COLLEGE PARK — - One night, the Longwood Lancers are going to beat a team of Maryland's caliber. Longwood coach Mike Gillian says he senses such an upset is coming.
But the Terps began Tuesday night with a flurry of baskets, steals and emphatic blocks. As Maryland bolted to a 29-point first-half lead, the message couldn't have been clearer - not here, not tonight, not against the Terps, who prevailed, 106-55.
Maryland recorded its most first-half points (57) since scoring 58 against St. John's in 2006. It topped 100 points for the first time since beating Missouri-Kansas City, 101-50 - also in 2006.
The 51-point margin of victory matched the largest ever at Comcast Center, and the 106 points were the most since 2005.
It wasn't just what the Terps did against the smaller Lancers (they have no starter taller than 6 feet 7), it was how they did it - authoritatively.
There was the thunder dunk off a baseline move by freshman Jordan Williams (13 points) in the first half. There were the eight blocked shots. There was the follow-up, two-handed slam by Dino Gregory in which he seemed to unleash the frustration of missing his previous nine shots spanning the past 2 1/2 games.
The Terps were led by Sean Mosley, who made all eight of his field-goal attempts.
In 1966, Maryland coach Gary Williams shot 8-for-8 for the Terps in a game against South Carolina. Williams joked Tuesday night that "I would have had him out of the game" had the coach known that Mosley was approaching his feat.
After the Terps stormed to a 23-5 lead, the few remaining questions included:
•When - not if - would Maryland would reach 100 points. It came on another slam by Gregory with 4:06 left, making the score 100-53.
•Would promising but little-used freshman James Padgett gain playing time and confidence? Padgett entered with 13:27 left in the first half and made all four of his field-goal attempts, finishing with 10 points in 20 minutes.
Padgett said he hopes to play more but that it's up to the coaches. "I just got to keep working hard and, when my name is called, be ready," he said.
Williams has said candidly that he will need the 6-foot-8 Padgett as the season progresses. "Hopefully he can do the same thing [as Tuesday night] when we go against bigger teams. We need him to step up," the coach said.
•Would Mosley or Landon Milbourne miss a shot? Milbourne, a senior forward, converted his first six field-goal attempts, including a 3-pointer, before missing on his seventh shot late in the first half. Mosley never missed, saying afterward: "I didn't even realize I was 8-for-8 tonight. If I'm open and I don't take them shots, my coaches and my teammates will get on me."
•When would Greivis Vasquez make a field goal? The senior leader, who had scored at least 20 points in seven of the past eight games, was 0-for-5 in the first half before converting one in the second. Neither Vasquez nor his teammates seemed to mind the misses a bit, and Vasquez finished with 10 points.
•When would Maryland empty its bench? It happened with 4:43 left. One of the biggest cheers of the night came when David Pearman - a popular reserve from Columbia - made his third field goal of the season on a drive to the basket.
The reality check for Maryland is that Longwood has won four of its 19 games, losing by 13 to Virginia and 35 to Virginia Tech.
The Terps resume their ACC schedule against North Carolina State on Saturday at Comcast Center.
|van dr Kij||0-2||0-0||2-2||0|
FG .294, FT .647.
4-23, .174 (Smith 2-7, Swecker 1-5, Washington 1-6, Gee II 0-1, Carter 0-1, van der Kooij 0-1, Persaud 0-2).
2 (Mitchell, Carter).
17 (Robinson Jr. 4, Smith 3, Carter 3, Mitchell 2, Dawson 2, Washington, Shockley, Gee II).
3 (Smith 2, Mitchell).
FG .556, FT .719.
3-10, .300 (Vasquez 1-1, Mosley 1-1, Milbourne 1-2, Hayes 0-1, Pearman 0-2, Tucker 0-3).
8 (Gregory 4, Padgett 2, Williams, Hayes).
10 (Hayes 2, Vasquez 2, Padgett 2, Williams 2, Mosley, Milbourne).
10 (Vasquez 3, Gregory 2, Bowie, Levent, Mosley, Williams, Hayes).
|Longwood 3025- 55|
Gaffney, Clark, Dawkins.