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Villanova's blistering start puts Terps in early hole

In light of how the first half ended up Sunday, it might be difficult to remember that Maryland drew first blood. Sophomore guard Sean Mosley drained a three-pointer from the corner to less than a minute into the game to provide the Terrapins their only lead of the night.

But all that shot did was poke a small hole in the dam that Villanova quickly busted through. Wildcats guard Corey Fisher answered immediately with a three-pointer to tie the game. Greivis Vasquez turned the ball over. Villanova guard Scottie Reynolds hit a three-pointer. Landon Milbourne turned the ball over. Corey Stokes hit a three-pointer.

By the first television timeout just more than four minutes into the game, Villanova had attempted five shots from beyond the arc and converted three. The Wildcats led 9-4 and then added five more points in the 38 seconds following that first media timeout to push their lead to 10. Villanova led by 11 at halftime.

"It's one of those things where if you're making them, you keep taking them, and we were late," Maryland Coach Gary Williams said. "And by late I mean not playing really bad defense, but against a Villanova you're late if you don't move on the pass. In other words, if you wait and see their player, say King, catch the ball, and then you decide to go cover him because it looks like he's going to shoot it, you're too late. Every time the ball's in the air you've got to go after him like he is going to shoot it and make him put it on the floor. We didn't do that the first half; we did it the second half. That was the difference."

Villanova made 11 of 22 three-point attempts during the first half Sunday night. Reynolds and Stokes shot a combined 7 of 11 from beyond the arc and tallied 27 points before the intermission.

For the Terrapins, the defensive lapse was two-fold. Maryland, as Williams noted, did not always get out to cover the man on the perimeter quick enough, thus allowing shots that were not fully contested. Maryland also struggled on the boards, where Villanova owned a 12-4 advantage at halftime in offensive rebounding. By game's end, the Wildcats owned a 23-7 edge in offensive rebounding.

"Those offensive rebounds were big," Villanova Coach Jay Wright said. "They kept a lot of possessions alive. That's one of the things, you know, their zone is tough. We didn't shoot a great percentage against their zone, but sometimes you give up some rebounds. We got some loose ball rebounds that were big."

Ah yes, with roughly eight minutes remaining in the first half, Maryland switched to a 3-2 zone in an effort to throw off Villanova's outside shooting rhythm. The move was only marginally effective the rest of the first half, but seemed to pay dividends in the second half. After shooting 50 percent from beyond the arc before halftime, Villanova shot 29.4 percent (5 for 17) from three-point range after the intermission.

Reynolds, who finished with 25 points, said Maryland's switch from man-to-man to zone defense was difficult to adjust to because "it looks almost the same. At times we were running man-to-man offense when they were in zone, and vice versa. They might have been in man-to-man (defense) and we were running zone."

Villanova's response, Wright and Reynolds noted, was simply to keep shooting the ball no matter what defensive look Maryland was offering.

"You can live with 29 percent," Williams said, "but you can’t live with 50 percent when they take that many."

By Steve Yanda  |  December 7, 2009; 8:12 AM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Villanova holds off Maryland, 95-86
Next: Rebounding issues continue to trouble Maryland


So with our junior and senior laden team mixed with rising young starts we've played exactly 3 real teams and lost all 3? Another lame season we're we'll be waiting right until Selection Sunday to see if our bubble bursts. The program is in great shape. Please tell me again how great Gary is.

Posted by: restonhoops | December 7, 2009 8:58 AM | Report abuse

So now the Gary haters and supposed "MD fans" are coming out of the wood work again. How lame. Last night's game was a tough contest and MD indeed had their chances but we still have a lot of work to do. Real MD fans know that it typically takes time for our team to gel and find it's true identity.

It's unfortuante that we don't play any more out of conference ranked teams, but we will have plenty of chances against ranked teams in the ACC. To say "we are done" is incredulous. Our win against UNC last year was just as important ,if not more so, than our win against Michigan State.

We will have our chances but Vasquez better shape up. He has the next 5 games over the next month to figure it out or he can kiss the NBA goodbye.

