Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Wake Too Much For Terps

The stage was set for Maryland to deliver the midweek upset to lock them into the NCAA Tournament and give Dave Neal a great senior night. But Jeff Teague and the Demon Deacons had other plans, and muscled their way past Maryland 65-63. Maryland had a double digit lead in the first half and a seven-point lead in the middle of the second half. But in a game where the frontcourt play was very physical, the Terps just could not handle the pressure, capped by Jeff Teague's 13 second half points, including a towering dunk over Neal.

The problem for the Terps was that they could not employ their advantages tonight. They are one of the best free throw shooting teams in the conference; only twice to the line tonight. They need to shoot threes well; that did not happen tonight. Landon Milbourne and Adrian Bowie have not been themselves, putting more strain on Greivis Vasquez to perform well. When Maryland tried to employ their fast-paced style, the Deacs employed their cross-zone, which Maryland could not adjust to at all. When Maryland's consistent players don't perform, their lack of depth prevents them from adjusting. Despite all of this, they had a chance to win, but they could not deliver.

Neal was the only one who shot well all night, going 5-6 from beyond the arc and ending with 19 points. Vasquez was 7-24, 28 for three-point shots, getting 17. No one else for Maryland got more than six points.

This puts Maryland at 18-11, 7-8 in the conference, setting up yet another must-win game this weekend on the road against Virginia. Last year the Terps needed that victory and the Cavs spoiled the party; Maryland can't afford that again.

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