Maryland shook off an early offensive malaise to rout visiting Elon, 76-50, in a nonconference game at Comcast Center last night.
For the first seven minutes, the Terps (10-2) looked ripe for the type of upset that haunted them last December as Elon (4-5), of the Southern Conference, appeared confident in building a 10-6 lead.
But after a three-pointer by the Phoenix's T.J. Douglas gave Elon that four-point cushion, which turned out to be its biggest lead of the night, Maryland coach Gary Williams, clearly unhappy, took a timeout to refocus his club, and the Terps responded by pulling away for a 36-23 halftime lead.
"We just missed some shots, and I just felt our concentration really wasn't there. ... I'm not worried about losing the game right there," Williams said. "I'm worried about the energy, that fact that our concentration wasn't there."
In regaining control of the game, Maryland successfully settled into its half-court offense and was effective with its defensive pressure.
Maryland guard Greivis Vasquez, who finished with a game-high 17 points, hit the first Maryland basket coming out of Williams' animated timeout and a quick official break, and Elon's Brett James countered with a dunk.
Terps guard Eric Hayes then scored a pair of field goals and converted two free throws as Maryland began to assert itself and wrested back the advantage, 14-12. The Terps never trailed again.
Maryland junior forward Landon Milbourne scored the Terps' last 10 points of the first half and finished with 12 by intermission.
In the second half, Elon narrowed Maryland's lead to 40-33, but the Terps went on a tear of three-pointers, the first by Dave Neal and then two by Vasquez to squelch Elon's comeback hopes.
Maryland went on a decisive run in the second half when it outscored Elon, 21-2, with Vasquez accounting for 10 points.
The last few minutes saw the home crowd register its loudest reaction of the night as Maryland 6-foot-8 freshman forward Jin Soo Kim, of South Korea, finished off a breakaway dunk and made a fallaway jumper, and another 6-8 player, Braxton Dupree (Calvert Hall), put away another fast-break dunk.
CHARLOTTE (5-6) @MARYLAND (10-2)
Saturday, 4 p.m.
TV: Comcast SportsNet
Radio: 1300 AM, 105.7 FM
play it again
Maryland buried Elon with a 21-2 run in the second half during which guard Greivis Vasquez scored 10 points.
Chairman of the boards
Maryland's Dave Neal led the Terps with 10 rebounds, and freshman Braxton Dupree (Calvert Hall) added six.
Best offense is a good defense
Not only did Maryland hold Elon to 50 points (18 below the Phoenix's average), but the Terps also scored 22 points off turnovers.
Maryland (10-2) will play Charlotte (5-6), of the Atlantic 10, on Saturday at Comcast Center. The Terps are in the midst of a homestand that continues with Morgan State next Wednesday and the Atlantic Coast Conference opener against Georgia Tech on Jan. 10.