Villanova holds off Maryland, 95-86
Though the outcome was not what the Maryland men's basketball team would have preferred, the Terrapins played about as well tonight as they have all season. Sure, Maryland lost to No. 3 Villanova by nine, but the final margin would have been much worse were it not for another second-half surge by the Terrapins that, at one point, closed the deficit to three.
Sophomore guard Sean Mosley and freshman forward Jordan Williams turned in standout performances, which were clouded only by Maryland's inability to curb Villanova's three-point shooting barrage in the first half, as well as its shortcomings on the offensive glass.
"That hurt," Jordan Williams said of Villanova's superiority on the boards. "That was painful to the fact that the rebounds that we didn’t get, that’s what good teams do, you know? They take advantage of second chance opportunities, and they did a great job tonight scoring on second chance opportunities."
1) Sean Mosley. The sophomore guard said after the game tonight that one of the keys to his offensive development this season is that he no longer doubts himself when shooting opportunities arise. Against Villanova, Mosley tallied a game-high 26 points on 11 of 14 shooting. There were times during the second half that Mosley simply could not be stopped. Even more encouraging for the Terps, Mosley appeared to recognize as much and embraced the chance to put the team on his shoulders.
2) Jordan Williams. By now, we know that the freshman forward is a fully capable rebounder. The 12 rebounds he pulled down tonight should have come as little surprise to anyone who has followed this team in recent weeks. But Sunday stood as a breakout performance for Williams because of his offensive production. He scored 19 points. He shot 5 of 8 from the field. He made 9 of 13 free throw attempts.
"He was a force," Gary Williams said.
3) Eric Hayes (the version of him that showed up in the second half). Hayes and Mosley teamed up to propel Maryland on a 19-7 run early in the second half to pull the Terrapins to within three points of the lead. In the first half, Hayes attempted three shots. In the second half, he attempted 10 shots. Before halftime, Hayes tallied 4 points. After halftime, he tallied 16 points. The obvious conclusion: Hayes needs to keep firing away. His four second-half three-pointers were critical in Maryland's comeback attempt.
1) Rebounding. Dino Gregory is scheduled to return next Saturday when Maryland hosts Eastern Kentucky, and the Terrapins will welcome back his presence with open arms because at this point they can use all the help they can get. Villanova out-rebounded Maryland, 45-33. More critically, the Wildcats out-rebounded the Terrapins on the offensive glass, 23-7. Villanova out-scored Maryland on second chance points, 29-10. No Maryland player, aside from Jordan Williams, tallied more than five rebounds.
2) Perimeter defense. To be fair, Villanova's three-point shooting performance in the first half was downright ridiculous. The Wildcats hit 11 of 22 shots from beyond the arc. For most teams, that's a good showing from three-point range for an entire game. Still, Gary Williams said his players at times were a little slow to jump out on Villanova's shooters, and the Wildcats took full advantage of such open looks. Once Maryland went into its 3-2 zone defense, Villanova cooled off considerably from three-point range. The Wildcats shot 5 of 17 (29.4 percent) from beyond the arc in the second half.
"You can live with 29 percent," Gary Williams said, "but you can’t live with 50 percent when they take that many."
3) Turnovers. Maryland turned the ball over 11 times in the first half, and Villanova capitalized by scoring 19 points off of those turnovers. The Terrapins were only slightly more disciplined in the second half, tallying eight turnovers after the intermission. The Wildcats totalled 32 points off of Maryland turnovers on the night. Senior guard Greivis Vasquez tallied seven turnovers to go along with his seven assists. Senior forward Landon Milbourne recorded three turnovers, which was one fewer than the number of points he scored (4).
December 6, 2009; 11:21 PM ET
Categories: Men's basketball
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