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Terps Falter Late In 62-60 Loss To Miami

There was no second-half run to bail out Maryland this time. In fact, what seemed to hurt the Terps the most was that there was no need for a late flurry of points. Maryland established control in the first half and led by 17 points with 12:32 remaining. And then the roof caved in (figuratively, of course).

Miami hit three-pointer after three-pointer to close the deficit and then claimed the lead altogether with 24 seconds left on the clock. Greivis Vasquez fired two three-point attempts in the waning moments, but both were off the mark.

"We just weren’t being tough as a team in the last minute," Vasquez said. "It was our game and when I shot the last shot, I thought it was going in. Tough game for us, man. It was hard cause we got the lead the whole game and we just didn’t close it."

Three Up:

1) Adrian Bowie. He was the Terps' most consistent scoring threat all night long. He dashed inside for lay-ups. He lingered on the perimeter and hit jump shots. He was quick and dynamic and energetic. Basically, he was everything the rest of his teammates were not in the final 10 minutes of the game. Bowie scored a career-high 23 points. Somehow, I don't think this is a performance he's going to savor.

2) Landon Milbourne in the post. The Hurricanes were, shall we say, physical. In fact, it appeared as though Miami's game plan early on was to intimidate Maryland down low. While Dave Neal did all he could to remain upright, it was Milbourne who stood his ground. He finished with seven rebounds and four blocks to go along with eight points.

3) First-half shooting. Not sure what the pregame meal was, but I would suggest serving it again -- and perhaps at halftime, as well. The Terps were rolling early on. Vasquez and Eric Hayes hit consecutive threes to provide Maryland a 10-2 lead, and the Terps went on to shoot 50.0 percent from the field in the first half. Confidence was oozing out of each and every Terp that stepped out onto the court. And then, of course, the second half began ...

Three Down:

1) Second-half everything. What happened? That was the prevailing thought as Maryland's lead began to diminish and then disappear altogether. Gone was the fast-paced attack that built Maryland its lead. Gone was the defensive tenacity that forced 10 Miami turnovers in the first half and mostly flummoxed Hurricanes sharp-shooter Jack McClinton. Gone was any hope of Maryland winning on Miami's home court for the first time since 1970.

2) Bench play. We've seen this before, haven't we? Maryland's reserves go missing, and the team struggles as a result. I'm not saying the play of guys like Sean Mosley, Cliff Tucker, Dino Gregory and Braxton Dupree was the deciding factor, but it certainly didn't help. Those players combined scored five points and grabbed four rebounds. They shot 2 for 10 from the field. Meantime, Miami got 18 points out of its reserves.

3) Lonely free-throw line. Maryland players took a combined six shots from the charity stripe. Correction: Adrian Bowie and Eric Hayes took a combined six shots from the charity stripe. That's it. One of the team's strengths this season has been its effectiveness from the free throw line, but it can't show off its newly found skill unless it draws the fouls necessary to provide such opportunities. To be fair, Miami only took nine free throws all game. Read into that what you will.

By Steve Yanda  |  January 15, 2009; 12:30 AM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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Comments

What a meltdown...I thought Gary didn't go to the bench early enough in the 2nd half when we had that comfortable 12 to 17 point lead. Our guys looked gased at the end. So much this season being worth anything.

Posted by: jrraley | January 15, 2009 6:47 AM | Report abuse

What a disappointing end! Our guys played so well then were overcome by incredibly lucky three-pointers that deflated the entire team. Miami's recovery seemed supernatural: unbelievable shooting. Anything predictive here about the Terp's prospects? It seems they can be had from the opening shot or in the last five minutes. This doesn't bode well.

Posted by: AncientTerp | January 15, 2009 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Eric Hayes better not frequent anywhere that I am inthe next week. Yeah he got fouled on the steal but the Terps had 3 fouls to give, how does he let the guy take the ball downcourt and make an uncontested layup. Barf.

Posted by: Lee26 | January 15, 2009 9:22 AM | Report abuse

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