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."
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.
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."
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