It was brutal; but it was another road win for a team that just isn’t very good on the road.
The 2008-2009 Maryland Terrapins continue to overachieve with their 71-60 win over NC State in Raleigh on Sunday night. With just a home game against Wake Forest and a trip to Charlottesville left on the schedule; the Terps have a very real chance to finish .500 in ACC play or better; after being picked to finish 11th by multiple prognosticators, including The Sporting News.
The Terps needed every ounce of Greivis Vasquez’s 33 points to finish off the Wolfpack Sunday night (with MAYBE the exception of the 3 pointer he knocked down at the buzzer); as their best player again carried them to victory. The Terps were absolutely unwatchable for stretches; but had just enough leadership to finish off a victory.
They’re not a great basketball team. They’re a team that has just enough heart to will their way to wins. And it’s not as easy on the road as it is at home. But by gutting out another one on the road Sunday night, they remain alive for a chance to make the NCAA Tournament. And with two more wins; they might as well punch their ticket.
But things won’t get any easier for the Terps. When things ended Sunday night; they were already less than 48 hours away from their next tip-off. They’ll have to get right back to work, and will have to figure out a way to gut out a victory over one of the ACC’s better teams in Wake Forest.
All they have to do is just enough to win. That’s what they did Sunday night. It was sloppy. They didn’t get many contributions from players not named Greivis Vasquez.
But they got enough. And that’s all they need.
Greivis Vasquez lead the Terps with a game high 33 points (on 13-22 shooting), he lead the Terps with 5 assists (tied for game high). Dave Neal chipped in 11 points and a team high 8 rebounds. Eric Hayes added 9 points and 4 assists, Cliff Tucker 7 points. The Terps were out-rebounded 29-21. They shot 27-55 from the field (49.1%); 10-21 from outside (47.6%); and 7-8 from the free throw line (87.5%).
Tracy Smith lead the Pack with 19 points and a game high 9 rebounds. Javier Gonzalez had 11 points and tied for the game high with 5 assists. 10 points apiece for Courtney Fells and Ben McCauley; McCauley chipped in 6 boards. Brandon Costner had 6 points, 7 boards, and tied for the game high with 5 assists as well. The Wolfpack shot 23-46 from the field (50%), 5-19 from outside (26.3%), and 9-14 from the free throw line (64.3%).
9:47-I haven’t seen Ol’ Mike P; but I’m doing my best to be unprofessional anyway. And Rich, it was snowing a bit earlier; but not right now.
9:33-Greivis won’t make any friends doing that. He pulls up and hits a 3 at the buzzer. I’m sure he took it from the fans tonight; but that’s not okay. Terps improve to 18-10 (7-7), Wolfpack fall to 15-12 (5-9) as the Terps finish off a 71-60 victory. 33 points for Greivis on another magical night.
9:32-Rich, if I sleep at the station tonight and it doesn’t snow; Chris Bonetti will feel my wrath in the morning.
Fells launches a 3 and misses; then the Pack decide to sit around and watch Eric Hayes hold the ball. Hayes to the line; he hits both. Terps by 8.
9:29-Great play, but Gregory misses another one at the hoop. How many of these can the Terps miss? Gonzalez goes to the basket for 2, he has 11. Terps by 4, under a minute to play; and Vasquez buries the runner. That’s 30 for Greivis. 66-60 Terps with 25 seconds to play. Sidney Lowe calls a timeout; and absolutely needed to foul on that last possession. This one is over now.
9:28-Gary calls timeout with 1:26 to play as he doesn’t want to waste this possession. It’s only a 2 possession game; so a stop here keeps the Wolfpack alive.
9:26-Hayes at the line; he makes both. First points of the 2nd half. 7 on the game now for Eric. 62-56 Terps, Costner misses on the other end. Tucker with the HUGE jumper at the end of the possession this time down; and that might be the dagger. 64-56 Terps. Fells answers with a baseline move; he has 10. Terps by 6.
9:24-Forrester calls it over for the 3rd time tonight; that was the magic number in the Duke loss too. Enjoy waking up and digging out pal!
