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Not Enough Charity From The Stripe

Once again last night, Maryland continued to display its improved free-throw shooting ability. The Terps shot 12-for-15 (80.0 percent) from the charity stripe.

The only problem Gary Williams saw with that statistic was the number of attempts. It was, by his estimation, way too low.

"We shoot 12-for-15 from the line, but we only get there 15 times, so you don't take advantage of what you're really good at, which is shooting free throws," Williams said. "You don't get fouled on three-point shot opportunities. We were trying to get the ball to the basket, but we didn't do it."

Ah yes, all those three-point shots. They certainly turned out not to be the best approach, but as Williams pointed out, they did damage in more ways than one. Once Maryland went on an 18-2 run and established a double-digit lead, what better way to manage the remainder of the game than by driving to the basket and either getting an easy bucket or a trip to the foul line?

Instead, the Terps resumed firing up three-pointers early in their possessions. The paradox Maryland faced was plain to see: The Terps were deterred from driving into the lane by Morgan State's size advantage in the post, so they opted for long-range jump shots, a number of which were off the mark and not rebounded by Maryland due to Morgan State's size advantage in the post.

"For our team to be successful, we have to play 40 minutes," senior forward Dave Neal said. "We've learned that in the games so far. Some games, we've played 40 minutes, and tonight we probably played 15 minutes hard, 20 minutes hard, so maybe we played a half. And we can't do that with a team like this. We're undersized; we're smaller; We're not as athletic as some teams, and we really didn't execute real well down the stretch. We were up by 14 and got kind of careless."

By Steve Yanda  |  January 8, 2009; 4:19 PM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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