The Terps picked the right time to put together one of their most impressive halves of the season.
After looking sluggish through the last 8 minutes of the first few minutes of the 2nd half; the Terps kicked things into high gear and found some serious confidence to put away Cal 84-71 in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament Thursday afternoon in Kansas City.
The Terps scored 50 points in the 2nd half; which included 16 points from Greivis Vasquez (he scored 27 for the game); and consecutive offensive rebounds and putbacks from Dino Gregory to help put things away.
The Terps never abandoned their offensive philosophy; maintaining their offensive aggression dispite patches of struggles during the game. They turned things on late; driving to the basket and getting fouled; or finding the open shooter and getting jump shots to fall.
The Terps clearly proved they belonged in the Tournament to anyone who thought they were fortunate to be there; and they now have the chance to prove even more.
Their next task will be even more difficult; as they’ll face Conference USA Champion Memphis Saturday; a game after the Tigers were given a serious wake-up call by upstart Cal State-Northridge.
But for a team that many analysts and even some fans gave up on during the season; it is presumably a sweet feeling just to be amongst the final 32 teams standing this season.
(Gametime for Saturday’s matchup with Memphis is now set for 3:20)
Greivis Vasquez lead the Terps with a game high 27 points; tied for the team high with 5 rebounds (Gregory, Milbourne), and chipped in 4 assists. Dave Neal added 15 points and 4 rebounds; Eric Hayes 14 points, 4 boards, and 4 assists. Adrian Bowie added 12 points and tied for the game high with 7 assists. Landon Milbourne chipped in 9 points. The Terps were out-rebounded by the Bears; 33-29. They tallied 18 assists, 5 steals and a block. The Terps shot 31-63 from the field (49.2%), 6-16 from beyond the arc (37.5%), and 16-24 from the free throw line (66.7%).
Theo Robertson lead the Bears with 22 points, adding a game high 6 rebounds. Jerome Randle added 14 points, and tied for the game high with 7 assists. Patrick Christopher added 10 points and 4 rebounds; Jorge Gutierrez and Jamal Boykin each scored 9 points and grabbed 5 rebounds. The Bears tallied 12 assists, 2 steals, and 2 blocks. They shot 25-59 from the field (42.4%), 7-24 from beyond the arc (29.2%), and 14-19 from the free throw line (73.7%).
5:08-It’s a final 84-71 Terps. They’ll have Memphis Saturday for the right to advance to the Sweet 16. What an impressive 2nd for this team against a solid Pac-10 foe. I believe the ACC remains undefeated in postseason play now.
Back shortly to wrap it up.
5:05-Greivis steps back and drills a 3 with 1:20 to play; then adds another hoop with a minute left. 82-69 Terps and we’re in junk time.
5:03-Two minutes to play and Hayes is fouled. Too good of a free throw shooting team to be worried down the stretch. Hayes makes one; 77-66 Terps. Gutierrez with a highlight-reel hoop and foul; but there didn’t appear to actually be a foul. 77-69 Terps; who break Cal’s press but ALMOST turn it over.
5:00-The back to back buckets by Dino were HUGE Rich; but it was the attitude more than anything (well; the 3’s from Hayes and Milbourne to pull away really helped too). Cal knocks down a 3 to get within 10; but this one is just about academic.
4:57-This press conference has been more trouble than it’s worth! But Maryland is in cruise control; having reached a COMPLETE other level in the 2nd. Terps up 13 with 3 and a half to play; and Drew Forrester is claiming victory right now. He has asked me to say “Looks like Forrester was right” and “put that in your pipe and smoke it.”
Son of a bitch.
4:49-Sorry for the lack of updates. Terps up 66-56 now and just forced another turnover. Feeling MUCH better now. Another hoop makes it 68-56.
4:39-Bucket from Bowie; 3’s from Hayes and Milbourne. 8-0 run gives the Terps their biggest lead at 59-51. Mike Montgomery needs a timeout.
4:36-Press conference over; Terps trailig 51-50; but headed to the line is Milbourne. He makes 1 of 2; we’re tied at 51.
4:30-Another 3 left short by Bowie; and Cal takes a 47-46 lead on the other end. Terps turn the ball over; they HAVE to start hitting some shots. Turnover by Cal. b
4:27-Mosley with a bucket; 46-44 Terps now at the official timeout. It is REALLY frustrating that I’m trying to do this during a press conference. And my laptop is dying.
