It was an ugly game with an uglier start, but Maryland overcame a very early 5 point deficit to easily defeat the Fairfield Stags, 71-42.
After a first half that saw only 30 points and an 8 eight point lead for Maryland along with a combined 22 turnovers, the Terps turned it on in the second half, led by a double-digit effort from Sean Mosley. Normal team leader Greivis Vasquez started slow, and Mosley filled the absence admirably, putting up 13 points with 4 steals and seven rebounds.
Other standout performers included Eric Hayes, who was ultra-impressive with his aggressiveness and offensive game compared to last year, and Landon Milbourne, who nearly ended up with a double-double.
The freshmen bigs, Jordan Williams and James Padgett, combined for 12 points and 11 rebounds, a lesser performance than against Charleston Southern, but still adequate. Vasquez finished with 7 points and 6 assists.
If you were one of the ones who couldn't see this game for various reasons, I would've said you were lucky after the first half. It was quite literally one of the ugliest halves of basketball I've ever witnessed (though not as bad as Georgetown was against Temple). Maryland was vexed by Fairfield's press, a plethora of unforced errors, and forced play from the usually steady Vasquez. The second half saw more relaxed but also tightened play, and Maryland looked like the well-oiled machine most of us expected to see.
What we should take out of this game is that there's a lot to fix up - a third PG, more consistency from the team's stars, more production from the freshmen big men, and fewer unforced mistakes - but, despite all those issues, Maryland's good enough to win comfortably against lesser, but decent, competition. The first time a team goes up against a press is always difficult, but they got it out of the way early. All in all, I'm pretty pleased with the performance.
In the way of personal performances, Vasquez needs to get himself together, because the past two games have been pretty bad by his standards. Hayes and Mosley showed that they can be very servicable second and third options, but Maryland won't go far without Vasquez at his best.
Still, all things considered, I'll take a comfortable win.