Maryland Survives Late Surge By The Hampton Pirates, Wins 70-64
#21 Greivis Vasquez scored a team high 21 points this even during Maryland's 70-64 win in the regional Championship game of the 2007 CBE Classic in Comcast Center in College Park MD on November 12, 2007. Christopher Blunck/DC Sports Box
COLLEGE PARK, Md - Greivis Vasquez's 3 pointer with 1:20 left in regulation put the Terps up by 2, and 4 successful free throws gave Maryland the win over the Hampton Pirates in the regional final of the CBE Classic.

Maryland led by 14 points (56-42) with 11:35 remaining in the 2nd half, but a full press defense forced 6 Maryland turnovers and gave the Pirates a 1 point advantage with 1:34 remaining.  Vasquez's 3 point response to the Pirate run sparked the Maryland defense and the Terps went on to hold Hampton to 1 point during the rest of the game.

"You see the strength of Greivis.  After 8 turnovers to make that shot...  A lot of guys couldn't do that.  It was an unbelievable shot," remarked Maryland Head Coach Gary Williams.  Vasquez's shot and solid free throws in the closing minute of play gave him a team high 21 points and set a new career high for the sophomore guard.  Vasquez also set a personal record by playing 39 minutes this evening.

Vasquez and Eric Hayes shared the point guard spot this evening, and both players offered the ball up for 4 assists a piece.  Hayes continued his solid free throw performance, going 4-4 from the stripe and also knocked down a 3 pointer with 10:36 remaining in the first half to put the Terps up 18-8.

Maryland struggled to control the basketball this evening, offering it 4 times in unforced turnovers.  The defensive pressure by Hampton also contributed to Maryland's slide, and the Pirates managed to steal the ball 18 times.

"We had guys wide open but we chose to make the hard pass or the one handed pass instead of the fundamental pass.  Until that stops there's going to be turnovers," remarked Maryland Head Coach Gary Williams.

Vasquez summarized the Terps offensive ball handling performance by saying "We have to do a better job taking care of the ball.  I'm not doing a good job right now and I don't have an excuse.  I just have to keep working."

James Gist started his senior year after missing Maryland's opener on Sunday evening.  Gist's presence on the court was felt immediately as he scored the opening jump shot 13 seconds into the match.  Gist went on to score a double-double with 12 rebounds, 7 field goals, and  three pointers.  Gist has reached double points in 15 of his last 16 games, and notched his 9th career double-double this evening.

Landon Milbourne also made his 2007-2008 debut this evening, and set a new career best with 8 points and 4 rebounds in 20 minutes of play. Milbourne teamed up with Gist's quick start and followed with a pair of baskets of his own.  Gist then backed up Milbourne's jumpers with a layup and the Terps were out to a 8-2 lead.

Maryland went on to shoot 14-35 from the field in the first half (40%), 3-12 from beyond the arc (25%) and 8-9 from the free throw line (88.9%).  Free throw shooting declined in the second half as the Terrapins made 10-20 (50%).

Coach Williams was very complimentary of Hampton Pirates player #3 Rashad West: "West is very capable.  We tried to wear him down as much as possible.  Part of pressure defense is to wear the other team's best scorer down: make him handle, make him be under pressure." Williams then went on to say: "He kept his team in the game.  He kept them close enough to make that run and he deserves a lot of credit.

After 2 challenging games the Terps will review the tape tomorrow and begin preparation for the Northweastern University Huskies.  The Huskies and the Terps face each other on Thursday, November 15 at 8pm at the Comcast Center in College Park MD.