November 7, 2007

Terps stifle Concordia, 75-42

Maryland basketball coach Gary Williams said he never likes to be happy with his team's play in November, noting that good teams aren't playing their best basketball early in the season.

Following a 75-42 rout of overmatched Concordia University at the Comcast Center Wednesday night, Williams found plenty of room for improvement.

The Terps were outrebounded 42-39 by a team without a player taller than 6-foot-7 and struggled through an ugly first half of offensive basketball.

While Williams was focused on the facets of the game the Terps need to improve upon, they flashed the potential to develop into the type of team their coach envisions in January. Maryland's defense opened the game in dominating fashion, forcing Concordia to miss its first 13 shots and 21 of 22 overall, part of a stifling first half effort.

The Stingers shot 27 percent from the field and made only 2 of 20 three-pointers for the game and turned the ball over 27 times, leading to 26 Terrapin points. But the 19th year Terrapins coach wasn't ready to pronounce his team ready to defend UCLA, a possible opponent in the CBE Classic in 12 days, if both teams advance.

"I don't get to happy with that because you never know who you are playing against, but that is a big step for us," Williams said. "I thought we had a good intensity level early on the defensive end of the court and I thought we maintained it pretty well. That's a good sign. That might be as good as we can be right now but it has to get a lot better."

Offensively, the Terps improved dramatically in the second half, scoring 49 points and shooting 55 percent from the field. Despite playing an assortment of different lineups as Williams prepares his team for the season opener Sunday night against North Florida when it will be without James Gist and Landon Milbourne due to a one-game NCAA suspension, Maryland's offense was much more crisp.

The Terps converted Concordia turnovers into easy transition buckets, something they were unable to do in the first half. Maryland made 5 of 8 second half three pointers.

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