With his back against the wall; Gary Williams did it again.
With his early defensive schemes, solid timeouts, and good substitutions throughout; the greatest head coach in Maryland basketball history guided his Maryland Terrapins to an ACC quarterfinal win over a Wake Forest team with a serious size advantage. The Demon Deacons helped out a bit by shooting under 30%; but credit Maryland’s defense for that.
The 75-64 win might not make Maryland a lock; but they certainly have to be just about IN the NCAA Tournament at this point.
The story has to again be about the head coach. The head coach that defiantly walked into a post-game press conference after a tough loss to Duke two weeks ago and exclaimed “This is a DAMN good basketball team”; and continued to stand behind them even after a home loss to Wake a week later.
The coach is clearly in love with his group of players (some might consider them more qualified to play at the DII level than the ACC); and that love affair has finally paid off this weekend in Atlanta. He’s stuck by them, and has admitted that the team has “had (his) back” throughout the season, and they continue to perform beyond their perceived limitations.
Credit Greivis Vasquez. Credit Eric Hayes. Credit Sean Mosley. Credit Landon Milbourne. Credit Cliff Tucker. Credit lone senior Dave Neal. Credit Adrian Bowie. Credit Dino Gregory.
But more than anything, credit Gary Williams; who has never stopped working in what might well have been his most trying season since returning to his alma mater. This one will certainly make Maryland fans around the globe proud.
The best thing about Friday night’s win is the reminder that they could still have more to accomplish just this weekend alone. The Terps will be back in action around 3:30 Saturday with the chance to play for the ACC Championship on the line.
But they’ll enjoy this one for a few minutes first.
Greivis Vasquez lead the Terps with a game high 22 points, adding 8 rebounds and a game high 7 assists. Sean Mosley chipped in 12 points and 6 rebounds, Eric Hayes 11 points. 10 points and 6 boards for Dave Neal; 8 points and a team high 11 rebounds for Landon Milbourne. 6 points and 6 boards off the bench for Dino Gregory as well. The Terps out-rebounded the Deacons 43-34 (STUNNING!); adding 13 assists and 4 blocks. They shot 24-55 from the field (43.6%), 6-16 from beyond the arc (37.5%), and 21-26 from the free throw line (80.8%).
James Johnson lead the Deacs with 20 points and a game high 12 rebounds. Jeff Teague added 11 points (all in the 2nd half) with 6 boards. 9 points for Ish Smith, 8 for Al-Farouq Aminu to go with 7 rebounds. L.D. Williams added 7 points, Harvey Hale 5. The Deacs picked up 7 assists and 4 blocks. They shot 22-74 from the field (29.7%), 3-25 from beyond the arc (12%), and 17-24 from the free throw line (70.8%).
9:16-Gary Williams told his team after the Virginia loss that they needed to get two wins this weekend. But in his post-game interview; he sounded like a coach that still has goals in Atlanta; and isn’t taking anything for granted.
9:13-This one might not make the Terps a “lock” for the NCAA Tournament; but I can’t see how you leave a 20 win team from the ACC with wins over 3 Top 10 teams during the season out. What a win for the Terps; who will get a chance to make it academic tomorrow night against the Boston College/Duke winner.
9:11-Teague makes 2 of 3; he has 11, all in the 2nd half. I imagine this will about do it for tonight; the biggest win of the year again tonight for Gary Williams’ Terps. 75-64; and the Terps are RIGHT BACK on the cusp of the NCAA Tournament; advancing to the ACC Tournament semifinals for the first time since 2004.
9:09-Mosley makes 1 of 2; 12 for him tonight. He then fouls Teague shooting a 3; and Teague will shoot 3 with 25.3 to play.
9:08-Boy has Sean Mosley ever manned up tongith. He hits both, Wake finally fouls with 38.5 seconds to play. Dave Neal is clearly excited. 74-62 Terps; and FINALLY I can say this one will go to the Maryland column…..
9:07-Smith fouls Mosley; not the guy Maryland wants on the line. 1:08 to play. Chris Bonetti is NOT a funny comedian.
9:05-Hayes makes both, he has 11. James Johnson with a putback hoop, he has 20. Terps by 10 again as Wake calls their final timeout. Still more than a minute to play (1:20) to be exact; and I imagine Wake will keep fouling. Terps just have to keep making the freebies.
9:03-Mike Gminski thinks a win over the Deacs should get the Terps in. I find it hard to argue with that; but they have to finish first. James Johnson called for his 4th-a blocking call that sends Hayes to the line. Terps by 10 with 1:25 to play.
