Terps Open the Season with Easy Win

The Maryland Terrapins opened their season with an easy 89-51 victory over Charleston Southern.

The Terrapins got their season off on the right foot on Friday the 13th, cruising past Charleston Southern 89-51.

Landon Milbourne scored 16 points to lead all scorers in the rout, while freshman Jordan Williams started at center and scored 12 and grabbed nine rebounds, an important stat considering the dearth of rebounding last season.

Preseason All-ACC guard Greivis Vasquez went 3-14 from the field and scored only nine points, but had 13 assists, 10 in the second half, to break away from the Buccaneers and lead an offensive outburst. The Terps scored 52 in the second half, and made all six of their 3-pointers after the break.

Leading Charleston Southern was diminutive junior Jamarco Warren, who scored 14. Warren was voted to the preseason All-Big South team.

The most significant difference from last year's team is the injection of size into the lineup. Williams and his fellow freshman, James Padgett, who had eight rebounds of his own to go with 10 points, are a welcome change from last year, when the Terps were always undersized, most of the time having no one on the floor taller than 6-7.

“Last year we got away with not scoring inside,” head coach Gary Williams said. “We have to be able to score inside. Both James and Jordan are going to be able to do that as time goes by.”

The young big men impressed Vasquez as well, and they took a lot of the pressure off him, which will come in handy down the stretch.

“They played really well today,” the senior captain said. “They're still young so to be honest, at this moment, I never thought these guys would be this good. And I'm impressed, I'm happy, I'm excited, and I'm looking forward to the whole season because we have some Maryland basketball going on here.”

The player who seems to have improved the most from last year is sophomore Sean Mosley, who struggled with his shot while battling through an ankle injury. He was healthy and it showed on the court, making 7-9 from the field and a three, finishing with 15 points.

“I want him to shoot,” Williams said. “Sean is too good of a player not to use that part of his game, and he earned the right to shoot this year.”

Mosley said he took a lot of shots this summer, and it has clearly paid off.

“Working hard in the offseason,” said Mosley, “shooting the ball, getting my confidence up, and it carries over to the game. I'm comfortable in the offense, and know where I can get my shots off.”

There were a number of occasions where the crowd of 16,812 rose to its feet. Mosley threw down an alley-oop from Adrian Bowie, and Milbourne had two ferocious blocks, including one where he leaped and caught the ball on the backboard, preventing a fast break layup.

“I just jump,” Milbourne said. “I try not to jump too early, and if I see the guy gathering his steps, I try to jump with him and just jump a little higher than he does, and let my hands take care of the rest.”

Williams was pleased after the game of the unselfish nature of his team, commenting on how they were making the extra pass, and it showed in the box score. The Terps had 27 assists on their 38 field goals.

It was not all good news for the Terps, however, as sophomore F Jin Soo Choi sprained his ankle. With injuries to big men Steve Goins and Jerome Burney, along with the eligibility issues of Dino Gregory, that leaves the Terps with three post players - Milbourne and the two freshmen.

Initial reports put Choi out at least a week, as he was in serious pain and had to be helped off the court by walk-ons Ersin Levent and David Pearman, who both came in with about a minute left. Pearman scored his first points as a Terp in his three years on the team.

The Terps' next game is Tuesday the 17th against Fairfield.

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