Thursday, March 19, 2009

(10) Maryland vs. (7) Cal, In-Game Reactions- 1st Half

I am set to write my first ever postgame, but I thought this might be a welcome addition to our blog in the meantime. I have decided to set out my reaction to the game as it comes, updated at some of the commercial breaks when it appeared that things had changed somewhat in momentum or style. Enjoy, postgame will follow the 2nd half reactions!

MD 16, CAL 12; 13:27 1st Half: Maryland has picked up the pace on Cal, something I really didn’t expect- though a fast game is always a good way to make up for a lack of size. It also hasn’t hurt that the Golden Bears can’t seem to hit from the field, going only 33%; way too low for a team that relies on solid shooting.

MD 17, CAL 15; 11:36 1st Half: I am impressed with how Vasquez is rising (yet again) to the occasion, on both offense and defense. The Terps are also getting to the line, which is a welcome surprise compared to what we have seen this season.

MD 24, CAL 21; 7:31 1st Half: The shots are starting to fall for Cal, as they are doing a good job of establishing their confidence at the rim and then going back to the perimeter; the 3s could start hitting home soon. Greivis has picked up another foul and had to sit- which was followed immediately by turnovers on 2 straight possessions. Any question as to how much this team relies on him? Someone else will have to step up the scoring.

MD 24, CAL 24; 3:56 1st Half: Make that 4 straight turnovers, after which Gary Williams had no choice but to put Vasquez back in. Cal’s abysmal shooting is the only thing keeping this in Maryland’s favor, though the Terps are shooting no better. 36% from the field for the Terps, 34% for Cal- neither team is in rhythm from the field.

MD 34, CAL 31; Halftime: Dave Neal hits a three and continues to be overlooked by this Cal defense as he racks up offensive rebounds and gets relatively open shots. Unfortunately, this is not the Cal team we have been accustomed to seeing all season, it is unlikely they will continue to shoot so poorly in the second half. Maryland has faded in the second half of a lot of games this season; they will have to keep up their tough defense and start hitting those jump shots. They spent a few too many possessions trying to draw fouls than actually trying to make the shot by the rim and draw a foul in the process.

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