Early threes, no threat

The Baltimore Sun

WASHINGTON - Ignited by junior guard Eric Hayes' three-point shooting in the first half, Maryland put away George Washington early and cruised to a 76-53 win last night in the second game of the BB&T; Classic doubleheader.

It was Maryland's first win in the BB&T; Classic at the Verizon Center after four losses dating to December 2004.

In the first game, Virginia Tech beat Navy, 79-70.

The Terrapins shot 47 percent from three-point range (9-for-19) and got 13 points from Hayes, who hit three straight from beyond the arc to put Maryland (6-2) ahead 13-4 less than five minutes into the game. After that, George Washington (3-2) never got closer than six points and spent most of the second half trailing by more than 20.

"I just wanted to give us a spark, and I was able to knock a few shots down early," Hayes said. "[It] got us a lead, and we really never looked back from there."

Hayes' 3-for-7 night from three-point range helped lift him out of something of a long-range slump; he was 8-for-28 on three-pointers going into the game.

"That just changes things when we have another threat," Maryland coach Gary Williams said. "Eric is a proven outside threat. All shooters don't make them all. I fully expected Eric, if he had the shots, to come out firing and he did. Greivis [Vasquez] has played so well lately that I'm sure they were looking at him at the start of the game. That allowed Eric some looks."

The Terps' Landon Milbourne led all scorers with 20 points, and teammates Vasquez and Adrian Bowie each had 17.

Although Williams said he was pleased with the win, he noted that the Colonials were out-rebounding the Terps 15-3 until sophomore forward Dino Gregory went into the game. Gregory had nine rebounds in 27 minutes.

"Dino Gregory was able to keep us even on the glass," Williams said. The Terps finished with a 45-42 rebounding edge.

George Washington coach Karl Hobbs said the blowout merely proved to his players "how hard they have to work and realize how far we are from being ready to compete at this level."

"I have to give the credit to Maryland," Hobbs said "I think they are coming off a great win [against Michigan], they are a terrific basketball team ... I think today's game was a question of a team that really understood the importance of today's game."

The win over George Washington gives Maryland an opportunity to get a running start leading up to the ACC schedule. The Terps have six nonconference games at home against the likes of Delaware State, Bryant, Elon and Charlotte before opening conference play at Comcast Center against Georgia Tech on Jan. 10.


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