9:02-Hayes to Mosley, who finishes this time. Teague with a hoop inside with 1:26 to play; 70-60 Terps. Deacs almost have to foul now.
9:01-Mosley can’t finish inside; but Harvey Hale is called for his 5th personal; and the 7th team foul on the Deacs. Dave Neal to the line for 1 and 1…..he hits one of 2. Ten for the senior; Terps by 10. Johnson misses a 3; Terps ball with 2 minutes to go…..
9:00-Hale called for his 4th personal as the Terps try the long ball inbounds. 2:56 to play; Terps with a new 35 second clock.
8:59-If Dave Neal is trying to avenge his Senior Night loss; that 3 was a HUGE way to try to do it. Greivis with 2 unnecessary 3 ball attempts right afterwards though; which doesn’t help. The Terps can hold the ball on this possession for a little while; taking things toward the 2 minute mark. Time is their friend here; as is their free throw shooting.
8:57-James Johnson dunks back a miss; he has 18. Terps by 9; and Vasquez throws up a totally unnecessary 3. Terps keep the ball on the alternating possession; and they’ll maintain the 9 point lead with under 3 to play at the final official timeout of regulation. How’s your heartrate, Maryland fans?
8:56-Vasquez back in; he finds Neal who FINALLY hits a 3. 67-56 Terps, and they get the stop on the other end. Under 4 minutes…..
8:54-Aminu makes 1 of 2; but James Johnson gets the offensive board. Under 5 minutes to play. Ish Smith with the HUGE 3; and the Maryland lead is down to 8 at 64-56. Terps call timeout with 4:37 to play; and Gary will have to think about offense-for-defense switches with Vasquez. Mike Gminski reminds us of Maryland’s collapse in Miami; one of many blown double-digit leads this season…..
8:53-Terps take some time off the clock before Hayes explodes and misses. Gregory with the big rebound; but he misses as well. Neal called for the blocking foul-his 4th personal and the 7th team foul. Deacs in the bonus as the senior goes to the bench. Aminu to the line for 1 and 1.
8:52-Offensive foul goes against Dupree. That’s the 6th team foul. Hayes checks back in; he will have to take the ball to the rack offensively. Under 6 minutes to play. Aminue misses a 3; and Neal with the board.
8:50-Gary will HAVE to find a way to steal minutes from Greivis is the Deacs cut the lead to 7 or under. Big rebound by Milbourne after a missed dunk by Williams.
8:47-Nice possession by the Terps out of the timeout; and Vasquez gets to the rim after a ball fake. Wake gets a bucket from Johnson after a sloppy possession. Hayes with his first field goal; a 3 ball from the back corner. Johnson throws home a dunk on the other end; then Vasquez called for the offensive foul-a crucial call as it is his 4th personal. 6:56 to play-we hit the 3rd official timeout of the 2nd half. 66-54 Terps and this will be a critical point in this game.
8:45-UGLY basketball right now. Clark with the worst shot attempt I have EVER seen; but Tucker’s layup attempt in transition off the loose ball is blocked; and Wake converts on the other end; cutting Maryland’s lead to 59-48. 8:16 to play; Gary Williams calls timeout desperately trying to settle his team down. You just can’t help but get the feeling that this one could still end up being a one possession game.
8:44-Johnson slips inside and is blocked by Milbourne. Hayes tries to move the ball ahead to Tucker; but it goes out of bounds. SETTLE DOWN ALREADY!!!!
8:43-Vasquez with the 3; he has 20. James Johnson with a deuce, he has 10. Chris Bonetti with the knee-slapper, that counts for something. Drew doesn’t care about us apparently. Vasquez called for traveling after he and Teague fall down. 59-46 Terps with things really moving up and down quickly.
8:41-Completely unnecessary 3 point attempt by Vasquez, but Neal is there for the follow. Teague drives and is fouled by Vasquez, he’ll shoot 2. Terps can’t let this game be so open flowing and 1 on 1. Teague makes 1 of 2; he has 5 now. 56-44 Terps.
8:40-Teague makes both, then the Deacs get a steal and Ish Smith goes to the hoop for 2. Terps’ lead is down to 11; Teague had a shot to make it 8. Terps REALLY need to settle down.
8:36-Bowie with his 2nd drive finds himself right in front of the rim for 2. 54-39 Maryland. Teague drives again and is fouled. Terps cannot allow him to get going. We’ll hit the 2nd official timeout with the Terps up by 15.
