Thursday, March 19, 2009

(10) Maryland vs. (7) Cal, In-Game Reactions- 2nd Half

And the second half begins…

MD 46, CAL 44; 15:14 2nd Half: This game is getting pretty chippy. The Terps have racked up 4 fouls already this half, giving Landon Milbourne 3 on the game and 4 other players saddled with 2. For their part, Cal’s best defender, Jorge Gutierrez, stayed on the court with 3 of his own. Maryland is going to have to play with a bit more discipline, or the bench will be under a lot more pressure. The Golden Bears seem to be playing much looser this half and it might soon start to show on the scoreboard.

CAL 51, MD 50; 11:49 2nd Half: Cal took their first lead at 14:39 after Adrian Bowie missed a wide open three pointer. The Terps took it back at 13:55 but gave it back again soon after. The story of this game so far has got to be Dave Neal- he has never been the most athletic or the most talented player on the court, but he is fighting for one more game in a Terps uniform. He is making all the hustle plays he can and has given Maryland life when they needed it the most. Someone besides Neal and Vasquez is going to have to get hot.

MD 59, CAL 51; 9:55 2nd Half: So just after I write that someone new is going to have to get hot, Eric Hayes and Landon Milbourne respond with consecutive three pointers to give Maryland their largest lead of the game. Talk about good luck… While Cal has developed a strong presence inside (who hasn’t against Maryland?), they continue to live and die by the three. So far the Bears have been let down by a 4-16 effort so far from behind the arc. I would like to say it is the Terps zone defense that is keeping Cal at bay, but they have missed a lot of good looks today.

MD 63, CAL 53; 7:54 2nd Half: A lot more commercials this half, huh? Anyways, Greivis Vasquez seems to be right into his 2nd-half, big-game self. He launched an air ball but followed it up with a brilliant steal and layup. Maryland is playing with a lot of confidence right now, and the Cal players seem to be getting too anxious for this stage in the game. Cal’s poor shooting seems to be getting into their head- I haven’t seen them play this sloppy all game. They need to stop pressing these deep shots to have a strong chance of coming back, but it is tough to ask a team to change its M.O. in the NCAA tournament.

MD 74, CAL 61; 3:32 2nd Half: Cal is 2/3 from three point range since the last break, but Maryland’s defense has been absolutely incredible, forcing a 5 second violation, a couple steals, an offensive foul, and a host of bad shots from the #7 seed. The whole Terps squad is getting into the act now, this is fun to watch for a Maryland fan.

MD 76, CAL 66; 2:11 2nd Half: The Golden Bears have started a full court press and hit another three pointer to cut the lead to 10. It might not be too late for Cal if they can get into rhythm from behind the arc (better late than never); Maryland is going to have to take their time and not give Cal too many quick possessions.

Maryland 84, California 71; FINAL

Postgame Coming Soon!

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