College Basketball: Maryland 85, Charlotte 75
Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 3, 2009
COLLEGE PARK, Md. ó Greivis Vasquez started the game with an air ball, and within minutes Maryland trailed by 11 points ó its largest deficit in more than a month.
Terrapins coach Gary Williams wasn’t too pleased at the time, but after Maryland rallied to beat Charlotte 85-75 on Saturday he couldn’t have been more delighted.
“This is good for our team, to be down like we were early and to see what we can do in that situation, because we haven’t been in that situation for a while,” Williams said. “To respond against a good team like we did, I was proud of our guys because we had to work hard to dig ourself out of a hole.”
Vasquez finished with 27 points, one short of his career high, and the junior guard fueled a second-half surge that carried the Terrapins (11-2) to their seventh straight victory.
Down by four, shortly after halftime, Maryland took a brief lead but was tied with 14:51 remaining. Vasquez then drilled a 3-pointer, sparking a 16-point run that made it 65-49 with 11:27 to go.
“I just wanted to win, especially at home. We can’t afford to lose at home,” Vasquez said.
Landon Milbourne scored 10 of his 13 points in the second half, and three other players reached double figures to help Maryland improve to 9-0 at Comcast Center.
RaShad Coleman led Charlotte (5-7) with 21 points, but he made only two baskets after halftime. The 49ers, who came in with a four-game winning streak, were outscored 47-34 in the second half.
“You have to give Maryland credit. In the second half they elevated their game in so many ways,” Charlotte coach Bobby Lutz said. “The first half we were up; I just think we ran out of gas.”
The Terps were up 59-49 and a timeout by Charlotte couldn’t stop the surge. Sean Mosley drilled a 3-pointer, Vasquez scored on a drive and Bowie made a free throw to cap the 16-point blitz.
Charlotte, which lost to Clemson 71-70 earlier this season, was without injured An’Juan Wilderness, a 6-foot-6 sophomore who might have helped the 49ers make up a 40-30 rebounding deficit.
“We need all our pieces, especially against a team as athletic as Maryland,” Lutz said.