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Terps Season Ends With 89-70 Loss To Memphis

Silence permeated the Maryland locker room in the minutes that followed a thorough defeat. Some players stared at the ground. Others stared straight ahead. Most spoke in hushed tones. "We're at a loss for words," Adrian Bowie said.

Memphis firmly controlled nearly all 40 minutes of action today at the Sprint Center. For all of Maryland's preparation and for all that it had overcome to get to this point -- the precipice of the Sweet 16 -- the Terrapins were outdone by a Tigers squad that simply had too much talent.

"When you see them on tape, you don’t really know how big they are, how athletic they are," Eric Hayes said. "I don’t think anybody expected them to shoot the ball the way they did. That was the big key for the game. They just shot lights out from the three and they hadn’t been doing that the whole season."

Three Up:

1) Second-half spurt. For a few moments early in the second half, it appeared as though Maryland might have one more run left in the tank. Greivis Vasquez, who had been ineffective most of the first half, came to life. He tallied 10 points in less than three minutes. But as much rhythm as the Terps were able to generate on offense, they gave it right back on defense. Maryland never came within 17 points of the lead in the second half. Vasquez shot 8 for 16 from the field and finished with 18 points.

2) Second-half shooting. Maryland shot 50.0 percent from the field in the second half. But, as was previously mentioned, the defense remained porous, which undid any progress the offense generated.

3) Perseverance. The Terps pressed until the very end, a visual sign of the character this squad displayed during its late-season push. Bowie said he tried to ignore the score and just play. Other Terps voiced similar sentiments.

Three Down:

1) Perimeter defense. As Eric Hayes pointed out, no one expected the Tigers to shoot as well as they did today. Memphis shot just 32.0 percent from beyond the arc entering the game. But facing a Maryland defense that also was concerned with Tyreke Evans's mad dashes to the basket, the Tigers drained threes left and right. Memphis shot 52.6 percent from three-point range. Maryland tried man-to-man, then zone, then back to man-to-man. Nothing could slow down the Tigers, who were led by Doneal Mack. A slender guard, Mack made 5 of 7 three-pointers against the Terps and finished with 17 points.

2) Containing Memphis's frontcourt tandem. Shawn Taggart (6-foot-10) and Robert Dozier (6-foot-9) wore down the Terps with their aggression in the paint. Taggart tallied 14 points and 11 rebounds, while Dozier recorded 17 points and eight rebounds.

3) Looking for quick fixes. When Memphis made its decisive run during the first half, Maryland discarded the patience it had displayed in recent weeks and began to scurry. Memphis began sinking threes, and Maryland quickly grew desparate.

"When they made that little run there and hit however many threes I think we got a little flustered and tried to come back a little too quick," Dave Neal said. "We didn’t rely on our offense to execute and run our offense as good as we have in the last couple games."

When asked why the Terps were not able to call on the same patience they had in previous games, Neal responded thusly:

"Maybe it’s the timing and the moment of being in the second round of the NCAA tournament. We wanted to win that game that bad. I think with some of the stuff we did we thought we could come back like that (snaps fingers) in the blink of an eye. When you’re in the moment like that, playing in the round of 32 in the NCAA tournament, your feelings might be a little too excited. Tonight when they made the run and shot the ball extremely well, we got a little too excited. We rushed our offense."

By Steve Yanda  |  March 21, 2009; 7:16 PM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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Next: Poll: Initial Grade For Terps' Season

Comments

What a total rip-off. Those refs practically handed Memphis the win right from the get-go. How much did Memphis pay those coaches off to make it such a lop-sided game. I say the NCAA needs to investigate those refs, NOW!!!!! GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!


With that said, FANTASTIC season by our Terps. They did the best they could and fought hard every game. They just didn't have the best talent.

Of course is that NO WAY reflective of the teams head coach and his recruiting skills (or lack thereof).

Go Terps!
Go Gary William!

#1 Team.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | March 21, 2009 7:52 PM | Report abuse

I have to really question the gameplan for this game. Pressing an athletic team with quality guards seems a bit nonsensical to me. Maybe you want to mix the press in occasionally, yet not every time. Eventually the Terps started using the zone defense but by that time the game was out of reach.

I really hope next year the coaching staff impresses Vasquez with the importance of maturity and avoiding incendiary remarks.

Dave Neal exemplified all the good qualities you want in a student athlete. I wish him well and I'm glad he was able to garner an NCAA Tournament victory before he graduated.

Posted by: imterpsfan2 | March 21, 2009 8:07 PM | Report abuse

No better representation of Maryland than Dirty Sanchez, they should keep him on in some sort of honorary position after he fails to graduate.

Posted by: PowerBoater69 | March 21, 2009 8:43 PM | Report abuse

Poopy,

Your a hater. I'm sure your just pissing yourself with glee because the Terps lost and now you can come on this blog and make jackass comments dripping with sarcasm.

Your a great Terps fan! How's that for sarcasm.

Posted by: Section505203 | March 21, 2009 10:18 PM | Report abuse

PowerBoater69, why don't you swallow some gasoline? Then light a cigarette. DBag.

Posted by: chrisoarr | March 21, 2009 10:34 PM | Report abuse

Some things I will pray for next season:
1. Lance Stephenson
2. GV coming back for his senior year
3. GV keeping a lid on it
4. Some size in the middle
5. Some veterans to step up their game
6. No more 3-part series from the Post
7. No more talk about who's good and who isn't good at recruiting
8. No more talk about whether GW can coach
9. Another chance to punch UNC and Duke in the mouth at least once.
10. Going all the way to the Final Four!

Posted by: ecglotfelty | March 21, 2009 11:28 PM | Report abuse

I admit that as a Terp fan, I wss afraid something like this would happen. Almost as if everything that could go wrong, did, and all at once.

Memphis, not an exceptional 3 point shooting team, carrying over their success from the last game to this one. The Terps finding their press ineffective, so much so they gave up unnecessary baskets the other way. Tyreke Evans forcing his way into the middle and making passes back outside. Taggart and Dozier just too quick and too strong for Maryland's inside players.

Dave Neal needs to get a hip on his taller opponents and bump them out of position. But you can't do that when your man is already moving to the ball, exploiting the six inch advantage in length...

IF this team keeps shooting like that, nobody will stop them. Nobody.

But shooting is streaky. There's no dominant squad in this tournament

Overall, I thought early on this season that it was a little bit of a down year for the ACC and perhaps a strong one for the Big East. But that doesn't mean much once you get to the NCAA. The conferences aren't playing head to head, anyway. Still, North Carolina has looked stronger than I expected with Lawson out or at half speed, and Duke is causing problems for opponents with that disciplined game.

Can either take Memphis or UConn? Hope we get a chance to see.

Posted by: Samson151 | March 22, 2009 5:51 AM | Report abuse

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