Maryland scores 73-57 basketball victory over Boston College

Cliff Tucker, right, goes up against Cortney Dunn. Tucker scored 14 points off the bench in the Terrapins' wire-to-wire victory on the road.
Cliff Tucker, right, goes up against Cortney Dunn. Tucker scored 14 points off the bench in the Terrapins' wire-to-wire victory on the road. (Mary Schwalm/associated Press)
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By Steve Yanda
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, January 17, 2010

CHESTNUT HILL, MASS. -- In lieu of a leash, Maryland forward Landon Milbourne used his right arm to keep Boston College at bay Saturday afternoon at Conte Forum.

With 12 minutes left in the first half, Eagles guard Reggie Jackson snagged a defensive rebound and raced down the court, in search of points that were few and far between for Boston College on this day. Trailing Jackson the entire way, Milbourne made sure he did not lose Jackson by clinging to the back of Jackson's shorts. A foul was called, but the image proved prescient nonetheless. Maryland dictated the proceedings from start to finish and came away with a 73-57 victory in front of a sellout crowd of 8,606.

"They walked around like they wasn't even playing hard," junior guard Adrian Bowie said. "And once we seen that, you've definitely got to attack that. They seemed like they didn't want to play and we wanted this game, so we wanted to show it."

Weighing on the Terrapins' minds were memories from last season, when they started ACC play 1-2 -- and that was 10 days before a second-half collapse allowed Boston College to steal a win at Comcast Center. With a complete performance against a disinterested Eagles squad, Maryland (11-5, 2-1 ACC) imbued itself with confidence heading forward through ACC play.

Boston College (10-8, 1-3) entered the day fresh off back-to-back conference road losses. The Eagles had wandered through the first half of their season without forming an identity in any component of their game. Three games into its ACC schedule, Boston College needed a win to curtail the downward spiral on which it appeared to be headed.

Into Conte Forum walked the Terrapins, who had defeated one ranked ACC opponent and taken another favored one into overtime on the road. Despite their loss Tuesday at Wake Forest, several Maryland players spoke confidently of their team's standing after opening its conference schedule with two games in three days.

"We knew we played hard against Wake Forest," Maryland Coach Gary Williams said. "I think that was the key thing. We had the opportunity to win the game and we didn't get it, but we played hard. And that was the key in preparing for today's game. In other words, we didn't say we had to play better than we did against Wake Forest. There was no talk about, you know, we should have won. It was just we've got to continue to play the way we've played."

Maryland jumped out to a commanding lead early on and did not relinquish control the rest of the afternoon. The Terrapins, who never trailed, led by 25 points. Boston College embarked on an 8-0 run to close the first half, but that spurt stood as the Eagles' lone proof of a pulse.

Maryland tormented Boston College from the outset with its press defense. Even when the Eagles managed to move the ball past midcourt, their execution lacked efficiency. The Terrapins tallied 12 steals and forced Boston College to commit 18 turnovers. Consequently, Maryland tallied 20 fast-break points; the Eagles managed four.

"Usually I can walk down here satisfied and comfortable with our effort," Boston College Coach Al Skinner said. "And I'm not. For me it's a terrible place to be. Very rarely have I felt lack of effort. Everyone thinks I'm laid back, but this is the one part of the game that's very disturbing to me."

The Terrapins, who shot 49.1 percent from the field and 58.3 percent from three-point range, noticed Boston College's lethargy, but they weren't about to protest. Senior guard Greivis Vasquez finished with game highs of 17 points and nine assists. Bowie and junior guard Cliff Tucker tallied 15 and 14 points, respectively, in reserve.

"I think they ran their offense real slow today," Tucker said. "I don't know what was going on with them. They were, like, real sluggish, but good thing they did it against us."

Milbourne, who finished with 13 points and six rebounds, dunked in transition to open the second half, and the Terrapins cruised from that point forward.

"I thought our team, even the bench, did an outstanding job," Vasquez said. "That's good, especially right now when it's early. I remember this time last year we started out 1-2. Now we're 2-1, so let's see if we make a difference and win a lot of games."

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