Terps Clip the Eagles, 67-51
Terrapins guard #14 Sean Mosley swats away a shot by Eagles guard #3 Derrick Mercer during Maryland's 67-51 victory over American at the Comcast Center in College Park, MD on Monday, December 22, 2008. David Lovell/DC Sports Box
COLLEGE PARK, MD — The Maryland Terrapins reclaimed victory in a 67-51 win tonight over the American University Eagles in the Comcast Center in front of 15,838 fans.  Exactly one year ago today the Terps suffered a heartbreaking loss to the Eagles for the first time since 1926. In their loss, Maryland mustered a measly 36 percent shooting and committed 13 turnovers while being out-rebounded 40-33.
 
Tonight Maryland claimed redemption.

The Terps took firm control in the opening five minutes and led for the remaining 35.  Maryland scored the first 11 points and forced five Eagle turnovers in less than five minutes while the Eagles were unable to sink their first basket until a full six minutes into the first half.

Starting senior Dave Neal sparked the Terps offense with 5 of the first 7 points of the game, hitting a 2-point jumper that opened up the front-court game.  He quickly followed up with a 3-pointer less than two minutes later and led all scorers in the first half with 12 points, including 4 field goals, 2 3-point shots and 2 free throws.  

"[Dave] knows where he has to be,” remarked Maryland Head Coach Gary Williams.  “He gets far enough away from his man where we can give him the ball and he's open. Dave is a good shooter."

Neal and Landon Milbourne combined to lead all scorers with 14 points each. Milbourne, who’s been a cornerpost of the team this season, was a perfect 4-for-4 from the free throw line and snatched 5 rebounds in 31 minutes in play.  He also wrestled away 3 steals and 1 blocked shot this evening. Milbourne was also a force in the paint with several dribble penetrations that drew big man Jordan Nichols and Brian Gilmore out to block a shot before Milbourne would dish to a perimeter shooter.

Greivis Vasquez followed closely behind Milbourne and Neal with 13 points of his own. Vasquez led the way in assists in 35 minutes of service, forcing several scoring opportunities for the home team with his quick ball handling. Off a Sean Mosley block in the second half, Vasquez scored on a breakaway layup, highlighted by a fake-me-out behind-the-back pass that drew his defender off guard, giving Vasquez an open lane to the bucket. Vasquez was also a force on the defensive side as he combined with big man Neal in back-court traps that resulted in a total of 15 turnovers for the Eagles.

The Terrapins received production from every member of the squad this evening. Adrian Bowie continued to share the point guard position, showing great energy, speed and agility while offering 2 assists, 1 steal and 5 points in 21 minutes of play. His role at the point position allowed Vasquez and Hayes to orbit around the perimeter, drawing off guards from inside the paint while creating scoring opportunities from the outside.

Cliff Tucker also showed a lot of progress, scoring 7 points total with 2 rebounds and 1 blocked shot. Braxton Dupree followed suit with 5 points of his own and a huge blocked shot in the second half.

The Terrapins went 16-for-18 from the free throw line, including an impressive 12-for-12 in the second half. Neal, Vasquez and Milbourne were a perfect 4-for-4 from the charity stripe and Adrian Bowie was close behind with a perfect 2-for-2 tally. They also held the Eagles to zero successful free throws on only three total attempts throughout the entire game.

The Terrapins record now stands at 6-0 at home and 8-2 overall this season. The Terps next game will be against Bryant University on Saturday, December 27th at 2:00 PM in the Comcast Center.