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Milbourne's 19 help Terps beat Florida Atlantic

Baltimore Sun

- Landon Milbourne habitually wears his game face, almost a scowl.

Playing on a guard-oriented team with the animated Greivis Vasquez, Milbourne isn't always the first Maryland player to command attention. But the stoic senior forward usually makes his presence felt.

Milbourne scored 19 points Sunday - the eighth time in 11 games he has scored in double figures - to help the Terps (8-3) to a 72-59 victory over Florida Atlantic.

Maryland won despite getting out-rebounded 49-45 by the smaller Owls (5-7), who had 23 offensive boards.

"It's pretty obvious that that is a problem right now," Maryland coach Gary Williams said. "We have to do something. I think that's critical to our success this year. We'll address it. Hopefully, we can fix it."

The Terps also won despite not playing sophomore guard Sean Mosley, the team's second-leading scorer, who sprained his ankle in practice Christmas night. Williams said he hoped Mosley would be ready for the William & Mary game Wednesday night, "and if he's ready to go, he'll be in the starting lineup."

Cliff Tucker filled in for Mosley and scored 11 points. Tucker often looked to score on Maryland's fast break.

"For a guy his size [6 feet 6], there's not many quicker," Williams said of Tucker.

Vasquez had 26 points, eight rebounds and five assists - the third straight game in which the senior guard had 20 points or more.

It was Milbourne who often seemed to score when the Terps needed a lift.

After Florida Atlantic cut Maryland's lead to 10, it was Milbourne who hit a jumper - and another moments later - to push the lead to 60-44 midway through the second half.

After the Owls cut the lead to single digits for the only time in the half, Milbourne curled to the hoop for a layup to make it 65-54 with 6:11 remaining. The Terps were not threatened again after that.

Milbourne, from Roswell, Ga., entered the game shooting 53 percent. That compares with 49.1 percent last season and 43.5 percent the season before that.

"Landon has become a good shooter," Williams said. "He wasn't a shooter when he came here, and that is the player putting the time in. He isn't hesitating. When you're shooting well, you don't hesitate."

Milbourne acknowledges that his game has changed.

"I put in a lot of time every day. That [shooting] is one of the things I wanted to fix about my game after my freshman year," Milbourne said.

Like his coach, Milbourne was not satisfied with Maryland's effort on the boards Sunday. "It's definitely going to be a problem, but I think we've got the pride and the heart to fix it. Sometimes we just get caught watching the ball," he said.

Florida Atlantic coach Mike Jarvis, who formerly coached St. John's and George Washington, said the Owls "did a good job on the offensive boards but didn't finish many."

The Owls were led by freshman guard Raymond Taylor, who had 16 points and shot 4-for-6 on three-pointers. At 5 feet 6, Taylor was a foot shorter than Vasquez, who guarded him occasionally.

Maryland will need to improve its rebounding before it faces larger teams such as North Carolina in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Milbourne, who had five rebounds Sunday, will need to be a big part of that.

"I didn't really feel I played that well," Milbourne said Sunday. "I think I could have done a whole lot better on the rebounds. I could have had 10 tonight."

Note: Freshman power forward Jordan Williams started in place of junior Dino Gregory and had seven points and six rebounds. Gary Williams said he decided a "different look" would help both players. Gregory scored two points and had five rebounds.

FLORIDA ATLANTIC-Royster 2-5 2-3 6, Davis 0-0 0-0 0, Taylor 6-16 0-0 16, Gantt 5-16 2-4 14, Hughley 3-11 0-1 6, Richardson 2-10 1-1 6, Mattison 1-1 0-0 2, Tucker 1-5 0-0 3, McCoy 2-3 0-0 4, Simpson 1-6 0-0 2. Totals 23-73 5-9 59.MARYLAND-Milbourne 8-16 3-3 19, Tucker 5-11 1-2 11, Williams 3-6 1-2 7, Hayes 3-9 0-0 7, Vasquez 12-20 0-2 26, Bowie 0-2 0-0 0, Gregory 1-5 0-0 2, Padgett 0-0 0-2 0. Totals 32-69 5-11 72.Halftime-Maryland 39-27. 3-point goals-Florida Atlantic 8-19 (Taylor 4-6, Gantt 2-6, Tucker 1-1, Richardson 1-5, Hughley 0-1), Maryland 3-12 (Vasquez 2-6, Hayes 1-4, Tucker 0-1, Milbourne 0-1). Fouled out-None. Rebounds-Florida Atlantic 49 (Royster 14), Maryland 45 (Vasquez 8). Assists-Florida Atlantic 6 (Tucker 3), Maryland 21 (Hayes 9). Total fouls-Florida Atlantic 15, Maryland 13. A-15,123.

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