Maryland vs. Virginia: Terrapins stumble against Cavs in regular season finale
Sunday, March 6, 2011
A disappointing regular season came to a deflating conclusion for Maryland on Saturday at Comcast Center, where the Terrapins fell to Virginia, 74-60, on a day intended to celebrate the team's outgoing seniors. The defeat was Maryland's third in a row - all by double-digit margins - and marked the sixth time in the last eight seasons that Maryland (18-13, 7-9) finished .500 or worse in ACC play.
Needless to say, the chances of a postseason worth remembering now seem quite remote for the Terrapins, barring a four-game romp to the ACC tournament championship later this week.
Against a depleted, undersize Cavaliers roster, the Terrapins came out flat, lost the rebounding and turnover battles, and failed to defend Virginia's only appreciable offensive weapon - its three-point shooting - allowing 6-foot-1 junior guard Sammy Zeglinski (career-high 25 points) to make six of his seven attempts from beyond the arc.
Terrapins Coach Gary Williams credited Virginia's superior effort and spoke only in broad strokes about where his team fell short, such as failing to impose its will in the first half.
The most unflinching analysis came from freshman guard Terrell Stoglin, who was held to single digits (nine points) for the first time since Feb. 5.
"The difference was that we thought we could win the game without working hard, so we didn't work hard," Stoglin said. "They wanted it more."
After trailing most of the game, the Terrapins slashed a 12-point deficit to five with 5 minutes 12 seconds remaining. But after getting crucial defensive stops, Maryland missed two easy shots - a would-be dunk by Williams and an overly fancy layup attempt by freshman guard Pe'Shon Howard - that would have cut its deficit to one.
"You gotta make shots when you have 'em," Gary Williams said of the gaffes down the stretch. "We just didn't make 'em."
Shortly before tip-off, Maryland's three seniors - Gregory, Adrian Bowie and Cliff Tucker - were honored with a standing ovation as they were presented with framed jerseys on Senior Day. And after many in the near capacity crowd of 17,459 had exited, those who remained broke into chants of "Thank you, seniors!"
But there was little for Maryland fans to cheer in between, with the Terrapins stumbling to a 37-33 halftime deficit.
Maryland's chief concern entering the game was Virginia's three-point shooting. Still, the Cavaliers hit three three-pointers in succession in the early going. Gregory answered each with a basket to keep the Terrapins close.