Terps have to work time and stay patient defensively. The Pack will try to go inside-out to get open looks from 3; and the Terps CANNOT foul Smith if he gets the ball inside.
9:23-Javier Gonzalez with the MAJOR answer; drilling the 3 from about 4 feet beyond the arc. 60-56 Terps. Vasquez goes to the lane and is blocked-check that-foul on Courtney Fells. We’ll hit the final official timeout of regulation; 60-56 Terps with 3:01 to play. Hayes will go to the line.
9:21-Vasquez forces the 3; and instead of starting to put the Pack away; NC State will have the chance to cut this to a 1 possession game again. But thankfully they throw the ball away instead; and Vasquez finds Gregory for the hoop inside. Terps lead 60-53. NC State calls timeout with 3:54 to play.
9:19-Dave Neal loves taking that shot from the wing. He has 11 after the 3; he’s the only Terp not named Vasquez in double figures. 58-53 Terps.
9:18-Thanks to FSN for waiting until after the timeout to tell us that Milbourne got the foul. He fouls out. Smith hits one of two at the line; 55-53 Terps as the big man goes to the bench. Smith has 19. Terps turn it over again. Fells and Tucker trade misses. Brutal basketball again.
9:16-If I were Kevin Plank, I’d name Lance Stephenson 2nd in command if it meant he could suit up right now. The Terps are trying to execute the same defense they used on Hansbrough; but Smith is more physical than Hansbrough was. Hansbrough panicked when the Terps surrounded him; Smith just muscles up and gose to the basket.
9:14-Vasquez with the 3; he has 28. Terps 58-55. Pack’s success inside has forced the Terps to answer defensively; and they will continue to get outside shots that way. Smith gets the ball inside and is fouled by Neal. 6:53 to play, we’ll take the 3rd official timeout of the half.
9:13-Vasquez is just going to do it on his own I guess. He gets a floater in the lane; he has 25. Smith has 18 now after tossing one up and in. Tied at 52.
9:12-Costner with the ball fake and pass inside to Smith, who is hammered on the floor. Smith to the line for 1 and 1. He makes one of two. Milbourne back into the game. Smith with 16. Game tied at 50.
9:11-Smith makes the free throw; he has a team high 15. Terps trail 49-47. Tucker with the big answer from outside; 50-49 Maryland. Don’t need a shooting contest!
9:08-Horner gets the look from 3 and can’t get it to go. Hayes gets a look from 3 and can’t get it to go either. 47-44 still.
Drew-does Ethan have a Fisher Price hoop? We could definitely use that.
Horner finds the ball off a TERRIBLE miss and gets the hoop inside. NC State is alive after a Maryland turnover; and Smith gets a bucket inside and draws the foul. 48-47 Pack-their first lead of the game; and Gary needs a timeout. This is brutal.
9:06-McCauley hits both and goes to the bench. 10 for him. 45-44 Terps. Horner fouls Vasquez, he’ll go to the line for a 1 and 1. Vasquez makes 2, he has 23. 47-44 Maryland. They get the ball back after a turnover, but Bowie promptly throws the ball away inside.
9:04-I thought Gary should have tried to steal a minute or two from Vasquez at the 8 minute mark of the Duke game; and I wonder if he might try to do that with Milbourne tonight. I don’t think you can just leave a player on the bench until the 5 minute mark; I think you have to try to get some kind of contribution before that point, even if it means you break up the continuity of the game by calling timeout to get him off the floor.
9:02-Rich, your nightmare plays out. Milbourne fouls McCauley in the lane. That’s his 4th. McCauley will head back to the line after the official timeout. The Wolfpack will CERTAINLY try to keep working it in down low now. 11:35 to play, and Milbourne will be forced to sit for at least a few minutes. Terps by 3.
9:01-3rd personal on Dave Neal. McCauley to the line, he makes both and has 8. 45-42 Terps. Need someone besides Vasquez to do something here. Tucker tries, but can’t get it to go. Wolfpack with the board.
9:00-With the shot clock expiring; Costner drills a 3. Vasquez drives for 2 on the other end; he has 21. Terps lead 45-40. McCauley fouled inside.
