Lonergan on a Tough Loss
This is Eric checking in from Comcast Center, about a half hour after I finished talking with Vermont Coach Mike Lonergan and standout forward Marqus Blakely. They were understandably downtrodden after losing to Maryland, 89-74, in overtime in heartbreaking fashion.
Vermont had a three-point lead with 17 seconds remaining in regulation. Lonergan said he typically likes to foul when up three in the final seconds of a game. He said he probably would have tonight if there were 10 seconds or left remaining in regulation when Maryland brought the ball up, trailing 72-69. But there were 17 seconds remaining.
Lonergan was reluctant to foul with that much time still on the clock because Maryland could have cut the lead to one and quickly fouled Vermont. And Vermont’s best player, Blakely, had made only 7 of 13 free throws all game.
Lonergan thought Greivis Vasquez was well defended when he made that three-point heave near the corner with 6.4 seconds remaining, which sent the game into overtime.
Vermont was completely deflated in overtime.
“You could feel it,” Lonergan said.
Maryland scored the first 18 points of overtime, and the extra session quickly turned into a rout.
Blakely felt his team had outplayed Maryland for 40 minutes, but that wasn’t enough.
“We definitely did,” he said. “We outplayed them, cut our turnovers down, but it just came down to Greivis hitting an unbelievable shot. Going to overtime, it’s tough when you are on the road and they are an ACC school and you are coming from the America East.”
Blakely was still agonizing over his missed free throw with about 17 seconds remaining in regulation, which set the stage for Vasquez to sink the three.
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