Maryland coach Gary Williams congratulates Greivis Vasquez… (AP photo )
CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. — - First, it was Greivis Vasquez and Sean Mosley who found themselves sprawled on the Conte Forum floor after reaching for a loose ball.
A few moments later - thud - Mosley hit the floor again. Then again.
Maryland spent much of its Saturday afternoon trapping and pressing and diving onto the hardwood to create turnovers en route to a 73-57 victory over a Boston College team that always seemed to be a step behind the energized Terps.
How scrappy were the Terps? Forward Landon Milbourne was called for grabbing a Boston College player's shorts with the Eagles on a fast break in the first half.
The win pushed the Terps (11-5) to 2-1 in the Atlantic Coast Conference and provided a 23rd birthday present for senior leader Greivis Vasquez (17 points, nine assists), who didn't mind a bit that the game ended his string of scoring at least 20 points in seven straight games.
"[Vasquez] kind of let the game come to him. I think he's better when he does that," said Maryland guard Cliff Tucker, who came off the bench to score a season-high 14 points. Reserve Adrian Bowie also had a season high, with 15 points.
Tucker - and Maryland's frenzied defense - was instrumental in a Maryland surge that put the Eagles (10-8, 1-3) away for good.
Maryland, which had led by as many as 18, saw the margin whittled to 10 by the Eagles at the half. But the Terps soon had extended the lead again. A 3-pointer by Tucker put Maryland in front 50-32, and he followed with another 3 to extend the margin to 53-34.
Maryland's victory was a lesson in how defense can create offense.
The Terps scored 12 points off turnovers before Boston College scored any. Maryland finished with 21 points off turnovers compared with four for the Eagles.
Maryland had 22 points in the paint before Boston College managed its first two.
Maryland coach Gary Williams, who coached the Eagles in the 1980s, said his team hadn't allowed itself to feel frustrated by the 85-83 overtime loss to Wake Forest in its previous game. The Terps had missed several potential game-winning shots against the Demon Deacons on Tuesday night.
"I'm really proud of our team," Williams said. "We knew we played hard at Wake Forest. It was just we've got to continue to play the way we played."
Williams said the team's defensive energy "seems like it flows right to the offensive end of the court."
Bowie said the Terps have a formula for success - rattle the opposition early with defense and transition baskets.
"They walked around like they wasn't even playing here," Bowie said. "You definitely got to attack that. They seemed like they didn't want to play. We wanted this game."
The Eagles have lost three straight ACC games by a combined 52 points, frustrating coach Al Skinner.
"[Skinner] obviously wasn't happy with the effort," said Boston College forward Joe Trapani (nine points). "It's just depressing. We were kind of rushed. Our execution wasn't there at all."
Maryland didn't win its first ACC road game last season until beating Georgia Tech the second week of February.
"I think we're developing confidence," Williams said. "If we do play like that, we can beat anybody. We've had this level of defense the past few games."
Vasquez exited the game with a broad grin on his face with 1:50 left and Maryland ahead by 22.
"It's always nice to win on your birthday," Williams said, referring to Vasquez.
And how was Vasquez planning to celebrate? "That's private," Vasquez said, smiling. FGFTRebMarylandM-AM-AO-TPtsMilbourne5-83-52-613Williams0-30-01-60Hayes3-70-00-37Mosley2-42-22-66Vasquez7-131-21-417Bowie6-132-20-015Pearman0-00-00-00Tucker5-61-10-014Gregory0-31-20-11Padgett0-00-00-00Totals28-5710-147-2873Percentages:
FG .491, FT .714. 3-point goals:
7-12, .583 (Tucker 3-3, Vasquez 2-4, Bowie 1-2, Hayes 1-3). Team rebounds:
2. Blocked shots:
7 (Milbourne 3, Gregory 2, Mosley, Hayes). Assists-
Maryland 17 (Vasquez 9). Turnovers:
9 (Milbourne 2, Vasquez 2, Williams 2, Mosley 2, Bowie). Steals:
12 (Mosley 2, Vasquez 2, Gregory 2, Milbourne 2, Tucker, Williams, Hayes, Bowie). Technical fouls:
Sean Hull, Raymond Styons, Tony Greene. FGFTRebBCM-AM-AO-TPtsRaji5-84-64-714Trapani3-92-43-99Southern1-30-00-42Paris0-20-00-00Sanders4-150-03-510Jackson3-103-41-311Roche1-30-00-33Ravenel1-10-01-32Elmore3-60-01-16Dunn0-00-00-00Totals21-579-1417-4057Percentages:
FG .368, FT .643. 3-point goals:
6-17, .353 (Sanders 2-5, Jackson 2-6, Roche 1-1, Trapani 1-4, Paris 0-1). Team rebounds:
5. Blocked shots:
3 (Roche, Elmore, Trapani). Assists:
Boston College 15 (Jackson 5). Turnovers:
18 (Paris 4, Jackson 3, Trapani 3, Elmore 3, Sanders 2, Dunn 2, Ravenel). Steals:
4 (Sanders 2, Jackson, Raji). Technical fouls:
None. Maryland 3835-73 BC 2829-57