It was a somewhat sloppy opening game for both teams most strongly defined by its turnovers and transition baskets and in the end Maryland simply outlasted Seattle University, running away with a 105-76 win in the Redhawks first ACC game in over 30 years.
However, although Seattle turnovers and transition baskets late helped Maryland extend the lead, Maryland's size in the post and athleticism on the perimeter simply overwhelmed the Redhawks. In addition to a considerable 50 to 34 rebounding advantage for the game, Maryland also got to the line at a significantly higher rate in the second half with 27 attempts from a combination of Seattle U guards reaching on the perimeter and trying to defend the basket on the interior.
Maryland center Jordan Williams dominated the paint as expected, pulling in 15 rebounds total and 5 offensive rebounds to complement his 17 points. More impressive though might have been his ability to run the floor and get easy baskets in transition. The combination of increased Maryland intensity, Seattle turnovers, and a little more poise from Maryland in the second half in executing their offense just simply wore the Redhawks down.
Guard Sean Mosley was aggressive from the perimeter, finishing with 21 points including an impressive 8-for-10 from the free throw line.
After being within 10 with 12 minutes left in the second half, the Redhawks just committed too many turnovers for too many easy transition baskets. Cervante Burrell's performance might exemplify that: although he led the team with 13 points with aggressive drives to the basket particularly in the first half, he also committed seven turnovers, often as a result of driving into the paint with Maryland's defense collapsing on him. The two teams combined for nearly 60 turnovers, which is undoubtedly a combination of the fast pace and first game jitters.
Another perhaps more subtle problem was that Seattle shot 3-for-16 from the 3-point line, which made it easy for Maryland to clog the paint and dare the Redhawks to shoot long shots.
There are positives to take from this game, although Seattle U wasn't able to maintain them for the full 40 minutes. First, Redhawks guards remained aggressive offensively and defensively for most of the game until Maryland just took the air out of them with increased defensive intensity and physical play inside. Maryland was much more poised in attempting to break Seattle's full court press in the second half, but it was quite effective in the first half with wing Aaron Broussard having four steals and guard Garrett Lever finishing with seven.
Regardless of whether you believe in "moral victories", the first half game film will give them something to build on. They can't change that they don't have a 6-foot-10 post to contend with the likes of Williams. But they can try to do what they did well in the first half for a full 40 minutes.
For the full box score, visit the GameTracker from the Maryland website.