8:33-Vasquez makes both, he has 17. 52-37 Terps. Terps called for an illegal screen-third personal on Milbourne-after Harvey Hale misses a 3. Terps will probably try to take some time off the clock. Wake with the steal; Terps get it back; no shot clock re-set and Vasquez’s desperation heave won’t go. Why no shot clock re-set there? That looked like possession to me. Teague finally gets on the board with a drive this time down. 52-39 Terps and Tucker calls timeout in trouble. 11:58 to play; Terps must remain focused.
8:32-Vasquez drives and is fouled by Harvey Hale. After the re-set, Vasquez is fouled in the lane; he’ll shoot two. What a difference ten days makes in getting free throw attempts.
8:30-Milbourne with the spin and the jumper; he has 8. Ish Smith answers with a floater; 50-35 Maryland. The Terps can’t get lazy on defense with the double-digit advantage. They can’t get lazy offensively either. Terps turn the ball over; James Johnson with the putback. Aminu with his 3rd personal foul meeting Eric Hayes. 50-37 Terps.
8:29-I will admit; I really enjoy the “Forever Young” Pepsi commercial Raycom has been running during this Tournament. Also; if for some reason you are reading this and don’t have the ability to watch tonight’s game on TV; the game is being streamed on RaycomSports.com. It’s a pretty clear picture only a few seconds behind the actual TV broadcast. I was very pleased watching GT/FSU earlier while my roommate and I played Tiger Woods Golf on Wii-the only gold I’m any good at.
8:27-Out of another Dino Gaudio timeout; Wake is called for a shot clock violation. They certainly wanted something more out of a timeout. 15:23 to play in the game; Terps by 15 at our first official timeout.
8:25-Johnson drives and scores, Mosley does the same the other way; then Vasquez adds a 3. 15 for Vasquez, and Mosley adds another 3. Maryland leads 48-33; their biggest lead of the game. Mosley has 7.
Drew-the winner of this game plays the winner of Duke/BC at 3:30 tomorrow. You will not get me to say anything more.
8:23-I can’t imagine the Deacs are going to continue to struggle so badly from the field. Maryland MUST continue to take advantage of the Deacs’ struggles before they start hitting shots. Maryland has played well defensively; but Wake has just continued to miss looks.
8:19-Aminu and Dave Neal get personals to open the 2nd half; Aminu’s 2nd, Neal’s 3rd-forcing the Terps’ lone senior to the bench. Terps get 3 tries around the rim and miss all 3! McFarland misses inside the other way; and Bowie finishes a layup in transition. Teague with his 7th miss; and Mosley drives for 2 of his own. 40-31 Maryland and Dino Gaudio takes his full timeout.
8:19-Rich gets points for the copycat distress call. Who’s desperation message was that?
8:12-Greivis Vasquez lead the Terps with a game high 12 points, 4 rebounds, and game high 3 assists in the first half. Eric Hayes, Dino Gregory, and Landon Milbourne all chipped in 6; Milbourne adding a game high 5 rebounds. The Terps out-rebounded the Deacs 19-17; adding 6 assists and 2 blocks. They shot 11-29 from the field (37.9%), 1 of 8 from beyond the arc (12.5%), and 13-16 from the free throw line (81.3%).
Al-Farouq Aminu and L.D. Williams each had 7 points in the first half to lead the Demon Deacons. Aminu and Jeff Teague tied for the team high with 4 boards each; but Teague was held scoreless. No Deac had more than 2 assists (Teague, Gary Clark). James Johnson added 6 points, Harvey Hale 5. The Deacs had 5 assists and 3 blocks in the half. They shot 9-35 from the field (25.7%), 2-10 from beyond the arc (20%), and 11-15 from the free throw line (73.3%).
8:11-Nothing like the “Drew Forrester Kiss of Death” to make you worry about a game. Has there been a game this season where you haven’t said “Maryland’s gonna win” or “this one is over”?
8:04-Final from Winston-Salem. Morgan State 75, Coppin State 67. The Bears will face the South Carolina State-Norfolk State winner for the MEAC Championship at noon tomorrow; unfortunately the game is on ESPNU.
8:00-McFarland makes both; and Gary Clark’s desperation heave at the buzzer goes; but it won’t count. 36-31 Maryland at intermission; we’ll get some Mike Hogwood and presumably more David Cook at the break; I’ll be back shortly.
