Terps Cruise after Trailing Early

It took the Terps more than 22 minutes to grab their first lead over the visiting Charlotte 49ers, but when Landon Milbourne knocked down a pair of free throws giving Maryland a one-point lead, they didn't look back. The Terps overcame a poor shooting effort in the first half and an 11-point deficit to knock off Charlotte, 85-75, at the Comcast Center.

Greivis Vasquez led Maryland (11-2) with 27 points, hitting four 3-pointers and making a perfect 7-of-7 from the free throw line. The Terps were able to outbattle Charlotte (5-7) on the boards, block six shots and grab seven steals.

"This is good for our team to be down like we were early, and to see what we can do in that situation because we haven't been in that situation for a while," said head coach Gary Williams after the game. "I was proud of our guys because we had to work hard to dig ourselves out of the hole. This was a good team effort today. This is a solid win for us."

Sean Mosley gave the Terps a boost off the bench, scoring 11 and grabbing five rebounds in 23 minutes played. The freshman guard hit two key 3-pointers – one in the first half that tied the score at the 3:39 mark and another in the second half on a fast break to stretch the Terp lead to 13 points.

"He's been doing a great job in practice," Williams said. "He struggled shooting early, but he's kept at it. He's worked at it, and he's worked hard before and after practice."

"Coach always tells the bench players to be ready to come in the game," Mosley said. "If we can give a lot of energy off the bench, we can wear the other team out down the stretch. If we can play well and give the starters a chance to catch their breath, the other team will wear down, and then it's really tough to stop us."

It was really a tale of two halves. Charlotte hit nearly 50 percent of their shots in the first half, including 7-of-14 from behind the arc. Meanwhile, the Terps struggled through the first 20 minutes and made just 4-of-12 from long range. But in the second half, Maryland hit 5-of-10 from 3-point range and made 54.5 percent of their shots. The Terps hit nine 3-pointers tying a season high.

The Terps were also more successful extending their defensive pressure in the second half, which led to 12 fast break points and 11 points off turnovers. On the game, Maryland outscored Charlotte 25-6 on the break and got 21 points off the bench.

"I thought we were more intense on the defensive end [in the second half], which broke some things loose for us," Williams said. "When you're really playing hard on defense, it just seems to carry over to the other end of the court. We got some looks in transition that we didn't get early; at the same time, we ran our offense harder."

"Our energy on defense wasn't good enough in the first half," Vasquez said. "We got a little sloppy early and that's why we got down 11. Going into the second half, I told them we needed to play as a team. Whether we won or lost, we had to do it as a team. We have to go hard as a team. We have to rebound as a team. We have to play defense as a team, and we'll win. If we don't do that, we're going to lose."

In addition to Vasquez and Mosley, three other Terps scored in double figures. Milborne scored 13 and Eric Hayes and Adrian Bowie scored 10 apiece. Hayes and Bowie also dished out four assists each.

"We knew they were a good team," Hayes said. "We knew it was going to be a tough game, and they came out on fire and we got down. But we did a good job getting it back even in the first half, and in the second half we kind of put it away."

The Terps are now 9-0 at home and have won seven straight for the first time since the 2006-07 season. Maryland hosts Morgan State on Wednesday night at the Comcast Center before hosting Georgia Tech in the conference opener next Saturday.


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