Williams Winces, but Terps Win

Eric Hayes, right, drives past Morgan State's Reggie Holmes during the second half of Maryland's 89-65 win on Thursday night.
Eric Hayes, right, drives past Morgan State's Reggie Holmes during the second half of Maryland's 89-65 win on Thursday night. (Ricky Carioti - The Post)
By Marc Carig
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, December 7, 2007

After watching his team cap a sloppy first half by squandering a possession just before intermission, Maryland Coach Gary Williams threw his suit jacket toward midcourt, then engaged the officials in a verbal exchange before storming off the floor, an outburst that drew a technical foul.

"I wasn't upset at the officials," Williams said. "I was mad probably at myself, that we couldn't execute the play. So I fired [the jacket]. It went pretty good too, I thought."

Williams had plenty to be mad about as the Terrapins labored against Morgan State, committing 13 turnovers through the first 20 minutes. But Maryland cleaned up its act in the second half, pulling away for an 89-65 victory last night at a half-full Comcast Center.

"Sometimes, you just have to show the team how badly you want them to play well and I guess that's part of the reason I did it," Williams said.

The Terrapins led 36-29 at the half but turnovers hampered the offense. At one point, Maryland went scoreless for about five minutes against Morgan State's zone defense.

Terrapins turnover No. 9, which came when Bambale Osby stepped on the baseline, sent Williams into a frenzy. Already crouched near the ground to watch the action, a dejected Williams fell to his knees and slammed the floor with both hands as his team jogged back to the bench for a media timeout. Turnover No. 10 came less than 30 seconds later, when Greivis Vasquez missed Eric Hayes with a pass, which drove Williams to kick a nearby corner of the scorer's table.

"There comes a time when the players have to understand that it's not acceptable," Williams said. "And I was running out of things to say so I thought I'd work on a little martial arts."

The Bears (4-4) tied the score late in the first half when California transfer Marquise Kately finished an alley-oop play from Jamar Smith, quieting the crowd. Morgan State took its first lead less than a minute later, when Gene Johnson finished a transition layup.

But after the break, the Terrapins (6-3) turned up their defensive intensity, cut down their turnovers (five in the second half) and got big a boost from center Osby to break open the game. Osby, who in the last three games has reprised his role as the Terrapins' first big man off the bench, scored 16 points.

Osby, who had jump-started the Terrapins with a pair of momentum-changing blocks, scored nine straight points, part of a decisive 12-0 Maryland surge in the second half.

Hayes, whom the Terrapins have leaned on to become more of a scoring threat, scored a career-high 19 points on 5-of-7 shooting from three-point range. Hayes (Potomac, Va.) eclipsed his previous career high of 18 set against Illinois on Nov. 28.

"It's just something that came tonight," said Hayes, who shouldered the bulk of the ballhandling duty. "I'm definitely trying to look for my shots coming into the game."

Maryland forward James Gist finished with 18 points and eight rebounds, and Vasquez, who was freed up to shoot more, added 16 points.

"We played fast but with a lot of sense and that's what we're trying to get to," Williams said.

© 2007 The Washington Post Company