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Six Solid Minutes

One of Gary Williams's frequent talking points revolves around his team sustaining a high level of play for 40 minutes. Or at least, very close to 40 minutes. Last night against Morgan State, the Terps fell well short of that goal.

In fact, Williams said afterward his team may have managed only to get an eighth of the way there.

"During that stretch when we took it out to (a 14-point lead) we played at a good level like we've been playing," Williams said. "That was five minutes. That was probably the five minutes that we played as well as we can and should play."

A quick review of the final stat book reveals that Williams may have short-changed the Terps just a tad. Their 18-2 second-half run actually lasted closer to six minutes. But you get the point Williams was trying to make.

For all the justifyably negative vibes that came out of last night's affair, Maryland deserves credit at least for managing that six-minute period. During that time, the Terps were stingy on defense, fluid in transition and effective at finishing off their scoring opportunities.

Maryland forced Morgan State to commit nine of its 20 turnovers during that stretch and shot 7-for-12 from the field.

But unlike in recent contests, the Terps could not translate a polished and emphatic second-half run into another convincing victory. Instead, they reverted back to their first-half habits (lots of turnovers, lots of missed three-pointers), which allowed Morgan State time and opportunity to recover.

"Until you get to where you're playing at a very high level for all 40 minutes or at least close to 40 minutes, that's always a possibility," Williams said. "We got caught tonight against a team that made some big shots and played with a lot of poise. When we had to run some really good plays, we settled for first open shot and that really hurt us. We can't get away form the fact that we have to pass the ball very well. We missed some shots inside that we should make, but we've done that all year. This is our 14th game so we have to accept the fact that that can happen."

By Steve Yanda  |  January 8, 2009; 2:31 PM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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Next: Not Enough Charity From The Stripe

Comments

How about a terrible 8 minutes!!!! Dino Gregory - 4 pf's and 3 to's and 0 points. Along with Dupree, I would be totally embarrassed to lose a game like that to their local comrades from Morgan State.

Posted by: pwpk1978 | January 8, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

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