against the rival Terps, so this could make for quite the contest.