The Washington Times - November 27, 2008, 08:02PM

Checking in from D1scourse headquarters in Glen Burnie, so don’t want anyone think this is coming from courtside.

It’s been an encouraging first half for Maryland down in Orlando, some for reasons of the Terrapins‘ doing and others because of how No. 5 Michigan State has fared.

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That said, this figured to be an especially nasty matchup (and could yet become rough), and for the Terps to be ahead at the break under any circumstances.

Of course, the edge could be even larger, especially after the Spartans beat the buzzer for a basket heading into the break.

But here’s three significant reasons for Maryland’s success:

* Adrian Bowie: The sophomore keeps playing better and better, and his work from the perimeter makes him all the more dangerous. Bowie’s emergence continues to offer some reason to think both Greivis Vasquez and Eric Hayes will have a little more leeway later in the year – not to mention more room to operate as teams respect Bowie.

* No Goran Suton: Take away an inside threat, and Michigan State is a little defanged. It’s made Braxton Dupree more effective than he was in the first three games, and it’s left the Spartans looking for a reliable interior option.

* Morgan takes a seat: Maryland could rue not exploiting Raymar Morgan’s foul trouble more than it did. Morgan picked up his third personal shortly after the under-8, and yet the Spartans still narrowed the deficit from that point forward. But it still helped Maryland that Michigan State’s top player was glued to the bench for a good chunk of the half.

Patrick Stevens