Interesting first half for the Terps. They lead Florida Gulf Coast by seven, 34-27, after former St. Francis standout Dante Holmes hit midrange jumper at buzzer. Maryland trailed early by seven and led by as many as 10.
Here are some observations from the half:
Terrell Stoglin is the epitome of a streaky shooter. After not scoring the first 12-plus minutes, Stoglin had nine points in about four minutes and finished the half with 12. He took some bad shots, but not as many as in earlier games, Mark Turgeon's message must be reaching him.
John Auslander gave Maryland a nice lift off the bench. After coming in for an ineffective Berend Weisj, who was given his first start of the season, Auslander helped the Terps erase an early 9-2 deficit with a couple of baskets and by doing little things like taking a charge and freeing a teammate with a pick for a jumper. Auslander, a former walk-on, finished the half with six points.
Terps are doing a better job taking care of the ball than they did in the second half against Iona, but they still make ill-advised drives to the basket that often result in turnovers and offensive fouls (which are counted as turnovers). Mychal Parker is particularly guilty of this.
Nick Faust still struggling with his shot. The freshman from Baltimore (City), who came into the night shooting seven of 26 for the season (including 3 of 13 on threes) has missed six of seven (including all three of his threes). The Terps are shooting 11 of 28 (3-10) as a team, but are doing a better job contesting shots. Florida Gulf Coast is 12 of 28, 1 of 8.
One more thing. I have never seen the Comcast Center as empty as it is tonight. I know it's Thanksgiving break, but the marketing department should have done a better job getting tickets out to youth groups, etc. to try to fill the student section behind the basket.