Terps Fall Apart Late; Suffer Costly 65-63 Defeat to Wake on Senior Night

March 03, 2009 | Glenn Clark

This one could haunt the Terps.

They were supposed to be a different team. A team that had matured, a team that wouldn’t give away games anymore. They wanted to prove that they were a good team, not just a team that had beaten some good teams. They’ll instead finish the regular season with just one win over an ACC team that is considered a “lock” for the ACC Tournament (North Carolina); and two wins against “bubble” teams (Virginia Tech, Miami).

The Terps had their chances in this one for sure. They had a 6 point lead with about 7 minutes to play. They had an 11 point lead in the first half. They had a 7 point lead at the half. But they reverted to doing the types of things they have done way too much this season. They settled for jumpers instead of finishing shots. They missed a staggering TWENTY shots in or around the circle. They lost focus and intensity, they got selfish and tentative; and they allowed their opponent to absolutely take it to them in a 65-63 loss.

Wake Forest was obviously trying too, but this wasn’t supposed to happen this late in the season.

There’s still hope for this Maryland team. Many will argue that an 8-8 ACC team deserves to make the NCAA Tournament, and the Terps will have a chance to reach that plateau Saturday. Others will argue that if the Terps can use the ACC Tournament to get a 9th conference win; they should be in. And they’ll have a legitimate chance to do that as well.

But even if all of those things go the right way; they’ll be a bubble team. Short of a run to the ACC Tournament semi-finals; the Terps will find themselves sweating on Selection Sunday when they had a chance to feel much more confident.

They’ll need to regroup, and they’ll need to refocus. But more importantly, they’ll need to get wins. This one could be the type of emotional loss that they can’t get away from; much like other Maryland teams have suffered late in the season.

They could have held fate in the palm of their hands.

-G

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Jeff Teague lead the Deacons with 17 points in the win. Aminu Al-Farouq poured in 16 points and a game high 14 rebounds. Ish Smith added 11 points and a team high 4 assists. James Johnson chipped in 9 points and 8 boards. The Deacs out-rebounded the Terps 50-32, including a 19-11 edge in offensive rebounds. The Deacs had 9 assists to 16 turnovers; 10 blocks, and 6 steals. They shot 25-63 from the field (39.7%), 5-15 from beyond the arc (33.3%), and 10-17 from the free throw line (58.8%).

The Terps were lead by 19 points from Dave Neal (game high), along with a team high 6 rebounds. Greivis Vasquez added 16 points, a game high 7 assists, and 5 rebounds. Hayes, Bowie, and Mosley all contributed 6 points each. The Terps had 15 assists to 10 turnovers; along with 3 blocks and 8 steals. They shot 27-69 from the field (39.1%), 7-19 from outside (36.8%), and 2-2 from the free throw line (100%).

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To call Gary Williams dejected in his post-game press conference might be an understatement. Gary said “I thought our guys did a very good job of getting ready” and continued defense of his team throughout; but not in the almost arrogant way that he did last Wednesday after the loss to Duke. Some other thoughts on the team:

-”You look at the last 3 games, they’ve been against good teams. We’ve been there.”
-”We had the chance to break it open” in the 2nd half
-”We were in a position to win that game.”
-”This is a different team” than last year’s team (who also found themselves on the bubble late)
-”These guys have had my back all year, I had their back going into this game.”

Gary made mentions of Wake Forest’s very effective zone defense, which he thought was “big” because they were both tall and agile. He added that the Terps “can’t duplicate it in practice”, meaning they weren’t really able to fully prepare for the defensive look. Gary said of the Terps’ 2nd half struggles: “We just couldn’t move as well as we did in the first half, and that hurt us against a team of that size and speed.” He also said of Wake’s size “we got inside a couple times and they blocked everything.” And considering Wake’s ability to pull down offensive rebounds; Gary said the Terps were “used to” having a team out-board them, and needed to “fight through” multiple chances, reminding the media that the team still must play defense on a 3rd offensive opportunity.

Gary did take a few minutes to speak highly of senior Dave Neal on his final home game; saying Neal “made some big shots for us”. He reminded the media that Neal “does what he can” and “uses whatever he has” every time he’s on the floor.

