Terps Take Down Michigan Wolverines 75-70
Maryland's #33 Dino Gregory puts home a monster dunk during the Terrapins' 75-70 victory over Michigan at the Comcast Center in College Park, MD on Wednesday December 3, 2008. David Lovell/DC Sports Box
COLLEGE PARK, MD -- Michigan drained three point shots all night, but Maryland proved too tough, defeating the Wolverines 75-70 in Wednesday nights ACC-Big Ten Challenge match-up. Maryland guard Greivis Vasquez led all scorers with 23 points, while Michigan star Manny Harris scored 15. Each team played to their strengths, showing how they were both able to knock off top five teams in recent games. Maryland coach Gary Williams called this a good team victory.

Michigan demonstrated some offensive prowess in the first half. Their game plan showed early: go for the three point shot. They hit 6 of 14 triples for the half while shooting 48.1% from the floor and committing only five turnovers. Maryland faired slightly worse in the half, shooting 41.9% with seven turnovers. The Terps tried to keep up with Michigans torrent of three point shots, but struggled mightily in the half, hitting only 1 of 11 shots. The game went to halftime with Michigan ahead 35-29.

Michigans DeShawn Sims led all scorers in the first half with 11 points. Greivis Vasquez led the Terps with eight, followed by Eric Hayes with six. Both teams shot well from the charity stripe in the half, but neither had many opportunities on which to capitalize: Maryland hit both of their free throws and Michigan was three for three.

Maryland coach Gary Williams halftime speech was clearly effective. He told his players that we were going to win the game, and the team clearly believed it. The Terps came out strong and powered ahead of Michigan on a 16-3 run to open the half. The points run came from all over on this charge: six Terps scored, including five from Greivis Vasquez and four from Dino Gregory. The run also energized the capacity crowd of 17,950 at the Comcast Center, leading to wild cheers and forcing a Michigan timeout.

Maryland was able to hit more three point shots in the second half, going 4 of 10, while Michigan stayed fairly steady hitting another 6 of 15. Shooting percentages remained similar in the second half as well, with Michigan hitting 38.2% and Maryland 46.4%. Overall however, Maryland outscored Michigan 46-35 in the second half.

Marylands Greivis Vasquez played well in the second half, adding 15 points with six assists. Coach Williams also emphasized that Vasquez showed his defensive ability on a great player [Michigan guard Manny Harris] by keeping Harris out of the paint. Senior forward Dave Neal also played well, scoring 12 in the game and grabbing four boards.

Michigan forward Anthony Wright hit the most impressive shot of the game. With 0:20 left in the game, he hit a three pointer from mid-court. The shot silenced the crowd, but proved to be too little too late.

Throughout the game, the Terps pressed on Michigan possessions. While they did not force a lot of turnovers, Williams credited this strategy with tiring out the Wolverines in the second half. In addition, the Terps picked up on the glass in the second half, out-rebounding the Wolverines 23-14.

The officiating crew was fairly quiet during the game. In the first half, they called seven fouls on the Wolverines and cited the Terps four times. In the second half, Maryland committed only six fouls, while Michigan racked up 11. However, three of those 11 came during the last 30 seconds of the game as the Wolverines attempted to close the gap.

Several former Maryland superstars were present for the game. Former Terps linebacker Shawne Merriman held his annual charity coat drive at the game. Fans showed their appreciation, cheering him heartily when he was introduced at halftime. In addition, former mens basketball player Buck Williams was introduced during the pre-game announcements as an honorary Maryland captain.

With the win, the Terps move to 5-2, while the Wolverines fall to 5-2. Marylands next game is in the BB&T Classic against George Washington University. The game will be held in Washington D.C. at the Verizon Center on Sunday December 7 at 7:30.