- The Washington Times - Saturday, December 31, 2011

So that is what it’s like to play from a huge lead.

Forgive Maryland if it wasn’t too familiar to rout an opponent. Yet for nearly all of the Terrapins’ 75-63 defeat of Samford on Saturday at Comcast Center, they were in complete control.

“It was fun,” guard Terrell Stoglin said. “I feel like nobody forced anything. Everybody was having more fun playing with each other. We’re looking more like a team.”

Maryland enjoyed its largest margin of victory for the season. At one point, it led by 21 points (also a season-high). And it emptied its bench in a victory for the first time all year.

The Terps (9-3) led by double digits for the last 24:45 and held an 18-point lead over the Bulldogs (3-9) with less than four minutes to play. In short, they did precisely what they should have done to a struggling nonconference visitor.

“The score won’t really indicate,” coach Mark Turgeon said. “People will look at the score and say ‘Maryland’s still struggling.’ I’m OK with that.”

What he wasn’t OK with was how Maryland gave away portions of its lead when there were still regulars on the floor.

“We’ve had 10-point leads, but for us that’s like two,” Turgeon said. “Today we had 20-, 22-point leads. We really didn’t know how to act. Hopefully, we’ll have a few more of those this year.”

A half-dozen other observations from Maryland’s sixth straight victory …

* Turgeon tosses team – from practice

Turgeon says he has high standards for the Terps. He made a point about enforcing those standards Friday.

Maryland practiced in the morning. Well, for 30 minutes, anyway. Turgeon threw the Terps out of the gym, displeased with how they were preparing.

“If we learn how to practice better, we can keep making those steps,” Turgeon said. “I threw them out yesterday. We had a morning practice. I threw them out and brought them back last night. Hopefully that will help them and make them realize I’m not going to put up with it, and they have to start practicing better.”

Needless to say, Turgeon’s response to lackluster play had some trickle down beyond basketball.

“Yeah, we all had plans,” Stoglin said.

Story Continues →