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11:00-There is something to be said about the fact that the Terps had to play 2 games in 3 days; a very difficult task. But Clemson was faced with the same task two weeks ago; and instead dispatched Maryland easily; getting stronger in the 2nd half. This is how ACC basketball works. If you don’t want to sweat on Selection Sunday; you have to win games like this. Charlottesville is never an easy place to win; but the Terps will have to get that one. That’s their 4th home loss this season by the way; all of which have been decided in the final minutes.

10:56-Mosley fouls Teague again here; but this is academic. 5.6 seconds to play. Dave Neal re-enters to a nice ovation, but this game is over. Teague misses the first; and Neal hits another 3 at the buzzer. He’ll finish with a game high 19. 65-63 Wake is the final. Terps fall to 18-11 (7-8); Deacs improve to 23-5 (10-5). Terps will face ANOTHER must win Saturday at Virginia; and may still need to do some work after that.

10:54-Teague hits both, he has 17. Vasquez misses a 3, Bowie misses one inside. 20 MAB’s. Hayes FINALLY makes a 3 with 6.2 seconds left; and the Terps call timeout trailing 65-60. This one could very well haunt them.

10:53-Terps will need a miracle. Vasquez turns the ball over with the Terps trailing by 5; and the team is yelling at each other. Crowd heads to the exits, and Milbourne fouls Teague again.

10:52-Wake runs some clock but turns the ball over. Vasquez misses the layup in transition; but Neal gets the putback. James Johnson with the 2nd chance hoop on the other end. Neal goes to the hoop and is blocked. 19 MAB’s, and this one might be over as Vasquez fouls Teague with 35.5 to play.

10:50-Aminu goes to work on Neal, but can’t finish. He’s called for the foul after the Terps get the rebound. That’s the 6th team foul on Wake. Hayes gets ANOTHER open look from outside; and misses. He’s had his chances in the 2nd half.

10:48-Desperately trying to curl; Vasquez is fouled by Clark. That’s the 5th team foul on Wake. Hayes penetrates, but is stuffed by the rim. 17 MAB’s. In transition; Vasquez’s lazy layup doesn’t fall. 18 MAB’s. Smith with a basket; answered by Milbourne’s first field goal of the game. 59-56 Wake with 2:21 to play; they’ll take a timeout.

10:45 Wake maintains the 3 point advantage as we hit the final official timeout of regulation, 3:45 to play. Terps CANNOT let this possession end with nothing more than an outside shot. Teague’s dunk clearly rattled them; but they’ve had two timeouts now to settle down. This has been a game of runs; and they have to end Wake’s now my establishing something at the basket. We’ve been sitting at 16 MAB’s for some time now; but that’s deceiving because the Terps really haven’t even tried anything underneath.

10:43-Ish Smith with the BIG 3 ball, and Wake reclaims the lead. Vasquez penetrates and pitches to Hayes, who misses another 3. On the other end, Teague takes the ball RIGHT to the goal for a thunderous jam; and Wake goes ahead 57-54. 9-0 run for the Deacs. Gary takes his 4th timeout with 4:01 to play. Terps HAVE to get inside somehow.

10:41-Wake continues to be effective with the zone, as Hayes misses a 3 here. Maryland can’t JUST rely on shooting against the Wake defense; they HAVE to TRY to penetrate; with kicking still being an option. Vasquez called for his first foul here on a call the crowd doesn’t like. 6th team foul.

10:39-Wake back to the zone with two men up top. Vasquez misses the 3. Deacs miss 2 shots from outside, but get two big boards before Aminu is fouled by Gregory. He exits for Milbourne. Aminu gets one of two; he has 16. Neal misses a shot from the corner, and Teague drills a 3. He has 11. Terps call timeout before Wake can get it any closer; but they’ve cut Maryland’s lead to 54-52.

10:37-Dave Neal must not want to ever buy a drink at Cornerstone again. If this continues tonight, his folk hero status will shoot through the roof. But the Terps have to maintain their defensive intensity and can’t waste possessions. Hopefully Neal’s shooting will open more paths to the basket for the Terps’ slashers. This one is FAR from over.

10:35-A shot clock violation by Wake; and we’ll hit the 3rd official timeout of the half. Chants of “Dave Neal” from the crowd. 54-48 Terps with 7:07 to play. They can really start to try to ice this one now.