8:59-Vasquez from the lane for 2 more. He has 19; Terps by 6 again. Finally some pace to this game. Sorry to wake you.
8:58-Gonzalez goes to the hoop; Dino Gregory called for the foul. Costner feeds McCauley inside for 2; cutting Maryland’s lead to 41-37. CJ Williams called for his 2nd next time down.
8:57-SOMETHING HAPPENED! Vasquez with the layup and he’s fouled. He makes the plus one attempt after CJ Williams’ first personal; and the Terps extend the lead to 41-35. 17 for Greivis. Dave Neal called for a foul away from the ball fighting with McCauley inside. 2nd on Dave Neal.
8:57-Horner walks. Why not.
8:56-That’s a stat. Terps 2/14 from the floor in the last 9:23 of this game. And yet they lead by 3. This is BRUTAL.
8:55-Matt-You’re not happy with the contributions from Bowie and Mosley?
8:53-McCauley with the airball next time down; then Milbourne misses a jumper and Tucker is called for the foul going for the rebound. This leads to an official timeout, the most exciting thing that has happened so far in the 2nd half. Terps by 3 with 14:43 to play.
8:52-McCauley inside with a basket; 38-35 Terps. If the Wolfpack keep going back inside; they’ll find more points.
8:50-Drew, if the game was at Hofstra I might feel differently; but on a neutral court I’ll take the Terps with the points.
This team CONTINUES to look lethargic on the road. And the ugliness of this one reminds me of the last “Sunday Night Hoops” game; that thriller at Georgia Tech.
8:49-Pack and Terps trade turnovers before a bad miss by Fells. Tucker gets a hoop; and Sidney Lowe calls timeout desperate to try to get something going as Maryland leads 38-33. This should be a 15 point game though; not a 5 point game.
8:47-Gonzalez turns the ball over again; and then fouls out of “frustration” as Brando says. The Terps have NOT done a good enough job of getting points of turnovers. Neal with an important offensive board off a Bowie miss; but Vasquez turns it over.
8:46-Stop me if you’ve heard this before. Mosley misses in close. Gonzalez can’t get a 3 to fall on the other end; and Mosley can’t hold on to the offensive rebound. He’ll depart for Tucker.
8:44-Starters back on the floor except for Costner; as Horner replaces him for the Pack. Vasquez with the missed runner to open the 2nd half as the shot clock expired; Tracy Smith misses inside on the other end. Horner hit with the foul; then Vasquez gets the first two of the second half. He has a game high 14; Terps by 3. Javier Gonzalez is hit with a foul; then Landon Milbourne called for his 3rd fighting for a rebound. Smith hit with the foul fighting for the rebound on the other side; that’s his 2nd.
HALFTIME STATS: Greivis Vasquez lead the Terps with 12 points (tied for game high) and game high 4 assists. Dave Neal and Eric Hayes with 8 each; Milbourne with 5. No Terp has more than 2 rebounds. The Terps shot 14-30 from the field (46.7%), 6-12 from beyond the arc (50%), and 0-1 from the free throw line (a sparkling 0%). They were out-rebounded 17-9 as a team.
Tracy Smith with 12 points to lead the Wolfpack; he and Brandon Costner each had 5 boards. 8 points for Courtney Fells, 6 for Javier Gonzalez. Gonzalez and Costner tied for team high with 3 assists. The Pack shot 14-24 (58.3%) from the field, 3-9 (33.3%) from outside, and 2-5 from the free throw line (40%).
8:37-Eric Hayes with 8 Drew. Apparently this team got confused and thought their names were Mark Price, JJ Redick, Tim Legler, and Glen Rice. Outside shooting is NOT a good option.
I’ve also counted 5 misses from within the circle; 2 of which were nowhere close.
Rich, I’ll trade with you. We’ll put your picture up, and I can continue living in anonymity.
8:27-Vasquez drives and can’t finish a tough leaner. Terps let NC State finish the half on a 8-0 run. Gary tells Jenn Hildreth “we stopped really running our offense hard”. Really? This team CANNOT settle for jump shots. 34-33 Terps at the half.
