Maryland's season ends with 85-83 loss to Michigan State
Every player inside Maryland's hushed locker room felt the same way following the Terrapins' 85-83 loss to Michigan State on Sunday in the second round of the NCAA tournament: They thought they had the game won.
And who could blame them? Maryland orchestrated a furious push over the final two minutes of the contest to erase a nine-point deficit and even claim a one-point lead on two different occassions. Greivis Vasquez's leaner that fell in with 6.6 seconds left in regulation seemed to seal the Terrapins' Sweet 16 bid.
But rather than call a timeout to talk things over, Michigan State rushed down the court for one final shot. Forward Draymond Green tossed a pass to Korie Lucious that almost drilled Delvon Roe in the face. Roe ducked and the ball made it to Lucious, who fired what proved to be the game-winning three-pointer at the buzzer.
"It just seemed like we were going to win that game, and then we had it taken away from us, so this is tough," Maryland Coach Gary Williams said. "But give Michigan State credit because when you take a hit like that, to come back and win the game, that’s a pretty good accomplishment."
1) The three seniors. Greivis Vasquez tallied 10 of his 26 points in the final two minutes of the game. He passed Len Bias to move into second place on Maryland's all-time scoring list in the first half. Vasquez also registered eight assists and three steals. Eric Hayes finished 18 points and seven assists. He also made 2 of 2 free throws and finished his career has the program's all-time leader in free throw percentage. Landon Milbourne shot 5 for 10 from the field and finished with 11 points.
2) The full-court press. There were two different versions of Maryland's full-court press on display Sunday. There was the press Maryland implemented in the first half, when the Terrapins would trap on the initial in-bound pass and then retreat if the press was broken. And then there was the press the Terrapins put forth in the second half, the one that nearly discombobulated Michigan State enough to provide Maryland a win. In the final two minutes of the game, Maryland forced Michigan State to commit four turnovers.
The Terrapins were aided by the fact that Michigan State was without its starting point guard, Kalin Lucas, who suffered an achilles injury to his left foot in the first half and did not return. But regardless of who was handling the ball for the Spartans, the pressure from Maryland clearly was amped up after the break.
"Really, in that situation it doesn't matter who they have in the game," Williams said. "You're down; you have to do something. So our press was good. I wouldn't call this one of my greatest pressing teams, but it was a great pressing team in that situation today."
3) Jordan Williams. By the standards he set Friday night, when he tallied 21 points and 17 rebounds, Williams had an off game on Sunday. But by the standards set for Williams by the team at the season's outset -- expectations more reasonable for a first-year player competing in his first NCAA tournament -- he had a pretty solid game. Williams got into foul trouble early, but with Maryland trailing, the Terrapins had little choice other than to keep Williams in the game down the stretch. He picked up his third foul 17:58 to play, but he did not draw another whistle the rest of the night. He finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds, and did what he could to provide the Terrapins some semblance of a presence on the boards.
1) Rebounding. Despite Williams's efforts, the Terrapins got hammered on the boards by a physical Michigan State squad. The Spartans out-rebounded Maryland, 42-24. It was Maryland's lowest rebound total of the season. Landon Milbourne, Dino Gregory and Sean Mosley combined to pull down six rebounds.
2) Transition scoring. It was the Spartans, not the Terrapins, who were pushing the pace and racking up the fast break points on Sunday. One of the more surprising numbers of the afternoon was how many fast break points Maryland scored against Michigan State -- zero. The Spartans outscored Maryland in transition, 14-0.
3) Abrupt endings. The pain was felt by everyone in Maryland's locker room, but it was even sharper for Vasquez, Hayes and Milbourne, who had to deal with the reality that they had just played their final collegiate game.
"I thought we had the game won, and just like that, you know, it’s gone," Hayes said. "Season’s over. Career’s over. In a split-second all of our careers ended, and it’s really tough."
March 21, 2010; 7:28 PM ET
Categories: Men's basketball
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