10:31-The play where Vasquez was blocked was the 16th MAB. Johnson makes 1 of 2; and Neal drills his 3rd 3 on the other end. He has 11. Aminu with the big offensive board on a miss by Teague, 49-48. Vasquez drives and kicks to Neal for ANOTHER 3. WHAT A RUN FOR THE SENIOR! 14 points for Neal! Wake with another miss, and Gregory puts the ball home off an outlet pass. 54-48 Terps, timeout Wake. DAVE NEAL THE HERO!

10:30-The Terps will need Dave Neal’s shot the rest of the way. He takes the feed from Tucker and drills the shot from the corner, he has 8. Tucker then with the big steal and jam for his first points. Comcast comes alive again; as the Terps re-take the lead at 46-45. Deacs eventually get the ball to James Johnson inside; he’s fouled by Dave Neal from behind on a block attempt. 3rd foul on the senior.

10:26-Johnson can’t finish the 3 point play; and the Terps nearly throw the ball away. They get it back, but Milbourne misses another jumper. On the other end; Teague frives and gets the hoop; is called for a foul after the basket. His 2nd personal. Greivis drives and is blocked; Wake can’t corral an offensive rebound. 45-41 Wake right now; and the Terps can’t let them move this towards double digits.

10:24-The atmosphere picks up here at Comcast Center; but the defensive intensity fails before the official timeout. James Johnson with the ball fake and drive; he has 6 and will get a PLUS ONE attempt after the official timeout. Foul on Hayes after his slide wa too late. 43-41 Deacs for the moment, 11:44 to play. Terps absolutely need to start using the quick hands again to force turnovers.

10:22-The Deacs again work the clock against Maryland’s zone; and Ish Smith can’t hit the 3. Bowie with the quick basket the next time down; and Dino Gaudio calls his 2nd timeout. We’re tied again at 41 with 12 minutes to play.

10:20-Teague is forced to hoist one after a good defensive possession by the Terps. Mosley is blocked again inside; 15th MAB. Terps turn the ball over after Greivis doesn’t get a shot off before the clock expires. Greivis misses a 3 the next time down; and Neal goes to the bench. Gregory misses a jumper to end that possession.

10:19-The foul was the first of the game on Jeff Teague. Mosley knocked down both freebies; he has 6. Defensive intensity has to pick back up. Terps go to the zone.

10:17-0 points for Landon Milbourne sticks out like a sore thumb on the board right now. This isn’t a foul trouble issue; as Milbourne doesn’t even have one foul. It’s Wake using their size to take Milbourne out of his game. He HAS to get going in the 2nd half; and might need to start that by getting one or two outside.

10:15-Rich, I’d absolutely love to LOL at Georgetown for losing to St. John’s; but the Terps have to get going for me to feel excited again.

Things get worse after the timeout. Mosley blocked underneath; 13th MAB. Aminu knows down the 3 in transition. 10 for Aminu. Terps trail 41-37. Comcast is VERY quiet. Mosley fouled underneath; he’ll head to the line after the first official timeout of the half. Terps trail by 4; 14:42 to play. That becomes the 14th MAB since Mosley didn’t finish even though he was fouled.

10:12-Vasquez drives but loses the ball out of bounds. Ish Smith with the drive and finish. Landon Milbourne misses the outside jumper; and James Johnson gets a dunk the next time down. Terps cannot solve the Deacs defensively in the 2nd half; and their halftime advantage is completely gone. 38-37 Wake now; and Gary has to take his 2nd timeout.

10:09-Another bad stretch here. Big block by Mosley; then Vasquez with the no look feed to Mosley, but he misses the layup. 12th MAB. Wake gets a steal; and Ish Smith fouled by Bowie after making the hoop. Smith finished the 3 point play. Vasquez stops the bleeding with a nice drive and finish. He has 16. L.D. Williams uses a hop step for a drive of his own; 37-34 Terps. Hayes drives, he’s fouled by Williams. That’s Williams’ 4th personal; he’ll be forced to sit. David Weaver into the game for Wake.