8:26-Courtney Fells with the tough outside jumper to get the Pack within 1. Vasquez fouled by Tracy Smith away from the ball with under 30 seconds to play. Terps will hold for the final shot.
8:24-Matt, this is what happens when your offense gets “happy” as Gary would call it. You start thinking you can just hit jump shots; and you forget that the progression of your offense is NOT settling for outside shots. The Wolfpack have methodically gotten back into things after Maryland went south from outside.
8:22-Mosley tries the outside jumper and misses. Next time down Braxton Dupree gets the ball inside and is called for the offensive foul. Did Jerome Burney do something wrong? How do you make such a contribution in a win over North Carolina and then have to watch Braxton Dupree get first half minutes just a week later after a DNP against Duke? Final official timeout of the half; 1:17 to play, Terps by 3.
8:20-Another wild layup tossed up by Bowie. He needs to go to the hoop; but he can’t just throw the ball in the air and hope. Smith with ANOTHER basket inside; 12 points for him. 34-31 Terps and Gary Williams calls timeout with three unanswered buckets now for the Pack.
8:19-Terps getting lazy in their offense and settling for too many jump shots. McCauley gets the mid-range jumper to cut the Terps’ lead to 5. 34-29.
8:17-The same Drew Forrester that declared the Duke game over THREE different times Wednesday night and in the Maryland category. He jinxes us again as Fells knocks down the 3. Neal answers with a 3 of his own; he has 8. Don’t care for a shooting contest though. Horner gets a bucket; 34-27 Terps.
8:15-Gonzalez with the big 3 for the Pack; cutting Maryland’s lead to 28-22. Vasquez tries another 3 (is anyone surprised?) and misses. Hayes also misses a 3; no offensive rebounds. Brando tells us that Vasquez stepped on Tracy Smith’s foot and is now walking gingerly. Neal passes on a look from 3; that’s not something you see everyday. Neal sets the pick and let’s Greivis hit another triple. 31-22. 12 for Vasquez. State turns it over again.
8:14-Vasquez drains the 3; Terps by 9. (Vasquez has 9). Bowie called for the foul as NC State brings the ball up; 6th team foul.
8:13-Farnold Degand has one of my favorite names in the ACC. Dennis Horner is kinda lame.
Costner hits one of two at the line; 25-19 Terps. Vasquez checks out for Cliff Tucker; but checks back in about as quickly.
8:11-Drew Forrester will be providing the comedy tonight ladies and gentlemen; make sure you tip him on the way out.
Drew-why don’t you come join the slumber party here at WNST tonight? It’s me and……..well, just me.
8:09-Costner fouled by Gregory as he drives the lane. We’ll hit the 3rd official timeout of the half; Terps by 7 with 7:34 to play.
8:07-Vasquez is greeted by 3 defenders inside; he kicks it to Dave Neal, who misses the 3 ball. Pack get the rebound; but Hayes hits the 3 next time down. 5 for Hayes. 25-18 Terps. Sidney Lowe takes another timeout. Terps are playing well here, but with this much sloppiness, they could have opened a bigger lead.
8:06-NCSU throws the ball away again; and Vasquez misses a 3 next time down for Maryland. Ben McCauley saves a ball inbounds off Vasquez, and isn’t happy with State’s sloppiness. Pack throw up a wild one; the airball will lead to a shot clock violation. Terps ball.
8:03-The Terps have driven; which is exactly how their offense is supposed to run. But they HAVE to learn to finish. Vasquez misses a 3, Terps one and done again. But the Pack throw it away again. Hayes finds a curling Vasquez for 2 this time. He has 6. Smith dunks it home again on the other end; and he’s fouled by Milbourne. That’s 2 on Landon; and Gary will have to find a better (or at least another) defensive option inside. Smith misses the freebie, he has 10. Hayes with his first hoop on the other end. 22-18 Terps. Dino Gregory gets the inside assignment.