7:58-Vasquez drives, he’s fouled by L.D. Williams with 6.9 seconds to play. Terps will have at least 16 free throw attempt in the first half of this one. Any thoughts in Jamie Lucky’s officiating performance in the first Wake game? Vasquez makes both; he has 12. Wake has plenty of time and runs a nice play; McFarland fouled underneath with 1.5 seconds to play.
7:57-Adrian Bowie finally on the board making one of two; and Maryland leads 34-29 with uner a minute to play. Bout an 8 second difference betweek shot clock and game clock. Teague misses, and Maryland gets it back with 24.5 to play. They’ll hold for the final shot up 5.
7:56-McFarland “Mosley”s one at the rim; the outlet home run ball goes out of bounds off Bowie. Things have been a bit sloppy as we work towards the half; but Maryland has played well defensively to maintain the advantage. McFarland called for tripping Bowie as the Terps looked to get into transition.
7:54-McFarland makes 1 of 2 at the line; and Maryland’s lead is 30-27. Braxton Dupree into the game; he sets a nice screen on Williams. Vasquez finds himself wide open from the wing; and he knocks down Maryland’s first 3 of the game. On the other end; L.D. Williams takes the feed in the lane and jams it home. 33-29 Maryland. 10 for Vasquez.
7:53-Pretty looking hook from Gregory; he has 6 so far and the Terps lead 30-26. Dino Gregory has been playing like a basketball player thus far in the ACC Tournament. L.D. Williams misses the 3; but Landon Milbourne is called for the foul going for the rebound. Chas McFarland back to the free throw line, where he’s struggled.
7:52-Hayes makes both, and the Terps go ahead 28-26. Another drive by Ish Smith; he’s called for the offensive foul this time. 2nd personal on Smith. 6 points for Hayes so far, all from the free throw line.
7:51-Scott Pryzwanski tells us that the Wake players want to go into the locker room “With the win.” Speaking of which, has anyone ever heard of Scott Pryzwanski?
7:49-The Dave Trembley MASN commercial just doesn’t do it for me. I’d make a joke about
7:48-Nice ball fake by Teague gets him an open look at a jumper; but he can’t find the handle. Aminu is called for the foul fighting for the board; and we’ll hit the last official timeout of the half with 3:47 to play tied up at 26.
7:47-Here we go again with site updates. Greivis drives, can’t finish; but David Weaver is called for the blocking foul. Vasquez makes just 1 of 2 at the line; he has 7 and we’re tied again at 26 apiece.
7:42-Wake can get Maryland out of the zone if they keep hitting shots; and L.D. Williams cuts Maryland’s lead to 23-22 with that one. Dave Neal continues his cold pace from outside early (0-4); and Milbourne is called for the 7th team foul after a Mosley putback miss. Hale makes both free throws; and Wake leads 24-23. That’s 5 for Hale. Wake is coming to meet Hayes at the 3 point line; not wanting to give him the chance to shoot from outside. Ish Smith fouls him attempting a tough jumper. He’ll shoot two.
7:41-Vasquez makes both free throws; he has 6 and the Terps are up 21-19 and back into the zone. The Terps are content to let the Deacs take open looks from outside; and only Hale has managed to connect. Milbourne knocks down a long 2 the next time down; and Maryland’s lead is 23-19.
7:40-Maryland opened tonight’s game with a 14-5 run; Wake has answered with a 14-5 run of their own to tie things up. Weird how things like that work.
7:37-Harvey Hale into the game; he connects on the first 3 for either team to tie things up at 19 with under 7:30 to play. Vasquez drives and is tripped; 7th team foul on Wake. We’re tied at the 3rd official timeout of the half.
7:35-Aminu connects, he has 5 early on. Vasquez drives and finishes; and Maryland leads 19-16. Drew; you think Greivis is thinking to himself; “I guess I’ll just have to do this on my own again”?
Aminu drives, he’s called for the offensive foul on Dave Neal. That one was questionable.
7:34-So much for the Terps adjusting to sightlines; as Vasquez with another BAD miss from outside. On the other end; Aminu scores and is fouled. Gary needs a 30 second timeout with the Terps now only up by 2 and a PLUS ONE attempt coming for Aminu.
7:32-Hayes makes both; Terps by 6 again. Wake goes to the home run ball to break the press; and Aminu takes it right to the hoop for 2. 17-13 Maryland. Hayes drives and turns it over; Teague does the same the other way.
7:31-Wake finally finds an effective play against Maryland’s zone; as L.D. Williams throws home an alley-oop. 15-11 Terps. Eric Hayes draws the foul driving the next time down; he’ll shoot two.