10:07-Vasquez goes right inside to Neal; who misses a short one. 11 MAB’s. Marissa Coleman in the house; sitting in the press area. Vasquez chucks a 3 and misses; Adrian Bowie called for the foul.

10:06-Terps start with the ball, but turn it over. Aminu gets a 2nd chance hoop to open 2nd half scoring. Vasquez drills the 3 on the other end. Teague with a leaner the next time down; and Vasquez then turns the ball over. 35-29 Terps.

10:04-The Terps did a very nice of driving to the basket; and they MUST continue that in the 2nd half. They absolutely have to get free throw attempts and try to get some of Wake’s bigs in foul trouble. Will be interesting to see if Wake goes back to the same defense.

10:00-Al-Farouq Aminu lead the Deacons with 8 points. Gary Clark added 6. Tony Woods had a game high 5 rebounds in the first half; no Deac had more assists than Ish Smith’s 2. The Deacs out-rebounded the Terps 22-15; and had 5 assists to 11 turnovers; along with 4 blocks and 3 steals. They shot 10-27 from the field (37%), 2-6 from outside (33.3%), and 3-6 from the free throw line (50%).

The Terps were lead by Greivis Vasquez’s 11 points, he also tied for team high in rebounds with 3 (Mosley, Gregory). Dave Neal chipped in 5 points, and 4 Terrapins had 4 points each. Mosley had a game high 3 assists. The Terps had 7 assists to 4 turnovers; along with 1 block and 6 steals. The Terps shot 15-34 from the field (44.1%), 2-5 from outside (40%), and did not attempt a free throw. They also have 10 misses within the circle area (that’s 20 points given away at the basket).

9:55-If this is real; this is BRILLIANT! Amir missed the shot badly; and the crowd went absolutely insane. He freaked out, running around the court, and his friend came to present him with the check; where he lost his mind upon realizing that he hadn’t won the money. The video will be up on CollegeHumor.com tomorrow apparently. I can’t imagine this is real; but again, if it is; it is BRILLIANT.

9:51-The popular website CollegeHumor.com is apparently recording a prank at halftime. I don’t know if this is real or not; but if it is, it is BRILLIANT. The setup goes back to a popular viral video where a young man was punked by someone putting a marriage proposal up on the video board for his girlfriend. The video can be seen here. The victim of the prank is trying to get his friend back; and has asked the crowd to go crazy thinking his friend Amir has hit a halfcourt shot for $500,000. Let’s see how this goes….

9:48-Smith makes one of two; and Dave Neal gives the Terps a GIANT lift at intermission by drilling the open 3; this place goes absolutely nuts, and the Terps will take a 32-25 lead to the half. What a huge momentum play there.

9:47-Jeff Teague boards his own miss and finishes to cut the Maryland lead to 3. Terps finally end their slide with a nice dish from Vasquez to Mosley inside. 6 second differential between shot clock and game clock here; and Hayes called for a questionable foul inside on Ish Smith with 17.4 seconds to play.

9:45-Harvey Hale into the game for Wake; they have gone to a zone defense. Maryland with another turnover; someone is going to have to become an outside shooting option. Dave Neal checks back in with his two personals. Mosley can’t hold on to a pass inside; and the Terps turn the ball over again. VERY bad stretch for the Terps here.

9:44-Tucker’s shot there was almost impossible; but still the 9th MAB. L.D. Williams called for the offensive foul; his 3rd; team’s 6th. Gregory misses a dunk attempt on an offensive rebound; 10th MAB. Aminu with the easy bucket on the other end; and Gary needs a timeout. 8 for Aminu, Wake on a 6-0 run to cut the deficit to 27-22 Terps.

9:41-Rich, “MAB’s” are “Misses At (the) Basket.” Anytime a Terp misses a bucket (or is blocked; or loses it going up) from inside the circle area; I’m putting it in the MAB column. 8 MAB’s so far.

Subway spokesperson Jared Fogle is hear tonight; he does a little presentation during the official timeout.

9:40-Aminu with his first field goal on a stick back; 27-20 Terps. The Terps can’t afford to let Wake make a run here to close the gap before halftime. Foul on Ish Smith; and we’ll hit the final official timeout of the half with Maryland leading by 7 and 3:29 to play.