4:23-The senior makes both; he has 11. 40-36 Terps. Cal gets out on a break; and Neal fouls Robertson.
I will admit; video went bad for a minute. 44-39 Terps now.
4:22-3 personals for Landon Milbourne early on in the 2nd half. I expected more from him today. Dave Neal fouled inside; he’ll shoot two.
4:20-Great split by Vasquez; and the finish for 2. 38-34 Terps, 13 for Vasquez. Patrick Christopher fouled by Milbourne next time down; he makes both. 38-36 Maryland.
4:19-Vasquez misses the 3 off the curl on a nice set play; then Theo Robertson gets a hoop inside and hits the PLUS ONE attempt. Shaky video right now from CBSSports.com. I’m “improvising and adapting” as Bob Haynie would say. 36-34 Terps.
4:18-Dave Neal inside for 2; Terps extend the lead to 36-31. Gutierrez can’t finish on the other end. 9 for Neal early on.
4:16-I’ve moved into the Ravens auditorium to blog live from Ray Lewis’ press conference. I’m now watching the game online on CBS Sports’ March Madness on Demand; and I apologize if I’m a minute or two behind you.
Franchise-Nestor assumed anyone in their car would be listening to the game; so he decided to go to Fox Sports Radio until the game is over.
4:11-Greivis Vasquez lead the Terps with 11 points, Dave Neal added 7, Eric Hayes 6.
Jerome Randle lead the Bears with 11 points, Patrick Christopher and Theo Robertson added 6 each.
3:54-Hayes makes both; 34-31 Terps. Cal will get one more look. Two misses for Cal and the ball goes out of bounds with 1 second left. That took forever; and a double clutch keeps Cal from getting a shot off. 34-31 Terps, back shortly.
3:53-Robertson makes 1 of 2; Terps will get the last shot of the half. Cal’s Patrick Christopher called for the foul; Hayes to the line for 2 with 11 seconds to play.
3:50-Both teams could use some momentum heading into the half. Robertson drive and is fouled; he’ll head to the line. Terps will get one more shot after the free throw attempts and Gary’s timeout.
3:49-A big 3 from D.J. Seeley tied things up at 30 before Hayes’ floater. Which bears the question……who the hell is D.J. Seeley???
3:45-Thanks for that Drew. Not sure what I missed; but a Hayes floater just put the Terps agead 32-30 in the final 2 minutes of the half. Foul on Gregory inside; and Omondi Amoke heads to the line. He misses both. 1 minute to play in the half.
3:43- Drew still with you here from Owings Mills — Jeremy Guthrie’s been told by the O’s to come on back to Ft. Lauderdale after another miserable effort in the WBC last night. Can’t say that I blame them. If Guthrie doesn’t have his good stuff at the start of the season, the O’s are in trouble. Derek Lowe…Derek Lowe…Derek Lowe…Derek Lowe. Here’s Glenn.
3:41- Not sure why I’m doing this, but I’ll let Drew take over for a few minutes while I go set up the gear for the Ravens press conference. Drew: Thanks Glenn. I stopped watching this one about five minutes into the game. There’s no chance MD loses today. Cal can’t rebound, for one, and can’t make shots, either. It’s now 26-23, Terps. They’ll lead by 7 at the half, at least. I wonder what the spread will be for the MD-Memphis game on Saturday? Terps +7.5?
3:38-Vasquez drives, stops, misses; Terps get the rebound in the backcourt eventually. Vasquez front-irons a long 2; and the Terps finally get fouled-believe it was Bowie. We’ll hit the last official timeout of the half with the Terps maintaining their 1 point lead.
3:36-Two interior misses by Cal; and Dave Neal is fouled after pulling down the rebound. Terps haven’t scored since Drew Forrester started talking; and Bowie and Hayes add missed 3’s to that. Under 5 minutes and Gutierrez is hit with the offensive foul.
Brutal basketball right now.
3:34-Rich; gotcha. You’re right, and it clearly has been effective. Terps have to get better collapses; and MUST continue to attack the zone. But Bowie can’t be the guy to do it. You can’t ask a 6’2″ guard to drive the zone.
Another layup for Jerome Randle and another Maryland turnover; and the Terps’ lead is just 24-23. Mosley with the walk and the foul.
3:28-Harper Kamp fouled by Vasquez inside; then Knezevic with one of the worst looking 3 point shots I have ever seen in my life. Terps turn the ball right back over with Greivis heading to the bench.