7:28-Both teams continue to struggle with outside shooting; including Dave Neal’s 3rd miss. But James Johnson REALLY helps the Terps, picking up his 3rd personal with 10:48 still to play in the half.
7:26-The Terps need to get someone going from outside; or you can be sure that the Deacs will go to a zone to try to win this one. Maryland doesn’t need to settle for jump shots; but needs to continue their successful drive and kick offense.
7:25-James Johnson into the lane; and he’s fouled. Johnson makes both; and Maryland’s lead is down to 15-9. Dave Neal leaves a 3 point attempt short; and we’ll hit the 2nd official timeout with the Terps up by 6.
7:23-What a drive by Ish Smith to end a 12-1 run by the Terps; and get the Deacs their first FG in what Steve Martin says has been almost 8 minutes. Cliff Tucker into the game; he’s fouled by an entering Gary Clark. Tucker makes 1 of 2; 15-7 Terps. Tucker blocks Smith on his next drive.
7:21-Ish Smith’s floater won’t fall, but Vasquez goes coast to coast and finishes for 2 the other way. Terps get the ball back after a Mosley rebound, and Gregory puts back a Milbourne miss. Deacs get two chances after a rebound by Aminu, but can’t finish. Mosley called for his 2nd fighting for a board next time down.
7:20-Deacs turn it over again; as WNST.net continues to struggle with upgrades. Vasquez is blocked by Al-Farouq Aminu on that drive; and Vasquez will not have an easy time trying to drive the lane tonight.
7:19-Sean Mosley picks up his first personal on McFarland; sending Wake’s big man to the line to shoot two. McFarland makes just one; and the Terps’ lead is 8-5. Milbourne knocks down an outside 2; and it’s 10-5 with 15 to play in the half. Eric Hayes into the game.
7:17-While fatigue might give Wake an advantage since Maryland had to play last night; familiarity of the Dome could help Maryland early. The Deacs have struggled shooting early on; as the dynamics of shooting in a non-symmetrical dome are not easy to adjust to for a team that is used to shooting in symmetrical gyms. The Terps were able to adjust to the sightlines last night; and should be able to take advantage.
7:15-Terps use Dino Gregory early to try to neutralize Wake’s size-or at least as much as Dino Gregory can neautralize anyone’s size. He gets a putback to put the Terps ahead 8-4. After a turnover we hear Gary scream “Greivis, run another play! Don’t let them do that!” We’ll hit the first official timeout with the Terps up 8-4.
7:13-Big steal by Adrian Bowie after a turnover; and Dave Neal finishes. Lots of praise for Dave Neal; as Mike Gminski says “I don’t think there’s anyone in the ACC who gets more from his abilities than Neal.” He can’t can his first 3 point attempt; but James Johnson gets his 2nd personal, and the Terps have a 6-4 advantage. Good evening Rich from Westminster.
7:11-And we’re back. Drew Forrester in the house. Two buckets from James Johnson, buckets from Landon Milbourne and Dave Neal on the other side. Chas McFarland to the line; he misses both but Wake gets it back. Tied at 4 early on, a block by Dave Neal. Deacons aren’t wasting time trying to go inside; nor should they.
Pre-game: Internet works fine tonight here at the Glenn Clark compound; so I’ll be starting on time. The Terps put their NCAA Tournament life on the line one more time tonight; in the ACC Tournament quarterfinals at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. The Terps battle the Wake Forest Demon Deacons-the Tournament’s #2 seed. The 7th seeded Terps have a 19-12 record after a 7-9 ACC regular season; the Deacons bring a 24-5 record into the game; including an 11-5 ACC regular season record and a nailbiter of a 65-63 victory over Maryland just 10 days ago in College Park.
Tonight’s game will be seen locally on WNUV 54 (Channel 14 on Comcast in Baltimore County) via Raycom Sports with Steve Martin and Mike Gminski on the call. If you’re outside of the ACC broadcast area; the game will be on ESPN2; with Mike Patrick and Len Elmore on the call; Heather Cox on the sidelines.
The winner of tonight’s game advances to face the winner of tonight’s Duke/Boston College showdown in tomorrow’s 2nd ACC semifinal. The first ACC semifinal will be a showdown between top seed North Carolina and 4th seeded Florida State; who survived close games today against Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech respectively.
The last time the Terps and Deacs met in the ACC Tournament was in 2004; when the Terps beat the Deacs 85-84 in the quarterfinals en route to Gary Williams’ only ACC Tournament Championship.