Vasquez, Milbourne Lift Terps Past Elon, 76-50
Dec. 30, 2008
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - A couple weeks from now, when Maryland delves into the Atlantic Coast Conference portion of its schedule, the Terrapins might draw upon their performance against Elon to pull out a victory.
Maryland went up by 17 in the second half, then saw the lead dwindle a bit before using a 21-2 blitz to cement a 76-50 win Tuesday night.
"They made runs at us, but we stayed composed and we came back with our own run," senior Dave Neal said. "It's just a good sign that our team never quit. I think tonight we showed maybe we have a killer instinct a little bit. We wanted to beat this team as bad as we could."
So, if Georgia Tech or Wake Forest puts the Terrapins in a similar situation, can Maryland step it up?
"Our team is going to stay composed. We're not going to get all frazzled when a team makes a run because it happens in the game of basketball," Neal said.
Greivis Vasquez scored 10 of his 17 points during the decisive second-half run that enabled Maryland (10-2) to pull away to its sixth straight win.
After Elon closed to 40-33, Vasquez went to work. The junior guard sank three shots from 3-point range during the surge and had two of his season-high eight assists.
Landon Milbourne scored 14 and Neal had nine points and a career-best 10 rebounds for Maryland, now 8-0 at home.
"I thought there were periods where we played really well and did a lot of things well," Terps coach Gary Williams said. "We're looking to see where we're at... I think we've done a good job of getting to this point."
Maryland plays Charlotte on Saturday and Morgan State next Wednesday before starting its ACC schedule on Jan. 10 against Georgia Tech.
"We've just got to keep winning," Milbourne said.
T.J. Douglas led Elon (4-5) with 14 points and Ola Atoyebi snared 11 rebounds.
"I'm disappointed in our effort. We did not compete the way I wanted us to compete," Elon coach Ernie Nestor said. "We're not going to beat anybody shooting 29 percent, and then you add on 18 turnovers, it's just impossible. You are creating a formula for disaster."
Neal scored the first two baskets of the second half to put Maryland up 40-23. Elon then rattled off 10 straight points while holding the Terrapins scoreless for more than four minutes.
Neal ended the drought with a 3-pointer, and Vasquez drilled two from long range to put Maryland back up by 16. After Monty Sanders made two foul shots for Elon, Vasquez sank two at the line and added a runner in the lane to ignite a 12-0 spree that made it 61-35.
Not long after that, Williams emptied his bench.
Milbourne scored 12 points, and the Terrapins held the Phoenix to 28 percent shooting in taking a 13-point halftime lead.
After Douglas hit two 3-pointers and a layup to help Elon take a 12-8 lead, Eric Hayes made two baskets and a pair of free throws to spark an 11-0 run that gave Maryland the lead for good. Vasquez contributed a 3-pointer to the surge and Braxton Dupree capped it with a tip-in.
It was 24-18 before Neal scored off a pass from Cliff Tucker and Milbourne sank four straight shots for a 16-point cushion.
The Associated Press contributed to this recap