Terps Fall To Noles In OT, 76-73
Another tough loss for Maryland today at the Tucker Center. This time, it was the Terps causing their opponent to fumble a double-digit lead in the second half, rather than the other way around. In the end, the efforts of Toney Douglass & Co. proved too much for Maryland to overcome.
"It’s hard," Greivis Vasquez said. "It’s a heartbreaker when you work so hard and come from behind and you lose. But that’s how it is. We’ll take it. We’re learning a lot, and we go from here."
1) Landon Milbourne. No Terp meant more to Maryland's comeback down the stretch than Milbourne. He soared over and maneuvered around an extremely tall Florida State frontcourt to grab key offensive rebound after key offensive rebound, then finished the putbacks to inch Maryland closer to the lead. With 22 seconds remaining in regulation, Milbourne corralled an Eric Hayes miss and scored on the second effort to tie the game. He finished with 17 points and nine rebounds.
"He was incredible on the offensive glass," Gary Williams said. "He made those plays. He tried to win the game for us; that’s the best way I can put it cause we weren’t shooting well and we knew we had to get the ball back."
2) 3-2 zone defense. Quick, name the last time you saw Maryland play any type of zone defensive scheme. It's happened a few times this season, but not much. Williams said the circumstances of today's game mandated the switch away from man-to-man defense. For one, Adrian Bowie was playing with four fouls for much of the second half, and Williams wanted to keep Bowie on the floor as long as he could (Bowie fouled out with 4:04 left). Also, Florida State was shredding through Maryland's press defense, and Williams wanted to limit the Seminoles' scoring opportunities in transition. The plan worked. Utilizing the 3-2 zone defense, the Terps crawled back into the game in the second half. Florida State did not know how to handle the zone and were not good enough shooters to take advantage on the perimeter. It will be interesting to see whether the Terps go to this scheme more often, now that they know it can be so effective.
3) Another solid night for Adrian Bowie. This road trip has done wonders for Bowie. He scored 23 points Wednesday night against Miami. He scored 14 points today. In both games, he was the player the Terps counted on for consistent offensive production. The bad news (which we will discuss shortly) was far outweighed by the steps forward Bowie took while in Florida.
1) Bowie's foul troubles. In each of the past two games, Bowie has fouled out. This was particularly problematic because, as previously mentioned, Bowie has been the team's most effecient scorer of late. With Bowie on the floor, who knows whether the outcome of today's game would have been different. But it certainly would have helped the Terps' chances.
2) Struggles for Vasquez and Hayes. The two guards shot a combined 5 for 24 (20.8 percent) from the field. Vasquez finished with six points, seven rebounds and five assists, while Hayes had nine points and five rebounds. Both players recorded five turnovers. And perhaps most surprising, both players missed free throws in overtime. Vasquez, who entered the day a 94.0 percent free throw shooter, went 2 of 4 from the line, while Hayes (a 92.3 percent free throw shooter entering today) made 1 of 2 free throw attempts.
3) Team-wide shooting woes re-emerge. Maryland shot the ball surprisingly well for the most part Wednesday night (especially in the first half), but today, the Terps' old bad habits returned. The team shot 38.6 percent from the field and 27.3 percent from three-point range. Williams bemoaned the fact his team did not shoot well at any point during today's game. It might have been the difference between holding a 1-2 or a 2-1 record in conference play.
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