Collapse Vs. Victory
I'm sure you all remember what happened when the Terps played at Miami a little over a week ago, so a quick recap should suffice: Maryland builds 17-point lead in the second half, Maryland slows the pace and attempts to run out the clock, Maryland watches as Jack McClinton and the Hurricanes begin draining threes all the way from South Beach en route to a disheartening come-from-ahead defeat.
And then there was Tuesday night, when once again the Terps built a 17-point lead, this time against a less deadly three-point shooting Virginia squad. The Cavaliers made a second half run of their own, but Maryland withstood the charge by sticking to the methods that had constructed the lead in the first place.
"Some of the time in Miami, especially in the second half, we kind of walked the ball up," sophomore guard Adrian Bowie said. "Now we try to push it in transition as much as we possibly can."
While Maryland's second-half pace against Virginia did appear to be much quicker than it was against Miami, the stats don't back up the notion that the Terps were just as adament in transition in the second half as they were in the first.
In the first half against Virginia, Maryland outscored the Cavaliers in transition, 16-0. The Terps tallied nine steals and forced 13 turnovers.
After halftime, Virginia gained the edge in fast break points, 6-4. Maryland recorded two steals and forced six turnovers. The Cavaliers drew to within two points of the lead, but never were able to pull even.
However, stats do not always tell the whole story, and that would appear to be the case here. The Terps did not at all appear resigned to running out the clock Tuesday night. The continued to push the ball and displayed an urgency that highlighted the game's importance to Maryland's psyche, as well as to its season.
"The thing we did tonight, we stayed aggressive," Gary Williams said. "Once they got it close, we ran four straight aggressive plays where we took it to the basket."
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