7:35-That was semi-brutal; but not particularly unexpected. Maryland clearly couldn’t respond from playing back to back games against top 10 teams; as they spent a great deal of energy and emotion last night. It really isn’t a particularly bad loss; as the next time this could possibly happen would be the ACC Tournament.
The real question will be how the Terps respond Sunday vs. Georgetown. It won’t be nearly as emotional as it would be if they had played the game in DC; but it will certainly be a game the teams will be juiced up for. Georgetown has size; but hasn’t used their size the way Gonzaga has. Maryland will have a chance to rest up and again get the opportunity to use their athleticism and beat a good team. But if they get run out of Lake Buena Vista Sunday; this weekend will end with as many questions as there were when they arrived in Florida.
What we do know for sure is that Gonzaga is good. REALLY good. They will run all over the WCC if they stay focused; and should consider to beat good non-conference opponents. They have remarkable size; they can shoot; and they are athletic as well. Maryland shouldn’t hang their head that they couldn’t compete with a Gonzaga team the night after blowing out Michigan State; but they have to improve.
That’s it for me tonight; I want more broccoli and cheese, or stuffing and raisins. Talk to you tomorrow for Maryland-Boston College.
7:25-Greivis was the only Terp in double figures; he had 16. Hayes was next with 8. Zags had 5 players with at least 8 points; lead by Heytvelt with 22. Terps finish just 1-12 from beyond the arc; and shot just 37% from the floor for the game. Gonzaga shot almost 52%; and out-rebounded the Terps 39-29. Not good numbers.
7:24-On consecutive Sundays; we’ll have Maryland-Georgetown and Ravens-Redskins. It gets no better than that. Really wish Sunday’s game would be played at Comcast Center; or the Verizon Center; or Cole Field House. This one will end here; Gonzaga wins 81-59. I’ll wrap it up shortly.
7:22-Heytvelt exits; he was a monster tonight. This game has gone almost exactly as I thought it would; as the Terps didn’t have answers inside; and couldn’t hit enough shots to have a chance to steal the game. This really isn’t that bad considering what happened last night; and Gary will certainly have the chance to do some coaching after the Terps’ collective egos deflate tonight. Zags by 21 with 40 seconds to play.
7:20-Hoops from Sean Mosley and Jin Soo Kim; but Maryland still trails by 17 with about 2 minutes to play. Mosley misses another 3-he’ll need to dedicate himself to improving that.
7:16-The nice thing about the Georgetown contest will be the fact that the papers Sunday will be littered with Georgetown-Maryland history lessons. Well, they’ll be littered with stories about the Ravens and Redskins actually; but their should be some good fashioned smack-talk about why the schools have only played once in the regular season over the last 20 or so years. We’ll hear from John Thompson, Lefty Driesell, etc. etc. etc. That should be fun. Plus; we can remember the magic night when Joe Smith arrived and shifted the balance of power in DC to College Park at the Capital Centre; or we can remember the night when Maryland knocked Craig Escherick’s Hoyas out in the Sweet 16 on their way to the school’s first ever Final Four.
7:14-The good news in all of this is that Gonzaga will almost certainly stay near the Top 10 all season like Michigan State. It might not help their Tournament resume much, but even a bad loss to Gonzaga will help strength of schedule. The Terps will get 3 games against good ranked teams this weekend; instead of the 1 they would have gotten had they lost to the Spartans last night. A loss to Gonzaga may prove to be more valuable than a win over Oklahoma State (which would not have been a given anyway) in the long run.
7:13-Heytvelt now has 22 thanks to an outside jumper to make the lead 20 for the Zags. Gary brings Jin Soo back in; he misses a jumper.
7:12-Fran Frischilla’s all-time Maryland team? He cheated and named 6: Tom McMillen, Juan Dixon, John Lucas, Albert King, Len Elmore, and Len Bias.
