Maryland falls in overtime at Wake, 85-83
The Terrapins had it, and then they didn't. And then they had it again, and then they didn't. In the end, Maryland couldn't pull out a win on the road in its second game in three nights, but that did not mean the contest was bereft of encouraging signs for the Terrapins.
Maryland out-rebounded Wake Forest, 43-41. That's the second time in as many ACC games when the Terrapins bested a taller opponent on the glass.
Senior guard Greivis Vasquez tallied 30 points on 9 of 27 shooting. That's the seventh straight game (eighth in the past nine) in which he has scored at least 20.
And the Terps were in position to win the game both at the end of regulation and at the end of the overtime period. That has to count for something.
"I was really pleased with the effort that we were able to make tonight, and hopefully we learn some things from there," Coach Gary Williams said. "We had a couple balls I thought we had possession of where we fell down one time in overtime, and one time we stepped out of bounds on the baseline. You know, those things make a big difference in an overtime game, so we just have to clean it up a little bit. We have to do a little better job of making sure we take good shots in situations, and when we do that we’re a good basketball team."
1) Rebounding. Surprising? That doesn't really cover it. Maybe a flashier adjective like "astounding" or "astonishing" or "bewildering" would more accurately describe the fact that Maryland has out-rebounded its first two ACC opponents, especially considering those opponents were Florida State and Wake Forest -- two of the tallest teams in the league. The Terrapins got a career-high 13 rebounds out of Sean Mosley tonight to anchor their effort on the boards. Landon Milbourne chipped in six. Eric Hayes had five. Greivis Vasquez, Adrian Bowie and Dino Gregory each had four. Another group effort led to another rebounding victory.
2) Greivis Vasquez. For seven minutes during the second half, the only Maryland player who scored was Vasquez. Sure, he took a career-high 27 shots, but he took over because he had to. No other Terrapin had much offensive rhythm during that stretch. He finished with 30 points, seven assists, six turnovers and four rebounds.
3) Eric Hayes. With 1:32 remaining in regulation, Hayes drained a three-pointer to give Maryland a two-point lead. The lead proved fleeting, but the basket was noteworthy nonetheless. With that bucket, Hayes surpassed the 1,000-point career scoring mark. He became the 48th player in Maryland history to accomplish such a feat. It was a bittersweet accomplishment given the result of the game, but something for him to be proud of regardless. He finished with eight points, five rebounds and three assists.
1) Keeping Ish Smith contained. The guy is quick. Really, really, really quick. After scoring just six points in the first half, Smith turned on the jets in the second half and overtime period to finish with 16 points and eight assists. He hit the game-winner with 19 seconds left in overtime on a drive into the lane. Defending smaller, faster guards has been an issue for the Terrapins nearly all season. Maryland possesses a relatively tall group of guards, which comes in handy on the offensive end. Not so much on defense.
2) Turnovers. The final total (15) wasn't obscene, but it was uncharacteristic for a group that typically is pretty responsible with the ball. Wake Forest made the Terps pay for their sloppiness, too. The Demon Deacons out-scored Maryland in fast break points, 18-2. In the first half, Maryland was able to slow the pace and force Wake Forest to work out of half-court sets. Consequently, the Terrapins held the lead. But as soon as the Demon Deacons were able to elevate the pace and keep it there, Maryland struggled to keep up. And turnovers played a significant role in Wake being able to push the tempo as much as it did. The Demon Deacons were sloppy in their own right (16 turnovers), but with the way they're built, they prefer high-possession games.
3) Inoportune moments. Landon Milbourne fouled Al-Farouq Aminu beyond the three-point line with 29.3 seconds to go in regulation and Maryland up by two. Aminu hits two of three free throws. Sean Mosley grabs an offensive rebound, but steps on the baseline with just less than three minutes remaining in overtime. Wake Forest scores on the following possession to go up by four. The Terrapins missed 3 of 6 free throws in overtime. Those are the sort of little miscues that helped contribute to Maryland's loss Tuesday night, the little things that, as Gary Williams pointed out, end up making a big difference in close games.
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