The University of Maryland fell back to .500 in Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) play with a 61-53 loss at Virginia. Maryland (now 14-11 overall, and 6-6 in the ACC), has now lost 6 consecutive games against the Cavs, and will next play the Blue Devils at Duke Saturday night.
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What did we see?
1) Maryland went to the half with a 1 point (26-25) lead. The Cavs had hit 50% of their shots (12 of 24), but the Terps were mixing up their defensive looks and playing hard. I was pleased with how MD had played, and was optimistic going into the 2nd half that MD would have a chance at the upset. However, the Terrapins would be outscored by 9 points (36-27) in the second 20 minutes, missing multiple opportunities.
1a) Playing against the #2 rated scoring defense in the country, MD was 11 of 26 from the floor (42%) in the 1st half, 21 of 52 (40%) for the game. MD was just 6 of 21 (29%) from 3.
2) In the 1st half, Allen’s shot was not falling (0 of 4 from 3) like it was Saturday vs. Florida State; but he was impacting the game with his dribble penetration. His ability to create for himself (and others) is huge for the Terps. He scored MD’s first basket of the 2nd half off a shot fake. Allen ended a 9-0 UVA run, with another drive inside. This made it 44-37 Cavs. Allen finished with 15 points (7 of 14 from the floor, 1 of 6 from 3).
3) Smotrycz saw his minutes limited vs. the Seminoles, and I thought that helped MD on the defensive end. Tonight though, he was still a starter and was helping the Terps on both ends of the floor in the 1st half. In that 1st half he had 8 points (3 of 7 from the floor, and was 2 of 4 from 3). Smotrycz picked up his 3rd foul 3 minutes into the 2nd half. With MD down 7 (42-35), Smotrycz missed an open 3. The lone 2nd half highlight for Smotrycz, was a good pass to Layman with 7 minutes left. Smotrycz missed all 7 of his 2nd half FG attempts, finishing 3 of 14 overall (2 of 9 from 3). Obviously Layman’s eye issue was part of the reason his minutes (and shots) were extended.
4) Maryland went to the half with 0 foul shot attempts (UVA had just 1). They finished the game 5 of 8 from the line. The inability to get some cheap points at the charity stripe was limiting.
5) The Terps had just 4 turnovers in the 1st half, and only 10 for the game.
6) Graham’s effort is never in question. He always brings defensive intensity. Nice job from Graham to score while being fouled with 12:45 left. Graham finished with those 2 points, and 3 boards.
6a) Mitchell got his 2nd straight start, and was a non-factor in the 1st half – his lone basket (and attempt) coming on a put-back with 15 seconds left. He finished the game with that lone basket as his only FG attempt. He added 5 boards, but turned the ball over 3 times. After 3 productive games in a row, tonight was a step backwards.
6b) There was a series of plays in the 1st half underneath the UVA basket, where you could see Cleare hustling. That hustle was not enough for him to overcome his limited hands though. Before being forced to the bench with an injury (it appeared to his shoulder), he had just 1 board.
6c) For those keeping track at home, MD’s big trio of Graham, Mitchell, and Cleare combined for 4 points, and 9 boards. Not good enough. Dodd never got into the game, as he has apparently been phased out of the rotation.
7) Wells had another quiet 1st half, with 5 points on 4 attempts. For a good portion of the half, he was being guarded by a similarly athletic player in Justin Anderson. Great job from Wells, creating for Graham in the middle of the 2nd half. He would tie the game at 35, rising up to hit a jumper. With 8:30 left, he was able to draw a foul, and hit 2 needed FT’s. Down 9 with 3:07 left, Wells missed the front-end of a 1&1. Wells finished with 12 points (4 of 11 from the floor), 4 boards, and 4 assists. Not enough from your best player, if you want to pull an upset on the road.
8) Layman hit his lone shot of the 1st half (a 3), and also added 3 steals and a block in the first 20 minutes. However, he took a poke to the eye late in the 1st half which sent him to bench in discomfort. He was in the game to start the 2nd half, and scored once on his four attempts. Clearly still uncomfortable with the eye, Layman stayed on the bench over the last 6 minutes.
9) The Terps had a 14-13 edge on the boards in the 1st half. For the game, MD won the boards 31-29.
10) Faust’s first 3 point attempt was one that made you shake your head. He did have a nice jumper off a curl in the 2nd half. Also had a good defensive play, leading to MD fast-break. Big 3 from Faust with 2:28 left, to make it a 6 point game. He got his hands on a ball, leading to a steal and finished as well. Faust finished with 9 points, 4 boards, 1 assist, 1 steal, and 2 blocks.
11) Peters, who had his minutes majorly reduced vs. FSU, also did not play much tonight. In the middle of the 2nd half, MD had a shot-clock violation with him on the floor. On a MD fast-break, Peters was not able to finish. The only thing in his box-score was 1 turnover.