9:38-Terps CONTINUE to have quick hands defensively; and come away with another steal. Bowie gets the ball down low; but it produces the Terps’ 7th “Miss at Basket” of the game. James Johnson knocks down the mid-range jumper for Wake; then Hayes misses the 3 ball flat on the other end. 27-18 Terps.

9:35-Vasquez has to force one with the shot clock expiring, and it airballs. Gregory blocks McFarland next time down. Terps tentative to take jump shots; which is a good thing because they’re not a good jump shooting team; but they don’t want to keep taking time off the clock. Hayes with the leaner, then Bowie with the dunk off ANOTHER steal. Wake is forced to take their first timeout. 27-16 Terps. Drew better not declare this one over just yet.

9:33-Rich; you certainly have to be pleased with what Dupree’s done so far. For a guy that every message board in the world has transferring to Loyola after the season (maybe to open up a scholarship for Lance Stephenson); he clearly has maintained focus.

Drew; I also enjoyed the time you had Tony Franklin from Towson on the show. I might be sleeping at WNST again tonight if I get back after 1am; I might as well move in.

9:30-Good progression by Wake leads to a wide open 3 for Clark; who now has 6 to lead Wake. Vasquez fouled by Johnson the next time down; his 2nd person. GREAT passing by Mosley gets Dupree a dunk; 23-16. Terps with another steal; but Vasquez’s layup is blocked. 6 MAB’s. Dupree misses inside the next time down. I’ll make that 7 MAB’s. 23-16 Terps as we hit the 3rd official timeout with 7:19 to play in the half. Terps ball when we come back.

9:29-Hayes with the pretty move in the lane and the prettier finish for his first bucket. 19-13 Terps. Greivis with another miss from the lane next time down, he’s gone cold. But he goes right to the hoop after an offensive rebound; 21-13 Maryland.

9:27-Maryland goes to the full court press out of the official timeout. Deacs struggle, but break it; and Dupree is hit with his 1st personal fighting for position. Johnson is met by 3 defenders, and Hayes strips him from behind. Tucker misses the 3 off the nice feed from Mosley, then he’s called for the player controlled foul on a missed drive. That’s 5 MAB’s, 7 team fouls; and 2 personals on Tucker. Greivis back in after L.D. Williams is hit with his 2nd personal. Only 3 team fouls on the Deacs so far.

9:25-The obvious turnaround in the last 5 minutes was the Terps getting up and down off defensive plays. Whether turnovers or rebounds; the Terps worked quicker in the last 5 minutes. They haven’t found a hot hand shooting the ball yet though; even with Greivis’s 9 points.

9:23-Very pretty step-through by Vasquez, but he can’t finish. That’s 4 MAB’s. We hit the 2nd official timeout with Maryland up by 4. 11:25 to play.

9:22-Woods misses both, and the Terps go inside to Dupree as the shot clock runs down. Another Wake turnover, but Vasquez misses the 3 in transition. Clark knocks down his first 3 the other way down; 17-13 Terps.

9:20-Eric Hayes and Cliff Tucker into the game for Maryland; Gary Clark in for Wake with L.D. Williams returning. Vasquez misses a 3 from the corner; then Tucker called for an over the top foul fighting for the board. Milbourne airballs a short jumper next time down; and Wake gets two more extra chances before Greogry fouls Tony Woods. He’ll shoot 3. 1st personal on Gregory, fifth team foul. Milbourne exits for Braxton Dupree.

9:18-Tony Woods and Ish Smith into the game for Wake; Adrian Bowie goes right to the goal for 2. Bowie goes coast to coast off a rebound for a wild finish off the glass, and Maryland leads 13-10. 9 for Greivis already. Milbourne misses the reverse, make it 3 MAB’s. Mosley with the strip and finish; 15-10 Terps. Wake turns the ball over again; and Comcast is rocking.

9:16-The Terps are trying to use their “fake doubles” that were successful in the North Carolina game inside thus far. But the Deacs have more inside options; and are just fighting harder for offensive boards and loose balls early. The Terps will have to find effective inside minutes somewhere. Dino Gregory got the first chance.

