- The Washington Times - Friday, December 29, 2006

This time, Maryland’s Mike Jones got into the game right away — and how.

The senior guard, who came off the bench as punishment in the Terrapins’ last game, returned to the starting lineup last night and scored a career-high 29 points in leading Maryland to an easy 91-50 win over Mount St. Mary’s at Comcast Center.

He opened the game hitting his first five 3-pointers, helping Maryland (12-2) to an early 15-1 advantage.

“Mike was open, but the players did a good job of getting him the ball,” Maryland coach Gary Williams said. “Mike was in his rhythm tonight. He took good shots.”

Williams benched Jones for Saturday’s game against American because he was late for an 8:30 a.m. team meeting that day. Reserve guard Parrish Brown got the start over Jones.

Jones apparently learned his lesson. The 6-foot-5 Jones entered last night’s game as Maryland’s second-leading scorer, averaging 13.1 points a game.

But by halftime, Jones already had 22 points, including six 3s. For the game, Jones made 10 of 21 shots and hit seven of 13 3-pointers.

“After the third shot [3-pointer], I figured somebody would come out and at least make me put the ball on the floor, but nobody really reacted to it, so I just took advantage of the situation,” Jones said.

After breaking the Mountaineers’ back with his 3-point barrage, Jones showed he’s more than just a jump shooter. Freshman point guard Greivis Vasquez started a fast break off a Mount St. Mary’s miss with 14 minutes left in the game. The Venezuelan freshman then found the streaking Jones cutting down the left side for an acrobatic reverse layup.

Jones took one dribble and flew under the basket before using his left hand to throw the ball off the glass from the right side of the basket. After the game, Williams said that was a move Jones could not make last season.

With the win, the Terps extended their record to 6-0 all time against Mount St. Mary’s (2-10). The Mountaineers fell to 1-10 in nonconference play this season.

Mount St. Mary’s entered the game having held 22 of their past 29 opponents under 70 points. Maryland’s 91 points were the most an opponent has scored against the Mountaineers this season.

In contrast, the 50 points scored by Mount St. Mary’s marked a low for a Terps opponent this season.

Maryland also recorded 15 blocks, good enough for third most in school history. Senior forward Ekene Ibekwe led the way with a career-high eight blocks.

“They blocked 15 shots,” Mount St. Mary’s coach Milan Brown said. “Probably 10 of those were from two feet. I don’t know if we would have made them, but there was a possibility of 20 points that came within a few feet from the basket that were just erased.”

Terps senior guard D.J. Strawberry tied his career high with 20 points, helping Maryland improve to 9-0 at Comcast Center this season.

Mount St. Mary’s senior captain Mychal Kearse, a 6-foot-4 guard, sat out with tendinitis in his right knee. Kearse, who led the Mountaineers in rebounding heading into the game at 5.6 a contest, missed his second straight game.

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