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Terps not satisfied with win

December 27, 2008|By David Ginsburg

Sometimes, winning is not enough.

Maryland cruised to its fifth straight victory Saturday. Greivis Vasquez scored 19 points as the Terps defeated Bryant, 72-51.

Afterward, the Terrapins lamented their lackluster rebounding performance and a lack of intensity after bolting to an early 17-point lead.

"We're going to look at this and say we can't do this against Georgia Tech and we can't do this against Duke," Vasquez said. "Not to disrespect the other team, but we needed to play harder. We played hard, but not for 40 minutes."

Maryland (9-2) was outrebounded 20-15 in the first half and finished with the same number of rebounds (35) as its smaller foe. Vasquez, a guard, led the Terrapins with six.

"The bothersome part of it is the rebounding," Maryland coach Gary Williams said. "We have to rebound better than that. Give Bryant credit, but we have too many guys trying to rebound with one hand. We have to be tougher on the glass in the future."

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The Terrapins forced 19 turnovers, had 14 steals and limited the Bulldogs (1-10) to 33 percent shooting from the floor.

But after taking a 24-7 lead, Maryland failed to pull away from a team playing its first season at the Division I level.

"The natural instinct I'm sure is to figure like, this isn't going to be that hard, we've got this thing put away," Williams said. "You want your team to methodically put them away, but we haven't been able to do that and I'm not particularly happy about it."

Landon Milbourne scored 13 of his 15 points in the second half, and Eric Hayes finished with 14 points for Maryland, which improved to 60-5 in non-conference home games since the start of the 2002-03 season. The Terrapins will play three more at home before starting the Atlantic Coast Conference portion of its schedule on Jan. 10 against Georgia Tech.

At that point, the Terrapins will be happy with a victory regardless of the numbers on the stat sheet. But winning in the ACC will require a better effort on the boards.

"I think we did a decent job rebounding, but there's always room for improvement," center David Neal said. "It's a long season, we've got some practices and we're going to work on it."

Cecil Gresham led Bryant with 14 points. The Bulldogs have dropped eight straight against the likes of Connecticut (88-58), Boston College (80-61), Rutgers (67-37) and Providence (91-64).

"We've played a lot of these type of rough games during this early period, but I think it's more fun than frustration because of the experience of playing these big schools and legendary programs and coaches like Gary Williams," said Bryant coach Tim O'Shea, who played under Williams at Boston College.

"It's a big thrill for a lot of these kids," O'Shea added. "They were playing in a Division II league last year, so this is a big deal for them."

Bryant fell in an early hole and never made a game of it.

Vasquez scored 14 points, and Maryland had 10 steals and three blocked shots in building a 42-25 halftime lead.

Showing no ill effects from playing only once in a 15-day span, the Terrapins took control with a 16-2 run that made it 24-7. Hayes drilled three field goals during the surge, including a pair of 3-pointers.

The Bulldogs made only two baskets in the opening eight minutes and committed six turnovers.

Bryant bounced back with an 8-0 spurt that included 3-pointers by Sam LeClerc and Chris Birrell. It was 28-19 before two free throws by Adrian Bowie and successive 3-pointers by Vasquez put Maryland up by 17.

But the lead never got larger than 24.

"We got up early and let them back in it," Hayes said. "When we get into the ACC season, we're not going to be able to do that."

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