- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Landon Milbourne leafed through a catalog in the preseason and caught his first glimpse of Maryland’s yellow jerseys.

He didn’t get an up-close peek at the new threads until last night — when he, emergency starter Cliff Tucker and the rest of the Terrapins were golden despite the absence of their starting point guard.

Decked out in yellow uniforms for the first time since the 1987-88 season, Maryland brushed aside Holy Cross 73-48 to head into ACC play with a four-game winning streak.

Scoring stalwarts James Gist (22 points, nine rebounds and five blocks) and Greivis Vasquez (17 points) led the Terps (10-6).

But equally impressive was Milbourne, who unleashed his most aggressive performance to date and finished with career highs in scoring (12 points) and blocks (four).

“I just came in with a lot of energy tonight. I came into the locker room and saw our yellow jerseys hanging up and got kind of excited,” Milbourne said. “I tried to carry that over to the game, and that helped out a lot. I’ve been thinking about that since the preseason. We had to get our focus off the jerseys and focus on the game for a while.”

Maryland was without guard Eric Hayes, who sprained his left ankle in practice Sunday. Hayes said he would see a doctor today, and both he and coach Gary Williams were optimistic the sophomore would be available when ACC play resumes Saturday at Virginia Tech.

Hayes‘ absence did Holy Cross little good; it was missing two starters: point guard Pat Doherty (Achilles) and forward Alex Vander Baan (back).

The Crusaders (9-4), who played at San Francisco on Saturday, looked very much like a jet-lagged team without its usual floor leader. Holy Cross endured a scoreless stretch of 10:31 in the first half as Maryland rattled off 20 straight points to clinch the win.

Without Hayes, the Terps started Tucker and Milbourne on the wing, and both proved effective throughout the night.

“Both Cliff and Landon have played quite a few minutes now in January, so you never know, but I was glad to see them step up because they had to step up,” Williams said. “When you lose a player like Eric who’s been averaging 35 minutes a game, you need to get those minutes from somewhere.”

Tucker was disruptive on defense, filching four steals to complement his 10 points. His performance reflected the rest of the Terps, who forced 24 turnovers (17 in the first half) and held Holy Cross to 4-for-26 shooting in the first half.

Gist, meanwhile, badgered Holy Cross center Tim Clifford into a 6-for-20 night while swatting away shots from the Crusaders’ leading scorer.

“Besides all the free throws, I don’t think they had 10 points [in the first half],” Tucker said. “That was definitely the best defense we played all year. Hopefully we can just keep it up.”

That would sit well with his teammates as well. Maryland concocted impressive first halves in its last two victories and returns to ACC play looking as sound as it has all season.

And maybe the Terps’ latest look will prove enduring and give Hayes a chance to revel in the retro look.

“I came into the locker room, and I was a little upset I wasn’t going to play in them,” Hayes said. “Hopefully with the way we played tonight, we’ll get to wear them again.”

Terps report

Last night at Comcast Center


15 Consecutive field goal attempts missed by Holy Cross in the first half. The Crusaders went 11:45 without hitting a shot from the floor and were outscored 23-2 in that span.

4 Consecutive victories for Maryland, the Terrapins’ longest winning streak of the season.


Landon Milbourne set the tone for his active evening, soaring in for a dunk in the opening minutes over Greg McCarthy (and an ensuing free throw) that gave Maryland a 7-5 edge and the lead for good.

Patrick Stevens

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