Earlier versions of this article incorrectly implied that Maryland's Eric Hayes was responsible for guarding Wake Forest's C.J. Harris when Harris made five straight shots at the end of the first half, causing Maryland to switch defensive assignments for the second half. Hayes had been guarding Hayes earlier in the first half but was on the bench for most of the time that Harris made those five shots.
Tuesday's late game
Maryland falls to Wake Forest in overtime, 85-83
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Reprinted from yesterday's late editions
With his red ball cap turned backward, senior guard Greivis Vasquez could not hide the pride he felt in his team, despite an outcome just minutes earlier that had left the Maryland basketball team facing a more somber tone of questioning. Near the end of five minutes of interrogation outside the visiting locker room Tuesday night at Joel Coliseum, Vasquez flashed a grin and cracked a joke.
The Terrapins were not satisfied with the end result -- an 85-83 overtime loss to Wake Forest -- but they were at least encouraged by several developments that surfaced during the process. Maryland outrebounded an Atlantic Coast Conference opponent for the second consecutive game, despite being at a considerable size disadvantage in both contests, and several of its players, Vasquez included, took personal strides forward.
The Terrapins (10-5, 1-1 ACC) took some ill-advised shots in the second half and overtime period, they fouled at inopportune moments on inopportune areas of the court, and they stepped out of bounds after snagging an offensive rebound. Those were the pinpricks that ended up deflating Maryland's comeback effort. Encouraged if not satisfied, Coach Gary Williams and his players left the arena with more poise and confidence than such a score might typically generate for the losing squad.
"I was really pleased with the effort that we were able to make tonight, and hopefully we learn some things from there," Williams said. "We had a couple balls I thought we had possession of where we fell down one time in overtime, and one time we stepped out of bounds on the baseline. Those things make a big difference in an overtime game, so we just have to clean it up a little bit. We have to do a little better job of making sure we take good shots in situations, and when we do that we're a good basketball team."
Maryland trailed by as many as eight points in the second half. Containing incendiary Wake Forest point guard Ishmael Smith and 6-foot-9 forward Al-Farouq Aminu proved just as difficult as expected.
Wake Forest (12-3, 2-1) pushed the pace and took advantage of Maryland's 15 turnovers to outscore the Terrapins in transition, 18-2. The Terrapins struggled to match their opponents' tempo, but Vasquez's offensive performance kept Maryland in contention. He attempted a career-high 27 shots and finished with a game-high 30 points.
With 1 minute 32 seconds to go in the second half, senior guard Eric Hayes fired his third attempt from three-point range of the night and it fell through the net. The basket provided Maryland a two-point lead and pushed Hayes's career point total to 1,001. He is the 48th Terrapin to reach that plateau.
But with 29.3 seconds remaining in regulation, senior forward Landon Milbourne fouled Aminu from beyond the three-point line. Aminu, who finished with 24 points and 13 rebounds, missed the first attempt but made the following two. Sophomore guard Sean Mosley, who grabbed a team-high 13 rebounds, missed a jump shot with two seconds left to send the game to overtime.
The Terrapins missed 3 of 6 free throws in the extra period, but their superiority on the boards (9-3 advantage in overtime) necessitated a tense final minute with the score knotted at 83.
With 20 seconds left, Smith dashed to the basket and converted a layup to put Wake Forest ahead by two.
"He's probably by far the quickest guy I've ever had to cover, and I thought for the most part I did a pretty good job," Hayes said. "If you asked me if that's the last shot they're going to get is him with a fade-away one-handed fall-away floater, I probably would have taken it, but he made the shot, so you've got to give him credit."
Smith finished with 16 points on 8-of-23 shooting. "To tell you the truth," Williams said, "I wish he would have only taken 22 shots."
Vasquez and Mosley each missed three-point attempts on Maryland's final possession, sealing the Terrapins' fate for one night. After Maryland logged its second game in three nights, Vasquez said the game had an NCAA tournament feel to it. "Thank God we're not because we shouldn't lose in the first round," he joked.
Then he grinned.
"We almost got it, man," Vasquez said. "We almost got it. I don't want to say they got a little lucky, but I might give them credit this time just because they won the game."