November 10, 2010
If Maryland's Pe'Shon Howard is going to wear Greivis Vasquez's No. 21 jersey, then it's only fitting that the freshman guard also emulates his predecessor's penchant for late-game heroics
Howard began forging his own reputation as a clutch scorer on Wednesday night in just his second college game when he hit a go-ahead pull-up jumper with three seconds left to give Maryland a 75-74 victory over College of Charleston. The shot capped a 9-2 game-ending Maryland run and rescued the Terrapins from what would have been a humbling home loss against the upset-minded Cougars.
Of all the guys for Maryland coach Gary Williams to have take the final shot in a one-point game, Howard would have seemed an unlikely candidate just a few short days ago. Not only did the 6-foot-2 freshman from Oak Hill Academy come off the bench behind senior point guard Adrian Bowie in Maryland's first two games, he also wasn't an especially highly ranked recruit.
It certainly seems as though Howard will be Maryland's starting point guard going forward after he logged 24 minutes against both Seattle and College of Charleston and averaged 9.5 points and 6.0 assists. In addition to his game-winning shot Wednesday night, Howard also showcased terrific vision and passing, and hit a key baseline jumper to cut Maryland's deficit to two with 1:22 remaining.
Until Howard's late contributions, Wednesday night's game appeared to be defined by a memorable scoring battle between Maryland big man Jordan Williams and College of Charleston guard Andrew Goudelock. Williams overpowered the smaller Cougars down low on his way to 26 points and 15 rebounds, while Goudelock scored 27 points on an assortment of drives and jump shots.
Southern Conference contender College of Charleston has a history of upsetting ACC teams, so the Cougars will surely be disappointed to have let a late six-point lead slip through their fingers. On the other hand, the Terrapins know they have plenty of flaws to clean up before joining Pittsburgh, Texas and Illinois in New York next week for the semifinals of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic.
They shot a brutal 5-for-18 from the free-throw line. They turned the ball over 47 times in two games. They also didn't get much production from starting guard Sean Mosley or starting forward Dino Gregory on Wednesay night.
But they got plenty out of Howard, whom Terps supporters have already nicknamed "MVPe."
Not even Greivis got a nickname so quickly.