The Washington Times - March 12, 2009, 11:04AM

ATLANTA —- Maryland finished its practice yesterday with its usual walkthrough close: Halfcourt heaves until someone makes one.

Dave Neal took the first shot —- and made it, denying his teammates the chance to shoot.


“It’s a good sign,” Neal said. “I actually did it last game against UVa, but hopefully this will be a different turnout.”

The Terps would not like a repeat in tonight’s game against N.C. State. But deep down, they also would have liked their own turn and the chance to stay on the Georgia Dome court a little longer.

“I get [ticked] off all the time,” guard Cliff Tucker said. “Nobody knows, but Dave steps on the line all the time. He steps over the line all the time, but we’ll just give him credit. He’s a good guy.”

Tucker, in case you’re wondering, was smirking the entire time, so clearly he wasn’t too upset. And to be fair, Neal wound up well beyond halfcourt after he took the shot.

Also not terribly upset: Landon Milbourne, who kept his sense of humor after an up-and-down season.

“I’m kind of frustrated, but I haven’t hit one yet so I’m not that mad,” Milbourne said. “He always calls the shot on the first one and says he’s going to make it, and the last couple times he has. It’s a good feeling to come into the locker room with.”

And head into the first day of the tournament with, too.

—- Patrick Stevens