9:13-Terps tough up inside but Aminu gets the 3rd chance hoop after a loose ball and a block. Teague drives off the McFarland strip to take a 10-7 lead. After the stoppage in play; Vasquez pulls up for 2. He has 7 early; 10-9 Deacs. Johnson misses his first 3 point try; but the Deacs get another offensive rebound. A foul on Johnson will end the possession. First official timeout; 15:56 to play. 10-9 Deacs. 2 “MAB”s for the Terps early.

9:11-Floater and layup airballed on that possession; Vasquez’s floater, Neal’s layup. Terps get a turnover and a 3 from Vasquez though; he has 5. Bowie called for the foul as Wake brings the ball down. 7-6 Terps. Neal is hit with his 2nd personal as Neal drives; that’s a VERY questionable call.

9:10-Mosley with the nice look inside to Neal to tie things at 4. With Maryland having little to no size inside; Wake decides to go right back down low; and Neal is called for the foul on Aminu. Aminu makes both, 6-4 Wake.

9:08-Wake goes right inside to McFarland to take an early 2-0 lead. Size will be a serious issue all night. Mosley gets free inside; but again can’t finish at the rim. I’m starting a “MAB” stat (Miss at basket); that’s 1 for the team, 1 for Mosley. Vasquez hits a jumper; but McFarland with the putback on the other end. 4-2 Wake.

9:02-Odd atmosphere in Comcast Center tonight. Coming off two straight games where this place was completely electric, there isn’t quite the same vibe in the building. A smattering of empty seats even. There’s a number of factors for this I’m sure (Fans were REALLY passionate for each of the last two games; there really aren’t any Wake Forest fans in the building; not a national TV game; no real hatred for Wake on campus; etc); but it still feels strange for such a crucial game to the Terps’ NCAA Tournament chances.

8:50-Team manager Jason Davis was honored before the game along with Dave Neal as part of Senior Night festivities. Chants of “Dave!” and “Dave Neal!” echoed throughout the student section at Comcast Center.

Gary Williams’ Terps stick with the Sean Mosley/Adrian Bowie/Greivis Vasquez/Landon Milbourne/Dave Neal lineup. Dino Gaudio’s Deacons start Jeff Teague and L.D. Williams in the backcourt; with Chas McFarland, James Johnson, and Al-Farouq Aminu up front.

Tonight’s game is televised by Fox Sports Net regionally; with coverage locally on Comcast SportsNet Plus. Bob Rathbun (Atlanta Hawks PBP) and Daymeon Fishback (former Auburn) have the call.If you have Comcast cable in Baltimore County; channel 17 is your destination.

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Pre-game:

Greetings from Comcast Center in College Park; where the Maryland Terrapins are set to battle the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. The Terps bring their 18-10 (7-7 ACC) record into tonight’s game off a win over NC State Sunday night in Raleigh. The Deacons are 22-5 (9-5); and are coming off back to back wins over NC State and Virginia. Gary Williams’ team is cearly viewed as still being ‘on the bubble’ for the NCAA Tournament, but many prognosticators believe a win over Wake could put the Terps squarely IN.

For the superstitious types; Gary Williams’ Terps are back in their all gold alternate uniforms. They suffered their first defeat in the Under Armour threads last Wednesday against Duke. I appreciate the fact that I can mention Under Armour without discussing Lance Stephenson in the same breath by the way.

Jerome Burney (bruised foot) will again miss tonight’s game. Braxton Dupree received a few minutes in Gary Williams’ mostly tight rotation Sunday night, it will be interesting to see if he gets minutes again tonight; especially given the clear size advantage the Deacs will have underneath with Al-Farouq Aminu, Chas McFarland, and James Johnson.

Tonight is Maryland’s final regular season home game of the year (hopefully there won’t be NIT games to be played in this building); and will be Senior Night. Dave Neal is the lone senior to be honored tonight; and will certainly receive a solid reception from the College Park faithful.

Dino Gaudio certainly has local ties; he was the Head Coach at Loyola for 3 seasons from 2002-2004. Gaudio is in his 2nd season as Head Coach in Winston-Salem; he was named Head Coach after the tragic sudden death of Skip Prosser in 2007.

“Celebrity Sighting” in the media area tonight; as ESPN.com blogger Heather Dinich (former Baltimore Sun Maryland beat writer) is in the house. I’m surprised she’s not out running somewhere…..

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