Maryland's efficiency improved as game against Va. Tech progressed
After the first half of play Saturday night, neither the score nor Maryland's rate of efficiency boded well for the Terrapins. Maryland trailed by six at halftime, which might have been distressing enough for Terrapins fans, but it was the manner in which their team was performing that should have been more disconcerting.
Maryland was getting beat badly on the offensive boards and tallied seven turnovers before the break. The Terrapins averaged 0.85 points per possession, while allowing Virginia Tech to average 1.02 points per possession*.
* Quick reminder: 1.0 points per possession = good; 1.1 ppp = great; 1.2 or higher ppp = outstanding.
In the second half, however, Maryland found its offensive rhythm. Behind the efforts of freshman forward Jordan Williams -- who finished the night with 15 rebounds (seven offensive) -- the Terrapins gained an edge on the offensive glass after the intermission. They also recorded just two turnovers after the break, while Virginia Tech committed seven.
Maryland averaged 1.4 points per possession in the second half; Virginia Tech averaged 1.2 points per possession. By the end of regulation, both squads were performing at a high rate on offense, and defense had become something of an afterthought.
Both teams regressed in the first overtime period. Maryland and Virginia Tech each averaged 0.9 points per possession.
But the Terrapins surged in the second overtime, thanks in large part to their ability to get to the free throw line. Maryland made 9 of 10 free throws in the second overtime period. Sean Mosley shot 4 for 4 from the charity stripe in the final period, while Eric Hayes shot 3 for 4 and Dino Gregory went 2 for 2.
All those free throws helped Maryland average 1.7 points per possession in the second overtime period. Virginia Tech could not keep up, averaging 1.2 points per possession in the same span.
The Terrapins recorded just four turnovers after the first half. In an up-tempo game that lasted two overtimes, that's not too shabby. Virginia Tech tallied 10 turnovers in the final three periods.
"We did a good job in our halfcourt offense of not forcing it," Maryland Coach Gary Williams said. "We didn't always wind up with a great shot, but we didn't throw the ball away either. At least we got a shot out of it. So that's, every time you have a possession, if you get a shot off you've got a chance to make it, and that's what we did tonight. They didn't press us, so our turovers are probably a little down because of that, but I thought we did a great job of running our offense when we had to."
On the night, Maryland averaged 1.14 points per possession, while Virginia Tech averaged 1.10 points per possession.
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