Posted by: terptilldeath | December 7, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

way too much is being made of that Mich St. win early last season - if memory serves right, that was dismissed as MSU missing one of their top frontcourt guys and early season rust. The UNC game was WAY bigger in terms of their NCAA resume. Either way - this team will be fine provided they finish in the top 5 in the ACC.....

The barrage of 3s last night reminded me of the first UNC game in Chapel Hill last year - something you just have to tip your hat and move on. Nobody beats Nova with them shooting like that.

Posted by: putnam23 | December 7, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

It says "report abuse" at the end of every comment and the FOG's are real abusers...see terptilldeath above and Barno almost always...

Restonhoops makes some informed, reasoned statements about the team and its outlook and raises the question about GW that is on many minds, but terptill just trashes him and makes the same lame excuses.

Drink up all you Koolaid junkies.

Posted by: petecard | December 7, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Not enough talent. Period.

Nova lost some excellent players to graduation in the Spring, had a McD's All-American player out sick and still put out a line-up with far superior talent. 5 McDonalds All-American recruits played for the Wildcats last night against a program that hasn't landed a single 5 star recruit since Mike Jones - and he ended up being Mike Jones.

Posted by: Kev29 | December 7, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

A couple of weeks ago this blog spoke about
Georgetown being ranked higher than UMD, and where each team should have been ranked, at that time.
I stated then that pre-season rankings really mean nothing, over time, you have to earn your ranking.
A week later UMD was ranked around 22 or 23 in the polls. Not by virture of beating a ranked team, but by ranked teams in front of them losing. As I said then,
if UMD earns a spot in the top 25, then they deserve to be there.
How's that working out? They are who we think they are, ON THE BUBBLE right now!!
UMD is in trouble and TERP nation ought to realize that. Good Luck in ACC play....
Go Hoyas !!

Posted by: Hlynchmaster | December 7, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Can't wait til ACC season. I will quote the morons on this blog warmly and accurately come Selection Sunday.

Posted by: Barno1 | December 7, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Some on this blog have this tingly feeling that UMD is going to make big noise during their ACC run. I'm not one of them. I see problems in UMD's future, starting with Vasquez.
I can't wait for Selection Sunday either. At that time I will definitely be reading this blog to see quotes of some of the "morons" here. Also on Selection Sunday, UMD fans please don't chew your fingernails off, wondering if.

Posted by: Hlynchmaster | December 7, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

hilarious comment lynchmaster...and don't worry, you will be quoted on Selection Sunday...warmly and accurately.

Posted by: Barno1 | December 7, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse


All you do is quote and try to trash those who disagree with you.

And you get personal with your attacks, which just let's us know what we are dealing with.

How about some of your great insight on the team...

How are we going to do?

What kind of a seed are we going to get?

How many will we win in the ACC?

Really Barno, alll you seem to know how to do is cut and paste!

I'm waiting for this one to appear...LMAO

Posted by: petecard | December 7, 2009 7:56 PM | Report abuse

Terps get double digit wins in ACC and earn a top 5 seed in the NCAA. Advance to Sweet 16. Finish the year ranked.

No doubt these wouldn't be worthwhile accomplishments for the Fire-Gary crowd, but for the other 99% of us--we have a great year to look forward to.

Posted by: Barno1 | December 7, 2009 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Actually, Barno we hope you are right...but based on their performance to date your prognostications are based on blind faith.

Sweet dreams....

Posted by: petecard | December 7, 2009 9:15 PM | Report abuse

Double Digit wins in the ACC, #5 seed in
NCAA Tourney, Sweet 16... Barno1, you need to sell some of that stuff you are smokin, you could get rich.
You must be lookin at games thru some special glasses or something. Well, if nothing else, you are a diehard. I will give you credit for that.

Posted by: Hlynchmaster | December 8, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Lynchmaster, those predictions aren't merely mine...most analysts had the Terps at or around the top 25 when the season started, many had us in the upper echelon of the ACC, and everyone who follows college bball had MD going back to the big dance this year. Nothing that has happened so far has changed my opinion, especially given that we've been without our only experienced low post player thus far.

We are undefeated so far in ACC I don't know why you think anything has changed since the pre season projections. We won't need a marquee out of conference win to boost our resume, not when we'll have 10+ wins in the ACC.

Posted by: Barno1 | December 8, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

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