8:01-Wolfpack throw it away, and we’ll hit the 2nd official timeout of the first half. 10:59 to play; 18-16 Terps.
7:59-Bad shot by Milbourne off the offensive rebound goes wildly. Then Bowie takes it coast to coast before throwing up his own terribly wild layup, which also misses badly. Sidney Lowe takes his first timeout. 18-16 Maryland still.
7:58-Neal misses the 3, then another bucket inside for Tracy Smith. 8 for Smith early. Neal makes his next 3 point attempt; but Costner goes to the rim for 2. 5 for Neal by the way. 18-16 Terps.
7:55-Gonzalez makes one of two at the free throw line; and Neal hits a baseline jumper on the other end to make things 13-8. Eric Hayes into the game. Tim Brando tells us that Dave Neal is getting grief on campus for his pick that flattened Nolan Smith Wednesday night; Dave Neal says he likes the Duke player he laid out. Hoop from Gonzalez, then Smith gets a big offensive board and dunk the next time down. Vasquez uses a good ball fake to get a leaner. 15-12 Terps.
7:53-That’s the 2nd personal on Mosley; the Terps can’t afford to get themselves in foul trouble, as that has obviously been an issue in both the North Carolina win and Duke loss.
Like the drives so far; only Milbourne attempting a shot from outside. Terps can’t let the Pack keep getting offensive rebounds however, despite their obvious size advantage.
7:51-Vasquez with the runner; and the Terps extend their lead to 11-7; he goes to the hoop off a steal but misses. On the other end, Gonzalez drives and is fouled by Mosley. We’ll hit the first official timeout with Maryland leading 11-7.
7:50-Good note from Gminski; as he points out that NC State students are on Spring Break, possibly allowing for Maryland to not have as much of a disadvantage inside the RBC Center. Third chance offensively for NCSU here; and Fells finds Tracy Smith for a monster dunk. 9-7 Terps.
7:49-Mosley finishes this time; and draws the foul. He misses the PLUS ONE attempt though; and it’s 9-5 early on.
7:47-Mosley with his first miss at the rim of the night. There will be more. Apparently he wasn’t inspired by St. Frances’ win over Loyola Blakefield in the Baltimore Catholic League title game today. Courtney Fells and Landon Milbourne trade outside buckets; Milbourne’s touching every part of the rim. 7-5 Terps. 5 for Milbourne early.
7:46-Steal from Mosley turns into a layup by Bowie. State answers, but Milbourne gets a bucket inside. 4-2 Terps early.
7:45-Gary Williams’ Terps stick with the Dave Neal-Landon Milbourne-Greivis Vasquez-Adrian Bowie-Sean Mosley lineup.
Sidney Lowe goes with Brandon Costner, Ben McCauley, Tracy Smith, Javier Gonzalez, Courtney Fells
7:43-Like I said; we had time. It’s 7:43 and no tip yet. And the broadcast has already revolved around a song I’ve never heard of.
7:36-Well, we’re getting to the game 6 minutes late; but if I remember right; the FSN broadcasts have late tips. The Georgia Tech game seemed to start some 20 minutes late; which was good, because I needed to hear more “Dance Like Michael Jackson” and video of Gani Lawal teaching Jenn Hildreth how to play inside.
Pre-game: Greetings from the studios of Sports Talk 1570 WNST in Towson, MD; where I have set up camp for the evening to wait out the imminent white death that is upon us. I decided to pass on a trip to Raleigh tonight for fear of the bad weather; but the Terps and Wolfpack are playing at the RBC Center. The Terps bring their 17-10 (6-7 ACC) record into tonight’s game coming off a loss to Duke Wednesday night. The Wolfpack are 15-11 (5-8), coming off a loss to Wake Forest Thursday night.
Tonight’s game can be seen on Fox Sports Net nationally; Comcast SportsNet in Baltimore (Channel 7 on Comcast Baltimore County). The great Tim Brando and former Duke Blue Devil Mike Gminski have the call; with Jenn Hildreth working the sidelines. If they’re late getting to the game because of a women’s UNC-Duke game; I might destroy all of the equipment in the WNST studios.