COLLEGE PARK, Md. — The University of Maryland scored 23 points off UMaine turnovers in the first half Sunday afternoon, building a substantial lead that paved the way for an 89-59 men’s basketball victory in front of 13,041 fans at the Comcast Center.
Coach Gary Williams’ Terrapins (3-0), out of the Atlantic Coast Conference, rattled off 13 unanswered points to turn an eight-point lead into a 45-24 advantage with 3:12 to play in the first half.
“Obviously, when you’re going to be playing a team that’s one of the top programs in the county, the upper echelon of the ACC, it’s a game that you really have to do a great job taking care of the basketball,” said UMaine head coach Ted Woodward.
UMaine committed 14 first-half turnovers, including three during the pivotal Maryland surge. However, the Bears had only three turnovers in the second half.
“That’s an awfully good basketball team and we didn’t play as well as we needed to play to put ourselves in a position to win,” he added.
“They have a high-level athlete on their team and they did a great job executing all the way through. They’re a team that forces you into mistakes and capitalizes.”
The Bears were without two of their top scorers as senior forward Sean McNally of Gardiner (ankle) and senior guard Terrance Mitchell (finger) both missed their second straight contest.
The Terps shot 48 percent from the floor for the game, compared to 33 percent for the Black Bears, while outrebounding UMaine by a commanding 48-28 margin.
Junior guard Gerald McLemore struggled to a 2-for-15 shooting effort for UMaine, which also went only 19-for-31 (61 percent) from the foul line.
“We had some very good looks. Unfortunately, they didn’t go down. It wasn’t one of our better shooting days,” Woodward said.
Jordan Williams had 20 points and 11 rebounds and Cliff Tucker scored all 16 of his points in the first half to pace Maryland, which was playing its third game in seven days.
Freshman Terrell Stoglin finished with 14 points and senior Adrian Bowie had nine points and eight rebounds.
UMaine was spearheaded by senior forward Troy Barnies of Auburn. He registered a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds in 33 minutes.
“Troy’s been playing hard, been playing very well,” Woodward said. “He’s a very difficult mathcup for people. I thought he had a good game.”
Murphy Burnatowski scored 17 points to lead UMaine, which opened Friday night with a 71-66 overtime win at Utah Valley and is considered to be among the better teams in the America East Conference, but the Bears were no match for a deep, talented Maryland squad playing at home.
UMaine defeated ACC member Boston College last season, but it became apparent early that Maryland would not be similarly victimized.
The Bears held their own for most of the first half and were within eight (32-24) after a Malachi Peay free throw with 6:31 to play.
Adrian Bowie kicked off Maryland’s game-breaking, 13-0 spurt with a jumper, then Williams scored a layup off a UMaine turnover. Williams then hit two foul shots, Tucker dunked off an Andrew Rogers turnover and Bowie connected from underneath on the Terps’ fourth shot of a possession to make it a 42-24 game with 3:59 left.
Tucker’s 3-pointer completed the run before Alasdair Fraser ended a 3 1/2-minute scoring drought for UMaine with a fast-break layup.