Hayes's constant theme: 'stay aggressive'
Maryland senior guard Eric Hayes attempted three shots during the first half of Sunday's loss to No. 3 Villanova. He does this sometimes, becoming lost in the shuffle. Hayes missed his first two shots against the Wildcats, and maybe that's what kept him from asserting himself in Maryland's offense the rest of the half.
Whatever it was that kept Hayes bashful in the first half disintegrated during the intermission. Hayes came out firing in the second half and ended up with 20 points on the night. He shot 5 for 10 from the field after halftime, including 4 for 7 from three-point range.
During a 19-7 Maryland run that closed the Terrapins' deficit to three points, Hayes and sophomore guard Sean Mosley led the way. The Hayes that showed up during the second half Sunday is the Hayes that Coach Gary Williams would like to see more often.
"I think he got more aggressive," Williams said. "Eric, you know, that's the constant theme: stay aggressive, stay aggressive. And sometimes he is and sometimes he isn't. But I like the way he responded at halftime. In other words, he came out and he knew we needed to score. He was willing to do that. It's hard being a scorer because you're kind of putting yourself out there. If you don't make shots, you look bad. And Eric took that responsibility tonight. It was good to see."
Hayes has plenty of reason to be confident in his shot. He is shooting 51.5 percent from the field and 50 percent (20 for 40) from three-point range this season. His 12.9 points per game ranks third on the team.
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