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Terps Come From Ahead In 76-67 Loss To BC

What, exactly, happened tonight? That was the question of choice in the Terps postgame locker room. The problems that led to Maryland blowing a 16-point lead and dropping its fourth of the last five contests were apparent. Shooting, defense, desire and effort all were missing in a second half that may very well have sealed the fate of this season's squad. How do you recover from this? Gary Williams and several players provided answers, but few -- if any -- were substantive.

"We come out in the first half and we give it our all," freshman guard Sean Mosley said. "And in the second half we just don’t bring the same intensity. It’s something that we’ve got to work on."

Why does the intensity drop off in the second half?

"I really couldn’t even tell you, but I think it’s just a thing we got to work on," Mosley said. "We’ve just got to work harder."

Three Up:

1) Milbourne and Bowie. Junior forward Landon Milbourne shot 6 for 13 from the field, scored 14 points and grabbed seven rebounds. Sophomore guard Adrian Bowie shot 6 for 11 from the field. He tallied 12 points, five rebounds, three blocks and two steals.

2) First-half shooting. Maryland shot 52.9 percent in the first half. The Terps looked like a squad capable of efficient offensive execution. It turned out to be a mirage.

3) Nobody lit themselves on fire (again!). It was one of the lone positives from Saturday's debacle at Duke, and it was one of the lone positives tonight. Mosley went down hard during the second half, but he said after the game he was fine. Other than that, the Terps did not appear to suffer any new injuries.

Three Down:

1) Halftime. Ask any number of Maryland players, and they will tell you this is where the problems begin. For whatever reason -- the Terps were short on those -- this team cannot sustain the momentum it builds into the second half. The flowing, effective, intense, inspired play Maryland shows off before the intermission dissolves instantaneously as soon as the Terps leave the court.

"There’s just something that happens at halftime," senior forward Dave Neal said. "We just come out flat. We’ve been showing that, and it’s really weird for us."

Maryland held Boston College to 37.9 percent shooting in the first half. The Eagles' star guard, Tyrese Rice, scored just two points on 1 of 3 shooting. Boston College had no rhythm whatsoever, mainly because the Terps hounded them into making silly mistakes. Maryland needed to respond after a 41-point loss at Duke on Saturday, and it seemed well on its way to doing so in the first half.

After the break, it was like watching another team entirely. Maryland began missing shots, which some players said translated into poor defensive effort on the other end. Boston College shot 60.0 percent from the field in the second half. Rice finished with 10 points and six assists. The Eagles found their rhythm by stealing straight out of Maryland's collective hands.

2) Trends. Gary Williams said after the game that his team plays better defense in the first half because that's when Maryland plays defense close to the team's bench. He said the communication is better, which helps maintain defensive efficiency. And as soon as the defense has to play at the other end of the court, that communication and efficiency unravels. This, Williams said, has become a habit for this season's squad. He said he didn't know the answers, either.

That, my friends, is not a good sign.

3) Academic ineligibility. As if this basketball program needed another headache with which to deal. Freshman forward Jin Soo Kim was declared academically ineligible, school officials announced earlier today. He will practice while the school appeals the decision to the NCAA. Kim was not playing a whole lot of minutes, so this is not a huge loss for the Terps. However, he did provide depth and there was no question he worked his butt off when he got in the games. Come to think of it, with aggressiveness being in short supply at Comcast Center these days, maybe this was a bigger loss than I originally thought.

By Steve Yanda  |  January 27, 2009; 11:02 PM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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Next: Who's To Blame?

Comments

I usually defend Gary, but why in the world did he leave Milbourne on the bench from the 13min. mark until 8min left in the 2nd half??? He was the best player on the floor in the 1st half. MD has no hope for offensive production from any other "big" man, and during this time in the game BC was closing the margin. By the time Milbourne was back in the game, the outcome had been decided.

Posted by: asnis715 | January 28, 2009 9:04 AM | Report abuse

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