7:08-Nice leaner from Hayes to cut the lead to 14. Looks like Gary is gonna keep fighting; knowing he has a day off to rest his guys and try to get the emotion back for the likely Georgetown showdown Sunday. Shame that game won’t be here.
Heytvelt is a MONSTER; he gets another rebound and hoop; he now has 15 points and 9 boards. Terps get a basket; but Heytvelt again with a ridiculous move to get a close hoop inside. Bowie gets fouled going to the basket; and he heads to the line looking to cut into the 16 point lead.
Pargo with the 3 as the clock expires; then Bowie with a 2. Terps trail by 15. Pargo’s 3 was NO WHERE NEAR the line; maybe 5 or 6 behind. He had to bank it. Things are going Gonzaga’s way.
7:03-Milbourne with the bucket to cut the lead to 16; but Bowie called for an offensive foul as he tries to work to the hoop. Lead remains 16 for Gonzaga.
7:02-A free throw and a layup from Bouldin make Gonzaga’s lead 18; their largest of the game. Mark Few must also consider resting his guys, as he will have a tough test vs. Tennessee Sunday night.
7:01-Dave Neal gets a hoop to quell a Gonzaga run; Terps trail 57-42 now. Neal has been getting a lot of minutes; and while he has played well; he certainly takes away from the Terps’ athleticism. Jerome Burney in the game; but he doesn’t have much to offer. Hayes misses another good look from outside.
6:59-Tennessee Coach Bruce Pearl does a nice job of praising Gary Williams; who came from the Dr. Tom Davis coaching tree like he did. Maryland is REALLY running out of legs right now; and Gary will have to consider resting his starters at some point in preparation for a likely showdown with Georgetown Sunday.
6:57-Two local squads in action tonight; as Coppin State visits Kansas; and Towson visits Villanova. Actually, the Towson game is in the Palestra; where Drew Forrester is. I think the combined beatings the locals take tonight could be 40+.
6:54-Terps STILL getting beat up inside; as Steven Gray collects an offensive rebound and a hoop; plus he’ll get an attempt at a plus one. Gonzaga by 14; with a chance to extend it. The previous 5 minutes were probably Maryland’s best chance at making a run; and if Hayes and Mosley had hit their shots; this game would look significantly different.
6:51-Hayes knocks down a pair of free throws; but Sacre with the rebound and dunk on the other side to make the advantage 10 again. Mosley blocked by Daye inside; and Gonzaga converts it for 2 and a 12 point lead. Gary takes another timeout; can he tell the guys they need to grow? Just 12:44 to play here.
6:49-Terps with ANOTHER miss from outside; this one from Eric Hayes. Clear evidence of just how exhausted the Terps are. Zags are able to pull 7 footer Robert Sacre off the bench; he draws Dino Gregory’s 4th foul; and extends the Bulldogs’ lead back to 10. Must be nice to have a 7 footer on the bench. Or on the team.
6:47-Mosley had a good look to pull the Terps within 5; but couldn’t get it to go. He needs to improve his shooting; as he will get looks throughout the season. Zags continue to outmuscle the Terps inside; continuously winning rebounding battles.
6:45-Vasquez gets the freebie; Terps within 8.
Nice story from Andy Katz about Gonzaga assistant Tommy Lloyd; who scouted Greivis in Venezuela; and got him into Montrose Christian; where he decided to stay local and go to Maryland.
Gonzaga misses a pair of jumpers; but both rebounds go long. Heytvelt is a major factor right now for Gonzaga; as he draws a foul.
6:42-Bad decision making from Milbourne in taking a long jumper; followed by an inside hoop from Daye. Neal makes a bad decision in trying to drive on bigger defenders; but makes up for it by forcing a tie-up. Vasquez gets a hoop to pull the Terps back within 11.
Good defensive stand as Gonzaga starts working the clock a bit; and Vasquez takes a tap back the rest of the way for a layup; and he’ll have a chance to add a plus one. Terps back within 9 at the official timeout.
