Maryland Grabs First Win Of the Season With 79-50 Win Over North Florida
#50 Bombale Osby with the 1 handed jam during the Terrapins 79-50 win over North Florida in the Semifinal CBE Classic Game in the Comcast Center in College Park MD on November 11, 2007. Christopher Blunck/DC Sports Box
Maryland opened it's regular season play this evening with a solid victory over the North Florida Ospreys at Comcast Center in College Park MD.  The Terps and the Ospreys participated in the O'Reilly Auto Parts College Basketball Experience (CBE) Classic, which features 16 schools from across the nation.  Maryland's win over the Ospreys pushes the Terrapins into the regional final round where they will play underdog Hampton tomorrow evening at 9pm.

Starting forwards James Gist and Landon Milboure were benched this evening, giving Cliff Tucker and Dave Neal a chance to start.  Neal capitalized on the opportunity, scoring 7 points and grabbing 4 rebounds and 1 steal.  He played a total of 20 minutes for the Terps.

Cliff Tucker also offered a solid performance, playing for 28 minutes and scoring 8 points and 7 rebounds (3 of which were offensive). Tucker also came up with a huge block and offered up the ball as an assist on 2 occasions.

Maryland got off to a rocky start in the first half, going down 2-5 just 2:24 into the game.  A turnover and a 3 pointer by Cliff Tucker tied the game at 7 and Maryland then went on a 14-2 run resulting in a 9 point Maryland advantage and a score of 18-9.

"I thought Eric Hayes played a very strong floor game the whole game, and that's really a good sign because Greivis got into a little foul trouble" remarked Coach Gary Williams.  Hayes scored 6 points in the first half and offered 2 assists.  Hayes and Vasquez's energy helped keep the Ospreys scoreless during a 7:56 stretch in the first half.

Maryland sustained a winning margin throughout the first half, but the Ospreys full court press resulted in turnovers that eroded Maryland's lead.  The Terps turned the ball over 14 times, primarily while in transition.  "We just weren't in control of the game in the first half", remarked Maryland Head Coach Gary Williams.

The Terps shot the lights out in the second half, shooting 28-52 (53.8%) from the field, and 5-13 (38.5%) from beyond the arc. Sophomore guard Eric Hayes set a new career high with 15 points and 5 field goals, and Greivis Vasquez matched a career high 18 points as he went 7 for 11 from the floor.

Senior forward Bombale Osbey also showed his strength down low as he tied a career high with 15 points and 7 rebounds.  His seemingly countless dunks in the 2nd half extended the Terrapin lead to 31 points before the final buzzer.

Maryland Head Coach Gary Williams described Osbey as a strong forward: "He's not a fade away jump shooter.  He doesn't catch them all on the post and front turn and shoot jump shots.  His job is to take the ball to the basket and that's where he plays the best."

"If he plays like that he's a force," remarked Coach Williams.

Freshman guard Adrian Bowie also stepped in when Vasquez ran into foul trouble and offered 12 points and 3 rebounds in 25 minutes of play.  A total of 8 players scored for the Terrapins this evening, 4 of which finished in double figures.

The Terps have less than 24 hours to prepare for a 9pm matchup against Hampton tomorrow evening at Comcast Center.  If they win they'll head to the Sprint Center in Kansas City MO next weekend.