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Maryland falls to Cincinnati, 69-57, in first loss of season

No. 21 Maryland was able to fluster Cincinnati with its full-court press for a while in the second half, long enough to close the deficit at one point to seven points. But the Bearcats showed more discipline and maturity than many observers believed they possessed and eventually made the necessary adjustments.

Once Cincinnati did that, the Terrapins (4-1) lost out on the only advantage it had left. Maryland did not shoot the ball well (35.8 percent from the field) and lost the rebounding battle, 47-33. But Coach Gary Williams said it was Maryland's inability to capitalize on the many scoring opportunities afforded to the Terrapins by its press defense early in the second half that prevented them from making a complete comeback.

"When you’re behind by 13 or whatever, you can’t afford any mistakes," Williams said. "You have to play almost perfect when you have situations where you can score. We didn’t play perfect once we got the ball."

Three Up:

1) Greivis Vasquez. No, Vasquez's shooting percentage wasn't great (29.4 percent), but he was able to score with a proficiency the Terrapins had not seen from him in a game this season prior to Tuesday. He tallied a game-high 19 points to go along with five rebounds, four assists and three steals. Gary Williams said Vasquez's performance in the second half was as good as he'd seen Vasquez* play this season.

*Neither Vasquez nor any other Maryland player was made available to the media following Tuesday's loss. Just before Gary Williams left the podium of the postgame press conference at around 6:30 p.m. local time he said: "We play at 11:30 (a.m.) tomorrow, so we had the players go get something to eat."

2) Full-court press. When they want to, the Terrapins can be absolutely suffocating in their press defensive sets. At the start of the second half, Maryland flustered Cincinnati with its press and forced the Bearcats into making silly mistakes. Eleven of Cincinnati's 15 turnovers came after halftime.

3) James Padgett. When fellow freshman forward Jordan Williams got into early foul trouble, Padgett came in and performed servicably against Cincinnati's big, physical frontcourt. Padgett tallied nine points on 4 of 6 shooting to go along with five rebounds. Jordan Williams, despite his foul trouble, didn't play too poorly either. He finished with nine rebounds and four points.

Three Down:

1) Free-throw shooting. Maryland shot 17 for 31 (54.8 percent) from the charity stripe Tuesday. The Terrapins did a much better job of attacking the basket in the second half, but they struggled to convert the ensuing free throws. Padgett missed four. Vasquez missed three. Sean Mosley missed two. Cliff Tucker missed two.

"The problem we had today was when we stole the ball a couple of times and got fouled, we missed the foul shots or we missed a couple of lay-ups when we stole the ball," Gary Williams said.

2) Foul trouble. Jordan Williams and Landon Milbourne each picked up two early fouls, which sent them to the bench for a stretch during the first half in which Cincinnati began to gather steam. Williams drew Yancy Gates (6-foot-9, 260 lbs.) as his defensive assignment and did a fairly good job of deny entry passes into the Cincinnati big man early on. But once Williams got into foul trouble, he was forced to be more cautious in his defensive approach, which limited his effectiveness. Milbourne's foul trouble kept him from getting into an early rhythm for a second straight game. Consequently, Milbourne was a non-factor for the duration. He finished with seven points and no rebounds.

3) The bitter Lance Stephenson pill. Maryland fans could not have enjoyed watching Stephenson -- once a prized Maryland recruit -- at times dominate the Terrapins on Tuesday. He tallied 11 points, eight rebounds, four assists and two steals. He even got into a brief scuffle with Vasquez midway through the second half. When the game ended, the smile on Stephenson's face could not have been any wider.

By Steve Yanda  |  November 24, 2009; 10:28 PM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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I don't mind losing and I think we will gain a lot from our loss to the Bearcats but the way in which we lost was not pretty. Missing lay ups, missing foul shots, unneccesary 3 point attempts . . .just plain ugly. Cincinnati's athleticism was on full display and Stephenson had a good game. You can tell he has untapped potential but we are all pretty sure he is a one-and-done product whereas Williams and Padgett will give us 4 strong years. This afternoon's game vs the Badgers will challenge our 1/2 court offense because WI are not necessarily barnburners when it comes to scoring but Bo Ryan always fields a big team that plays defense. I think there is no shame in playing 3rd especially if Cincy beats Gonzaga.

