Maryland's Haukur Palsson takes a shot against Colgate.… (Baltimore Sun photo by Kenneth…)
COLLEGE PARK — The poor Longwood Lancers entered Comcast Center 0-13 in road games. It didn’t take Dr. James Naismith to figure out that the record would quickly and inevitably fall to 0-14.
But it’s not as if Maryland -- which rolled to a 106-52 nonconference victory Wednesday night in what amounted to a refueling stop between league games -- didn’t have something to play for.
The Terps used the Longwood game as a golfer uses a driving range – to work on their games.
The Terps were led by co-captain Sean Mosley, who emerged from a shooting slump to score 20 points, one shy of his season high. Freshman Haukur Palsson had a career-high 13 points.
It was Maryland coach Gary Williams’ 665th career win, moving him ahead of the late UCLA coach John Wooden. Fans waved red-and-white signs bearing “665” at the end.
“Somebody told me I should quit right now,” Williams said, because then his name would be forever linked to Wooden’s.
The point differential was Maryland's largest in a win since a 62-point victory over Chicago State in 2000.
It was enough of a rout that when Longwood coach Mike Gillian was asked what his team did well, he replied, “Not too much of anything.”
The game was an opportunity for Mosley to cure what had been ailing him. The junior swingman, who averaged 10.1 points per game last season, entered the contest having scored in double figures just once in his last 10 outings. His shooting percentage was 41.5 percent compared with last season’s 50.9 percent. Maryland has tiptoed around the issue of Mosley’s slump, saying little about it other than to express confidence that it would soon end.
Against the undersized, undermanned Lancers, Mosley was not under the usual pressure. He could afford to let it fly.
“I think Sean is gradually starting to play better,” Williams said. “He played better Saturday [against Wake Forest]. It’s starting to come.”
Mosley acknowledged that “I’ve been struggling shooting the ball lately.” He said it helped him to make some big plays early – he had two quick steals – “just to get my confidence back and get in the flow of things.”
Mosley’s steal and lay-in made it 4-0 as the Terps scored the first 11 points of the contest.
Moments later, Mosley grabbed a rebound off a miss by Adrian Bowie and laid it in to make it 14-5. His baseline jumper increased the lead to 19-7, and he was off to the sort of good start that can imprint on a shooter.
“ I’m really happy for Sean,” said forward Dino Gregory (14 points on 4-for4 shooting and 6-for-6 from the foul line). “A lot of guys in the media have been getting on him. I know he can do it. He’s over it now, so we can look forward to the rest of the season.”
Mosley was a focal point of Maryland’s offense on a night when leading scorer Jordan Williams picked up three fouls in the first half and was held to nine points and 11 rebounds. Longwood set up its defense to try to take Williams out of Maryland’s offense.
The Terps (16-8, 5-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) will need Mosley’s and Palsson’s scoring as they attempt to build a case for an NCAA tournament berth. Maryland has important road games coming against Boston College on Saturday and Virginia Tech on Tuesday.
Freshman guard Pe’Shon Howard made his second straight start at guard for the Terps and had 11 points. Maryland has seemed increasingly to trust Howard at the point. He also had six of Maryland's 28 assists.
Note: Maryland said it will honor former Terps guard Greivis Vasquez at the Feb. 20 N.C. State game at Comcast Center. The school presumably will send his name and number to the rafters.
Vasquez, from Caracas, Venezuela, is the first ACC player to reach 2,000 points, 700 assists and 600 rebounds.