Wins won't come much easier than what Maryland got on Sunday against the Maine Black Bears. Cliff Tucker scored 16 in the first half, Jordan Williams notched his third double-double in as many games, and the Terps went on a 23-6 run right before halftime, stretching the lead to 23 and never looking back, ultimately winning 89-59.
Tucker was great last game against College of Charleston and was even better against Maine, at least for a half, providing the first consistent outside scoring presence Maryland's had all year. He was a shockingly good 4-5 from beyond the arc and shot with some surprising confidence. Throw in four steals and 16 first-half points, and Tucker was the best player on the floor for the first stanza. His playing time was limited in the second half and he cooled off substantially, but the game was well in hand at that point.
Jordan Williams had a rough first half, but took advantage of Maine's lack of height in the second half to end up with 20 points and 11 boards. That's his third double-double in the first three games of this season and his fifth straight tracking back to last year.
Sean Mosley, on the other hand, struggled. Bad. Mosley got three early fouls and had to sit most of the first half. The second half wasn't much better; he notched another quick foul and had to sit again, ending up scoreless. He was a little tentative again; it looks like he's not fitting into the "scorer" role we all hoped he would've. He had more fouls and turnovers than rebounds, assists, and points.
After giving Adrian Bowie crap for his first two games, major props go out to him for this one. He looked much more comfortable in the offense and his passing was improved from the past two games. He ended up with a great statline, too: 9 points, 8 boards, 5 assists, and 0 turnovers. He hasn't answered all of the questions surrounding him - it was Maine, after all - but he's not going away.
There was a lot of good at point guard, actually, as the Terps' two freshmen guards looked great in their own rights. Terrell Stoglin was the better of the two today, scoring 14 points and not turning the ball over even once. He played point guard a lot and made his own case for grabbing serious minutes. Pe'Shon Howard followed up The Pe'Shot with a decent 5 points, including a surprising three-pointer to kick things off. He looked better than his statline indicates, playing with a lot of confidence and not making many mistakes until late in the game.
And throw in another solid performance from Haukur Palsson, too. He scored eight and pitched in three boards, providing quality minutes and rebounding off the bench. He missed a few open 3s, but showed nice savvy by getting those shots in the first place. It's become clear that he'll be one of the first guys off the bench and will be especially dangerous once he starts knocking down those shots. He'll kind of be like our Tanner Smith from Clemson. Oh, and he hit all six of his free throws, a welcome sight after last week.
Speaking of free throws, Maryland looked a lot better than they did in the CofC game. They shot a pretty respectable 76% from the stripe, including a heartening 8-10 performance from Jordan Williams, who made eight straight at one point. James Padgett still has some improving to do (3-6), but as a whole, I'll take it.
More thoughts coming tomorrow morning on this game in particular and the first three games as a whole. Any reactions?