Williams powers Maryland to 99-56 win over UNC-Greensboro

Sophomore center has double double against overmatched Spartans

December 08, 2010|By Jeff Barker, The Baltimore Sun

COLLEGE PARK — The evening's only true suspense ended 10 minutes before game time when the bright red numbers on the overhead scoreboard blinked on, revealing the numbers of Maryland's starting five.

Dissatisfied with his team's performance in its last outing, Maryland coach Gary Williams had not committed to his usual starters entering Wednesday night's game against UNC-Greensboro.

But Williams ended up standing pat, and his lineup -- the one he's used all year -- delivered a 99-56 over a winless UNC-Greensboro team that has lost all eight of their games by double-digit margins. The Terps won their 15th game in a row at Comcast Center.

"That was a big game for us to play well. I thought we had good energy," said Williams, whose team had 24 assists on 35 field goals -- a sign, the coach said, of unselfish play.

Maryland was led by sophomore center Jordan Williams (23 points, 13 rebounds) -- the only starter whose status had not appeared threatened after a 64-61 loss to Temple in which the coach said his first-teamers had been too passive offensively.

Asked if he seriously considered shuffling his starting lineup, the coach replied: "I considered everything. A lot of times it's a gut feeling. You don't want to hurt anyone. You don't want to make an unfair choice."

UNC-Greensboro simply could not match up with the 6-foot-10 Williams, who dominated inside against the smallish Spartans. The Terps scored 54 points in the paint compared to 22 for UNC-Greensboro.

The other starters -- seniors Adrian Bowie, Cliff Tucker and Dino Gregory and junior Sean Mosley -- generally seemed to perform better than they did against Temple.

Bowie said he had not read media stories or Internet chats about how he could lose his starting position. But he was candid about his performance against the Owls on Sunday night. "I knew I didn't play good. I knew I played horrible, actually. I knew that the next day in practice I had to come back and play hard."

But it was hard to gauge the starters' progress against such an overmatched Spartans team. The closest the Spartans have come to a win was a 12-point loss to North Carolina A&T.

UNC-Greensboro's schedule includes seven games against Atlantic Coast Conference opponents. ACC coaches like scheduling the Spartans because it means an opportunity to get acclimated to Greensboro Coliseum, site of last season's and this season's ACC tournament. The Terps beat the Spartans last season in Greensboro by 34 points.

Mosley, a co-captain who has been in a shooting slump, did not score in the first half. He found a better rhythm in the second, finishing with six points, four assists and four rebounds. Gregory finished with three points and four rebounds.

Bowie was noticeably better than in the last outing, shooting 4-for-5 (including two 3-pointers) for 16 points. Tucker scored 13 points.

Freshman Terrell Stoglin came off the bench to score 18 points.

Maryland (7-3) opens ACC play Sunday against Boston College.

"It's perfect timing," Jordan Williams said of the league game. "We're being a lot more patient. We're not being selfish."

jeff.barker@baltsun.com

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