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Three Up, Three Down

What a crazy night at Comcast, folks. Vermont shot the lights out and led the game with 6.4 seconds left on the clock. Then Greivis Vasquez nails a three-pointer from the corner to tie the score. And just like that, any momentum Vermont had left expired. Maryland outscored the Catamounts, 17-2, in overtime and pulled away for an 89-74 victory.

Stat of the night: After shooting 51.9 percent from the field in the second half, Vermont shot just 12.5 percent from the field in extra time.

Three Up:

1. Heroics in all shapes and sizes. Sure, sure, Vasquez hit the dagger with time expiring in regulation, but he wasn't the only Terp who needed to take a bow after the close win. How about Dave Neal, the big man who hit two key three-pointers of his own in the second half? How about Adrian Bowie, who poured in 17 points and pulled down six rebounds? Gary Williams joked afterward -- or at least I think he was joking -- that Bowie (6-foot-2 in high tops) would be the team's new center. And how about Eric Hayes, who tallied seven assists to just one turnover?

2. Pressing from the start. In Maryland's first two games, its offense only got going once Williams implemented a full-court press. Tonight, the Terps began the press right away, and what do you know? Their offense was sharp from the very beginning. Maryland shot 48.4 percent from the field in the first half.

3. 400 wins. That's how many Williams has amassed during his tenure at Maryland. After the game, Vasquez presented Williams with the game ball, a simple gesture but one that surely meant a lot.

Three Down:

1. Consistency from the big fella. Braxton Dupree started but ended up playing just eight minutes the entire night. One would guess that's not what Williams is looking for out of the lone traditionally-sized post player in his starting five. Dupree finished with no points, though he did record six rebounds and a pair of blocks.

2. Facing a zone defense. With just more than 10 minutes to play, Eric Hayes drove into the lane against Vermont's 2-3 zone defense. He spun away from one defender and right into another. He floated up a shot that fell short of the rim. It was just one play, but it signified the immense trouble Maryland had during stretches of tonight's game with breaking down the zone defense. It was the first time this season the Terps had seen an opponent stick with a zone defense for most of the game.

3. Stopping Marqus Blakely. This also was the first time this season Maryland has faced an opposing team with a player capable of taking a game over. Blakely finished with 23 points, 11 rebounds, four blocks and four steals. He was a menace to the Terps for most of the night and was a large reason why Vermont was able to keep Maryland from pulling away at different points throughout the game.

By Steve Yanda  |  November 21, 2008; 11:37 PM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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Next: Eleven Hours Until Kickoff


A few points:
1. I agree that props should go to Neal and Bowie. Neal hit some clutch threes down the stretch and Bowie was playing like a big man especially during the overtime period.
2. Sure Blakely got 23 points, but he didn't score a FG for most of the 2nd half until the final minute of OT, when the game was so far out of reach.
3. It was good to have a game like this early in the season. Vermont is a good program that has been to the tournament a few times and almost pulled a few upsets themselves, so they're no slouches. We're seeing more competition from mid-major conferences more than ever before; witness teams like VT, Duke, GT, and BC struggling early. Games like this will only strengthen our resolve and prepare us for the conference games more than playing patsy teams.

Posted by: ecglotfelty | November 23, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

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