Maryland Tops Miami, 73-68
Jan. 31, 2009
COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) - Successfully protecting a double-digit lead was more important than Greivis Vasquez's flirtation with a feat that hadn't been accomplished in 22 years.
Vasquez had 11 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists, barely missing Maryland's first triple-double since 1987, and the Terrapins defeated Miami 73-68 Saturday night.
After blowing double-digit leads in two of its last four losses, Maryland employed an up-tempo defense in the first half and patiently ran its offense in the second half.
"We used more of the clock with each possession, each time we were set up in the half-court offense, than we did in previous games when we had the lead," said coach Gary Williams, whose team shot 50 percent from the field in the second half. "I thought that was really a key, our patience today.
Landon Milbourne scored 17 points and Dave Neal added 11 for Maryland (14-7, 3-4 Atlantic Coast Conference), which snapped a four-game losing streak to the Hurricanes (14-7, 3-5). The Terrapins committed only seven turnovers and scored 20 points off 16 Hurricane turnovers.
Jack McClinton led Miami with 18 points, ending a string of four straight games with 20 or more points. James Dews added 13 for the Hurricanes, who have dropped three straight for the first time this season.
"They just totally played harder than us," Miami coach Frank Haith said. "They were tougher than us and more physical than us. They took it right to us tonight from the start and never let up."
The Hurricanes, who entered the game as the ACC's third best team in 3-point field goal percentage, went 10-for-31 from beyond the arc.
Haith said Maryland took Miami's low-post players out of their comfort zone. He added that the Hurricanes rushed too many 3-pointers that ended possessions prematurely, while turning the ball over too frequently.
"We missed shots and we didn't have the presence of our post players," he said. "They pushed us away from the basket and we turned the ball over
After McClinton's one-handed slam set up a three-point play that tied the game at 29 with 17:59 remaining, Milbourne's jumper ignited a 18-7 Maryland run for a 47-36 Maryland lead.
Five different Terrapins scored during the surge, which was capped by Neal's transition basket off a no-look pass by Vasquez, and mirrored a 3-for-19 drought from the field for Miami.
"Sometimes we get overconfident," Vasquez said. "I like it better when we play close. It was a win that we needed. I'm so thankful that we got this win tonight."
Vasquez had a chance to get his 10th assist with 15.3 seconds left, but Adrian Bowie couldn't convert his baseline pass for a fast-break layup. It was Vasquez's eighth career double-double, third this season and his first in the ACC.
"I forgive (Bowie). He's my man," joked Vasquez.
Derrick Lewis, owns the only two triple-doubles in Maryland history. He had 32 points, 10 rebounds and 10 blocked shots on Feb. 17, 1987, against Maryland-Baltimore County, three weeks after turning the trick against James Madison.
Maryland led 27-24 at halftime, despite weathering a 3-for-15 stretch from the field and a 15-8 Hurricanes run after jumping to a 12-7 lead.
The Terrapins used a pressure defense to force 11 Miami turnovers in the opening 20 minutes, converting the giveaways into 13 points, and committed only three first-half turnovers.