On Saturday, Maryland will take on Charlotte at Comcast Center, and an extensive scouting report on the 49ers will be posted later today. For now, let's take a look back to last year's meeting between these two programs, a 76-72 Maryland victory.
It was overcast and 48 degrees in Charlotte at the tip-off time on Jan. 5, 2008, not that exterior weather conditions mattered that much inside Bobcats Arena. The Terps built a 21-point lead before the 49ers made a huge push in the second half, out-scoring Maryland by 11. With 18 seconds remaining, the Terps were up by two when Greivis Vasquez missed the first of a pair of free throws. Vasquez sank the second attempt to put Maryland up by three, and Charlotte missed a three-point try at the other end. In all, the 49ers came within a possession of tying or taking the lead six times in the final six minutes. James Gist put the game away by making 1-of-2 free throws to put the Terps up by four with six seconds left.
Though Gist finished with 25 points and 10 rebounds, and Vasquez finished with 24 points, it was not a solid overall performance by the visiting squad. Maryland was out-rebounded, 43-33, and tallied 18 turnovers, three more than Charlotte. However, the Terps shot 48.1 percent from the field and held the 49ers to 35.5 percent.
"We weren't playing with a lot of confidence in the second half," Gary Williams told reporters afterward, "but we played tough enough to win the game."
By the way, three members of the Charlotte starting lineup that day will not take part in tomorrow's contest. Leemire Goldwire (who tallied 13 points and four steals against the Terps) graduated last spring. Michael Gerrity (four points, four assists) transferred out of the program just before the beginning of this season. An'Juan Wilderness (eight points) is out with a stress fracture in his left foot.
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