Terps Rebound for 84-78 win over Virginia
And exhale. Once again, Maryland built an impressive lead over an ACC opponent and then nearly watched it slip away. The difference tonight was the word "nearly," and these days, that's called "growth" in College Park. The Terps did the little things tonight that made the difference between another harrowing loss and a much-needed win.
"The thing we did tonight, we stayed aggressive," Gary Williams said. "Once they got close, we ran four straight aggressive plays where we took it to the basket. We hadn’t been getting to the free throw line, and once we did, we were okay."
1) Adrian Bowie. The sophomore guard's hot streak continues. He scored 17 points on 6 of 11 shooting and -- this might be the most encouraging part for the Terps -- he didn't foul out. Bowie's ferocious drives to the lane set the tone early for Maryland on offense tonight. On several occassions, it appeared as though he was trying to leap over Virginia's 7-foot-0 center, Assane Sene. He was unsuccessful in that regard, but he did make several trips to the free throw line, which had to have pleased Williams. With Greivis Vasquez's shot still not quite as smooth as usual, the Terps certainly welcome Bowie offensive emergence.
2) Free throws, free throws, free throws. Maryland attempted zero (zero!) free throws in the first half Saturday against Florida State. The Terps are one of the best free-throw shooting teams in the country. Yet, entering last night's game, they seemed reluctant to show off that talent. But against the Cavaliers, Maryland was more aggressive than it has been in quite some time. The Terps sank 21 of 24 free throws (87.5 percent). Down the stretch, Virginia was forced to fould Maryland on each of its possessions to stop the clock. But that played right into one of the Terps' biggest strengths.
3) Eric Hayes. From reading the comments on this blog, it is clear Hayes does not have a legion of supporters. Player most frequently mentioned by readers as the one they wish would be replaced in the starting lineup? That would be Hayes. And I'm really not sure why. No, he's not consistently aggressive in his shot-taking. But, for the most part, he makes solid decisions on the court. Better yet, he doesn't typically make bone-headed decisions on the court. Tonight, he finished with 11 assists and no turnovers. That's not too shabby.
1) Little help on the boards. Williams said postgame that his team needs to provide more help for Landon Milbourne in the rebounding department. Milbourne led the team with five rebounds. It didn't help that Dave Neal missed a good chunk of the game with a cut over his left eye, but still, Williams would like to see another post player provide Milbourne -- and the team -- some rebounding support. Virginia out-rebounded Maryland, 35-25, on the night.
2) Bench play. It wasn't so much that Maryland's bench played all that poorly. Rather, Virginia's bench was darn near unstoppable. Cavaliers reserve forward Jamil Tucker scored a game-high 21 points in 26 minutes of action. Reserve guard Calvin Baker scored 16 points. Meantime, the most point production Maryland got out of a backup player was eight from Dino Gregory. Like I said, the Terps' reserves did not play poorly, but when the other team's bench scores 42 and yours only scores 16 ...
3) Near-collapse in the second half. Again, "near" is the operative word. This very easily could have been a replay of the Miami game. But the Terps avoided such a meltdown by remaining aggressive on both ends of the court. They survived. They conquered. As Williams said, they were due.
Posted by: petecard | January 21, 2009 8:16 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: miketerp1 | January 21, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: KHTerpSkinfan | January 21, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: imterpsfan2 | January 21, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: AncientTerp | January 21, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Lee26 | January 21, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: gburggal | January 21, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: ecglotfelty | January 21, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.