6:40-Maryland probably has one run in them in the 2nd half; but I’m still afraid this is more likely to become a 20 point plus win for Gonzaga. They are about that much better than Maryland; and the Terps have not been able to steal minutes with anyone to keep their legs fresh. These guys just look worn out on both ends of the floor. Maybe Gary should consider a Steve Goins appearance?
6:37-Terps need four chances to finally get a putback from Eric Hayes; then Josh Heytvelt breaks their spirit with an incredible athletic move to stuff down an alley-oop. Gary calls timeout again; as he just needs to keep the Terps somewhere in range.
6:34-Terps and Zags trade hoops to start the 2nd half; and Gonzaga’s lead is 40-31. Gary told Andy Katz that he’s worried the Terps spent too much emotion in the win over Michigan State; and weren’t able to get back up for this one tonight. Gonzaga extends the lead to 11; and Maryland just needs to remain in shouting distance at this point.
6:21-In ACC action earlier today; Boston College was a 83-77 winner over UAB in the 3rd place contest at the NIT Season Tip-Off. Duke was a 95-72 winner over Duquesne, and Wake advanced to the finals of the 76 Classic with a 82-79 win over UTEP. Virginia, Georgia Tech, Clemson, and Florida State are all in action tonight; Virginia plays Syracuse; and Florida State battles Cincinnati in Las Vegas.
6:17-Thom Brennan (former Vermont Coach) couldn’t be more accurate with his halftime assessment; as he clearly sees that the Terps are running out of legs right now. Gonzaga is the bigger team, and is wearing the Terps down. Mark Few told Andy Katz that he thinks the Terps want to run. They don’t want to run; but they do want to move without the ball; and that takes fresh legs. Gary tried to steal some minutes from Jin Soo Kim; but they weren’t productive. He’ll have to figure out a way to keep Vasquez, Milbourne, Bowie, and Tucker fresh in the 2nd half; as they’ll need major production. They also need to maintain their form when they shoot from outside; as their poor outside shooting also appears to be a product of how tired they are.
6:15-Milbourne with the swipe; but can’t finish on the other end. Terps get another semi-fast break, and Milbourne can’t finish again. Daye gets a hoop….Zags lead 38-29. Terps will hold for a final shot.
Dave Neal takes the almost-final shot, and it’s a short turnaround miss. Maryland looks tired right now; and needs the halftime break. Matt Bouldin had a good look at a 3 at the buzzer, but it rimmed out; and the Bulldogs maintain their 9 point lead at the break.
6:13-So much for composure. Daye and Pargo get consecutive hoops, then the Terps turn the ball over and Gary needs a timeout with the Terps trailing by 7. Gary is making his anger known on the sidelines; as Maryland is a Gonzaga 3 away from trailing by double digits; which could lead to them feeling sorry for themselves.
6:10-A pair of freebies from Pargo; and the Zags lead 32-27. Tremendous balance for them; as they have 7 from each Heytvelt and Downs, and 6 each from Pargo and Daye.
Vasquez takes on 3 Zags and gets fouled inside. He hits both at the line, giving him 11 and making this a 3 point game again. No other Terp has more than 4.
6:07-Terps DO take that timeout, but don’t improve offensively. Another turnover, and we hit the final official timeout with about 2 and a half to play, and Gonzaga maintains their 30-27 lead.
The one thing I will say is impressive thus far is the fact that Maryland has maintained composure. It would be easy to panic when things weren’t working offensively; or when Gonzaga is overpowering them on the offensive end, but they have mostly maintained control. If they can at least keep things close; they’ll have a chance-which is more than I expected. Gonzaga should be KILLING them inside, but they’ve been impatient.
6:03-Micah Downs with a pair of free throws to make it 30-27 Gonzaga. Dupree misses free throws on the other end; then Hayes and Pargo exchange misses from outside. Looks like both teams could use a stoppage in play, as neither team is effectively running their offense.
