5 Treys from Eric Hayes Gives Terps 89-65 Win Over Morgan State
#15 James Gist's 2 handed jam with 4:29 remaining in the game gave Maryland an 80-61 lead during Maryland's match against local foe Morgan State at the Comcast Center on December 6, 2007. Christopher Blunck/DC Sports Box
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Terrapin sophomore guard #5 Eric Hayes sunk 5 3-pointers in 27 minutes of play, and James Gist scored 18 points to cross the 1,000 threshold as Maryland cruised past regional foe Morgan State to a 89-65 victory.  Hayes also connected on a layup and jumpshot to lead the team with a career high 19 points in the matchup.

Maryland established an early 8-0 lead in the first half off jump shots by senior James Gist and a 3 pointer by Eric Hayes.  But the Morgan State Bears clawed back to knot the game at 13 a piece fueled by 6 Maryland turnovers.  "We were a little careless with the ball," said Maryland Head Coach Gary Williams.

A 30 second timeout by the Terrapins did little to re-organize the team, which struggled to complete passes and take shots.  With 3:29 remaining in the first half Morgan State took a 2 point lead when Eric Hayes missed a 3 pointer and Reggie Holmes grabbed a quick rebound. Holmes popped the ball out to a breaking Gene Johnson who converted on the layup.

Coach Williams called another 30 second timeout to energize the team, and Maryland responded.  Vasquez connected on 4 free throws, freshman Cliff Tucker hit a 3 pointer, Eric Hayes hit a layup, and freshman Dino Gregory hit a jumper to put the Terps an 11-0 run heading into the half.  Maryland went to the locker room with the momentum and a 36-29 lead.
 
Maryland continued it's momentum in the opening minutes of the second half with 8 points in 1:21.  Eric Hayes and Greivis Vasquez both hit 3-pointers, and senior James Gist sunk 2 free throws to give the Terps an 11 point lead at 44-33.  "Second half we really came out and really did well," remarked Eric Hayes.  "We were passing 3 or 4 times before we took shots.  I was able to get the ball back from the start of the offense and get open shots."

The Bears came within 3 points at 47-44 after an 11-3 run of their own, but Hayes responded with a layup and 3-pointer to re-establish an 8 point lead.  Vasquez then sent the lead into double digits with a jumpshot at 13:31 and Maryland was able to control the pace of the game for the remainder of the second half.

Maryland rebounded well this evening, grabbing 22 boards in the first half and 24 in the second.  Many of the 17 defensive rebounds in the second half led to transition chances where Maryland was able to move the ball around before shooting.  The Hayes and Vasquez combination was effective this evening, with both guards combining for 36 points and 18 assists.

"I thought Greivis hit Eric a couple times right at the right time when the defense couldn't react to the pass," said Maryland Head Coach Gary Williams.  "It gave Eric open 3s and Eric took care of it after that."

When Vasquez did not dish to Hayes on the perimeter he looked to the post position to find Milbourne, Osby, and Gist.  Milbourne scpred 11 points (8 in the second half), and Osby went 6-8 on field goals overall.  Senior James Gist scored 18 points (the second highest on the team this evening), including a huge dunk with 4:29 remaining in the game that lifted the Terrapins to an 18 point lead at 79-61. "Boom was great playing with a lot of emotion," remarked Maryland Head Coach Gary Williams.

Maryland also improved it's ball handling in the second half and only turned it over 5 times to Morgan State.  "We really took care of the ball in the second half, which is a good sign," said Coach Williams. Maryland's shooting in the second half also improved to 20-34 (58.8%) from 12-29 (41.4%) in the first half.  Better ball handling and more shooting opportunities gave Maryland better looks and better possessions down the stretch.

With a win over Morgan State the Terps now prepare for their first in-conference matchup of the season on Sunday against northern challenger Boston College.  The Eagles (6-1) have played well this year and defeated Michigan in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge a few weeks ago.  The matchup is scheduled for 7:30pm on Sunday, December 9. Tickets are not available but the game can be viewed on FSN.