Posted by: terptilldeath | November 25, 2009 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Well, should we be surprised? No! It was a pitiful performance against an unranked team.

And Steve, GV's performance one of your "Three Up"...pleazzzzzzzzzzzze!

We were so weak on the boards is was like watching sand kicked in the face of the sissyboy at the beach.

Now I know what the apologists are going to say...

It's just one loss. We have some young guys upfront who will get better as the season goes on. Greivis will find his shot. Landon will start rebounding...

Pass the Koolaid.

Posted by: petecard | November 25, 2009 9:38 AM | Report abuse

If they learn from their mistakes and make quick adjustments/corrections for today's game - the loss is a valuable learning experience as the Terps get ready for ACC play.

Go Terps - Beat the Badgers!!!

Posted by: TerpGrad | November 25, 2009 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Petecard -

have to disagree with you. Was a hard loss to stomach, but the team was done in by itself. Missing the front end of one-and-ones during Cincy's early run, bad hands on rebounds (at least five the MD player was in position but did not secure the ball), and the lack of DG for the tournament did us in. That said, I agree with the administration that punishment does not include a trip to Hawai'i. Now if we whiff against Wisconsin, then its time to get concerned, but certainly not panic.

Without a sip of Kool-aid, GV WILL find his shot. Not sure that LM was a great rebounder in previous years but DG certainly was. It is one game, played far away and the terps should have a good season at the very least. Am even more secure in my belief that they will make the NCAA tourney without Feb and Mar drama.

Oklahoma & Arizona were early season losses in year for the Terps in 2001-2002 so I do have a hard time getting upset about a November loss. Have a great Thanksgiving to all board members - and thanks again to Poopy for giving me those websites as I was forced to watch the game on my computer last night. And to the Sigma Chis on the board (Barno, Aviscardo, Fushezzi from what I recall on a previous post) have a great holiday as well.

Warm Regards to all -


Posted by: HughGRection | November 25, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Is Sigma Chi still active on campus....?

Seems I remember a deserted house falling apart across form the old AGR....

Posted by: petecard | November 25, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

69 to 57 but it wasn't that close! Terps looked 'all shook up', literally. Let's hope this performance was anomalous and not predictive (remember Morgan State last year?)
Soon we'll be treated to the usual Cassandras on this blog (aka 'boo-birds') who'll go after Coach Williams in their vain efforts to bring him down.

Posted by: AncientTerp | November 25, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

First real team Terps play = Loss

Posted by: restonhoops | November 25, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Nothing like a little Big East on ACC violence...

Posted by: jdumb | November 25, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

"Is Sigma Chi still active on campus....?
Seems I remember a deserted house falling apart across form the old AGR...."

Yes, the old house is still there on Norwich, deserted. The new kids, who just got the chapter back last month, are in the old Tep house on Knox for the time being.

Posted by: Barno1 | November 25, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Maryland fans should be glad their team doesn't have to play in the Big East, where they wouldn't even make it to their annual bubble status.

Way to go Cincy

Posted by: thediesel | November 25, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Maryland fans should be glad their team doesn't have to play in the Big East, where they wouldn't even make it to their annual bubble status.

Way to go Cincy

Posted by: thediesel | November 25, 2009 1:36 PM

Those who read the DC Sports Bog have come to expect these kind of retarded comments from the thediesel...guy just isn't very smart.

First off, if the Terps played in the Big East they'd have the 6-8 automatic wins each year that accompany playing in a league that includes Rutgers, Depaul, South Florida, St. Johns--who between the 4 of them last year AVERAGED 21 losses each.

Year after year after year, the ACC has a higher RPI than the Big East. This is an objective ranking system based on the strength of schedule and record of the teams in your league against teams outside your conference. You can't dispute these numbers, and you can't dispute the fact that last year we had the national champ in the ACC--who MD beat.

Posted by: Barno1 | November 25, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Barno1....everyone knows who won the championship last year. Reality is MD would be lucky to play .500 ball in the Big East with this team this year. The RPI argument is tired regardless of which conference is rated the highest. The top conferences are percentage points apart when it comes to those numbers. The RPI is meant more as a tool to place at large teams in the NCAA tournament. With Maryland ending the season at #50, I wonder why they were included in the field of 65 last year.

Posted by: jdumb | November 27, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

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