6:00-Austin Daye is the epitome of Gonzaga’s size advantage over the Terps; as he can both drive AND shoot over the Maryland defenders. But back to back hoops from Milboure and Vasquez cut the lead to 28-25, then Tucker gets a feed inside for an easy hoop to get the Terps within 1. Vasquez now has 9.
5:57-Gary is CLEARLY frustrated, as the Terps give turn the ball over out of the timeout, then Gonzaga hits a 3 to make the lead 7. Terps get a pair of inside buckets on a stick back from Braxton Dupree and a nice length of the court drive by Adrian Bowie, but Gonzaga gets a remarkable rebound and falling hoop from Demitri Goodsen to make the lead 5 again.
5:53-Terps get two straight buckets inside, then Jeremy Pargo hits one of two from the line to make Gonzaga’s lead two again.
Not surprisingly, Gary brings in Jin Soo Kim early. He didn’t play last night, so he should give the Terps some fresh legs. He turns the ball over, which leads to a Gonzaga layup, and the lead is 21-17 again. Gary calls a timeout; but the Terps turn the ball over again.
5:50-Terps able to set the press following the timeout; and successfully force a turnover. Gonzaga doing a better job of collapsing on Maryland’s dribble penetration; and Sean Mosley misses a good look from outisde. Josh Heytvelt responds with a 3 to make things 18-13 for the Bulldogs.
5:48-Vasquez with two sloppy possessions-one a MUCH too quick jumper and the other a travel as he tried to work inside. Terps trail 15-13 as we hit the 2nd official timeout; keeping it close thanks to cold shooting from the Zags recently.
5:42-Sorry for the break in the action; apparently the wireless network here goes out any time the microwave is on. This could be an issue as we continue to prepare Thanksgiving dinner. We’ll play through.
Terps are struggling with Gonzaga’s size on both sides of the floor; as they have been unable to get 2nd looks on offense, while the Zags are continuing to shoot over them. Vasquez hits the first 3 of the game for Maryland, but Gonzaga responds with a deuce to make things 15-11 in their favor with 12:50 to play.
5:37-Terps continue to attack the hoop, with Cliff Tucker missing the first attempt from inside almost 4 minutes into the game. The Zags are taking advantage of their obvious size advantage, as their big man are comfortable just shooting over Maryland’s interior players. Zags lead 10-6 at the first official timeout with 15:40 to play in the half.
5:34-Terps do a nice job of working to the hoop early; getting lay-ins from Eric Hayes and Greivis Vasquez after an early miss inside from Landon Milbourne. The Zags got baskets on each of their first 3 possessions however, and lead 6-4 early.
5:30-It’s Jon Sciambi and Fran Frischilla on the call again; tonight on ESPN instead of ESPN2. Andy Katz patrols the sidelines once more at the Milk House for the 2nd semifinal; where tonight’s winner between between the Terps and Zags will face Tennessee; as the Volunteers knocked of Georgetown earlier today. Certainly there are a few in DC who are secretly hoping Gary’s team falls, as they’d love the crosstown matchup with John Thompson III’s Hoyas Sunday.
5:25-So this will be interesting. My family does their annual Thanksgiving get-together the night after Thanksgiving to allow everyone to spend Thursday with their individual families, in-laws, etc. Figuring tonight’s game wouldn’t be until 8 after a loss to Michigan State; I thought a 6:30 was doable. Instead, I am sitting in the basement at my Aunt’s house; and am PRAYING that halftime hits just as dinner is ready. In the meantime, I’ll blog the game; but I’m not there; so no particularly difficult questions. Gonzaga will have a certain advantage in height and shooting ability; and has run Maryland out of the gym in their last two meetings (BB&T and Maui). BUT; Maryland is an athletic team; and will once again need to work to the hoop to beat Mark Few and the Bulldogs.