Rich-I like the results they have gotten from the zone; but I’m not sure I like the zone against the best 3 point shooting team in the country.
Terps get a HUGE block; but Bowie called for the travel to turn the ball over again. Terps maintain the 3 point advantage at the 3rd official timeout of the half.
3:26-Patrick Christopher throws home the alley-oop to pull the Bears within 1; Nikola Knezevic into the game and called for the foul. Hayes with the long 2 to get on the scoreboard; 24-21 Maryland.
3:25-Theo Robertson to the free throw line; he makes both. Terps tuen the ball over on the other end; 22-19 Terps midway through the first half.
3:24-Randle AGAIN to the basketfor 2; Vasquez answers with the 3 on the other end. 9 for both of the star guards thus far.
3:23-Vasquez into the lane for a jumper; putting the Terps up 19-15. 6 so far for the junior from Venezuela.
3:18-Patrick Christopher on the board with the third chance hoop. Milbourne fights for the offensive board on the other end; making one of two free throws. Randle drains the 3; then Vasquez called for the offensive foul. 17-15 Terps and Cal gets the ball back. Harper Kamp into the game for the Bears.
An overrule gives Maryland the ball back after the 2nd official timeout.
3:17-Pair of free throws from Vasquez; 16-10 Terps. Terps get a turnover going to the press to get the ball right back. Dino Gregory and Eric hayes in the game.
3:16-Rich, Drew added “Maryland’s not losing to these guys” after he told me it was over a 2nd time. The guy is just unreal.
3:12-Jerome Randle with the bucket for Cal; bucket for Landon Milbourne; then a drive and finish for Randle. Vasquez responds with an awkward hoop; an the Terps are up 14-10 at the first official timeout. This one isn’t slowing down any time soon. 13:27 to play in the half.
3:10-Dave Neal with the ugly jumper in the lane; he has 5 early and Maryland leads 10-3. Mosley with the steal on the defenive end; but can’t knock down his first 3 point attempt. Cal loves to shoot; and Theo Robertson knocks one down here. 10-6 Terps.
3:08-Boykin makes one of two free throws; and it’s 8-3. Both teams trying to get up and down the floor quickly as expected early on. Gutierrez and Mosley get tangled up; Gutierrez called for his first personal.
3:07-Sean Mosley’s free throw troubles continue; hitting just one of 2. 8-2 Terps. Jorge Gutierrez into the game for Cal. Boykin fouled by Mosley on the other end after Cal kept possession on a jump ball.
3:06-Adrian Bowie and Landon Milbourne with buckets; followed by a 3 from Dave Neal. Boykin with a putback on the other end; and it’s 7-2 Terps early.
3:03-Gary sticks with the Greivis Vasquez/Adrian Bowie/Sean Mosley/Landon Milbourne/Dave Neal lineup that’s been working; Mike Montgomery goes with Jerome Randle/Patrick Christopher/Theo Robertson/Jamal Boykin/Jordan Wilkes.
4-0 Terps; Drew Forrester chimes in with “This game is over.” It never ends…..
3:00-3 minutes from tip-off. I will say that Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti has already walked into the room once today and let everyone know that he talked to Gary Williams a few hours ago. Bisciotti has to be particularly distraught; as he would miss the next game if the Terps win; as he has to head to the NFL Owner’s Meetings this weekend.
Pre-game: Well, this might be the strangest live blog I’ve ever done. I’m not at the Sprint Center in Kansas City; I’m at the Ravens Complex in Owings Mills. And today’s blog might be interrupted a bit; as the Ravens scheduled a pesky press conference with Ray Lewis. Bear with me, I’ll do everything I can to keep the damage minimal.
The 10th seeded Terps bring a 20-13 record into this afternoon’s game; the 7th seeded California Golden Bears are 22-10. The winner of today’s game in the West region of the NCAA Tournament will advance to face #2 seed Memphis on Saturday.
Gary Williams is making his 13th appearance in the Tournament as head coach at Maryland; Mike Montgomery is making his 1st appearance as head coach at California (of course; it is his first season). The last time the two coaches faced off was also in the NCAA Tournament…….a win for the Terps in the 2001 Elite 8. The two teams shared one common opponent this season; with both the Terps and Bears having lost to Florida State.
Today’s game is being shown on CBS (WJZ 13 locally; Channel 23 on Comcast in Baltimore County). Tim Brando and Mike Gminski have the call.