Terrapins Cruise Past Savannah State, 75-48
#22 Adrian Bowie's steal and dunk with 2:23 remaining in the second half put the Terps up by 29. Maryland went on to win 75-48 over Savannah State at Comcast Center in College Park MD on January 2, 2008. Christopher Blunck/DC Sports Box
COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- 14 players contributed minutes to the Terrapins 75-48 win over the Savannah State Tigers in the Comcast Center this evening.  James Gist, Bombale Osby, and Greivis Vasquez led the Terps with 13 points a piece and Eric Hayes was right behind them with 12, making tonight's victory one of the most balanced of the season.  6 freshmen also played, including David Pearman and Shane Walker.  Adrian Bowie also played for 14 minutes and drove home a convincing dunk on a fast break in the second half.

"It was good to get lot of guys out there and get some minutes and see what we can do," remarked Maryland Head Coach Gary Williams.  "We're getting better, there's no doubt about it.  We're working hard towards that."

Savannah State got on the board first with a 3-pointer in the first minute of play, but Maryland responded with a convincing 15-0 run to make the score 15-3 with just under 14 minutes to go before half time. The 15-0 run was fueled by jumpshots and layups by Osby, Hayes, Vasquez, and Gist.  Cliff Tucker's layup put the cap on the 15-0 run.

The Terps pulled ahead to a 21 point lead with 7:49 remaining when Grevis Vasquez scored a free throw shot and made the score 28-7. Maryland maintained the 21 point lead for the remainder of the first half and went into the locker room up 40-19.
 
Maryland's presence in the paint during the first half was formidable. James Gist and Bombale Osby combined for 16 points from close range and the Terps scored 26 points from inside the paint.  Maryland also forced 14 turnovers in the backcourt that led to 21 points.  The Terps also out-rebounded the Tigers 17-13, an improvement over previous games.

Maryland's bench had a lot of opportunities to shine in the second half, and freshman Cliff Tucker led the way for the young team.  He played a total of 23 minutes, stole the ball 4 times, and notched 2 assists for the Terps.  Adrian Bowie also served as an inspiration to the bench.  His defensive performance was superb, and he caused 3 steals and grabbed 4 rebounds.  He also went 3-4 from the field (75%) to score 6 points.  "Adrian Bowie has played his best defense since he's been here," said Maryland Head Coach Gary Williams.  "He was really working hard out there."

Adrian Bowie was a spark plug for the Terps.  With 2:25 left in the game Bowie stole the ball from Alvin Edwards and raced up the court. He lept up from half way between the basket and the free throw line for a powerful left handed dunk that put the Terps up by 29 at 75-46.

Maryland finished the evening with a shooting percentage of 45.8% (27-59).  Free throw shooting has also improved to 79.2% (19-24) primarily as a result of Bombale Osby and James Gist, who went 7-8 and 5-6 respectively.  The Terrapins committed only 12 turnovers and had 9 blocked shots and 12 steals.  Guards Grevis Vasquez and Eric Hayes were also unselfish with the ball, each offering 6 assists.  Cliff Tucker and Adrian Bowie also contributed 3 assists bringing the team total to 15.

After the game Maryland Head Coach Gary Williams described the motivation behind removing player names and photos from the team locker room.  "After we played American I thought about the days when we didn't have a gym and when we had to go to Ft Meyer to play. Packing water coolers, and moving weights before we had to play and our guys never complained about that.  It's pretty nice here at Comcast Center.  Sometimes it's good to understand that nobody is going to give you anything and that's the way it is.  You have to go get it if you want to earn it.  Maybe we were too relaxed earlier in the year."

The team responded well to the humbling treatment by the veteran coach.  "It reminded you that nobody is here on an easy walk," said Terrapin Senior Bombale Osby.  "We weren't taking pride and we weren't playing hard and doing everything we can to be a great team."  Osby further remarked: "We're playing harder now."

The Terrapins face the Charlotte 49ers on Saturday, January 5, 2008 in Charlotte.  The Bobcats have defeated Wake Forest (at home) as well as Fairleigh Dickinson (away) this season and are on a 2 game winning streak.  Coach Williams describes Saturday's game as "a test" for the young Terrapin team.  The game can be viewed on ESPNU at 12:00pm.