There was a moment in the second half tonight where it looked like the Maryland Terrapins were going to come back, surprise their detractors, and pull off the win. Sort of like their season. They pulled within five with around 10 minutes left in the game, but they couldn't close the gap, and ultimately fell to the Miami Hurricanes 80-66.
The loss drops the Terrapins to 7-8 in the ACC, and improved Miami to 6-9.
Their 80-point total was Miami's highest of the season, which probably says less about the Hurricanes' level of play than it says about Maryland's lack of energy. Miami shot over 54% from the field as the Terrapins failed to defend effectively. Despite the Terrapins finishing with four more rebounds than their opponents and five fewer turnovers, this game was never close.
Freshman guard Terrell Stoglin led all scorers, as is his norm, with 20 points. But he didn't have much help. The Maryland bench accounted for only seven points tonight. In the meantime, Miami finished with five players in double-figures.
The Terrapins have one game remaining before the ACC Tournament. They face the Virginia Cavaliers on Saturday afternoon in College Park.
The Maryland Terrapins got off to a slow start in Miami tonight, and haven't picked up speed at all yet. Maybe in the second half? Maybe not.
The Terrapins are showing a lack of energy and lack of focus. Poor shot selection and missed chances have plagued the team throughout the first 20 minutes of action as the Terps trail the Miami Hurricanes 40-27 at halftime.
The Hurricanes are shooting over 50% from the field, while the Terrapins are hovering around just 32%. The normally consistent Terrell Stoglin and Jordan Williams have each scored eight points for Maryland in the first half. Williams has also chipped in five rebounds, so he's on course for another double-double, but that's hardly among the top concerns for Gary Williams and his team tonight. A win would ensure that the Terrapins would finish the season with an ACC record of .500 or better. That's the goal tonight.
You might think that the Maryland Terrapins' season is over. In terms of reaching the NCAA Tournament, it probably is. Short of winning their final two regular season games and at least reaching the Final of the ACC Tournament next week, the Terrapins are probably bound for the NIT this year.
But don't think for a minute that means that Gary Williams' boys are going to give up.
If you're looking for a reason to watch tonight, Terrell Stoglin should be it. The Maryland shooting guard is coming off back-to-back ACC Rookie of the Week awards, and is averaging 23.8 points in his last four games. Not bad for a freshman. The Terrapins are looking to build for next year on the backs of Stoglin and sophomore power forward Jordan Williams.
The Hurricanes enter tonight's game at 5-9 in the ACC, two games behind Maryland. The home team is coming off a 65-59 loss to the Florida State Seminoles, and they will count on getting some scoring power from junior Malcolm Grant (15.1 ppg) and sophomore Durand Scott (13.2 ppg).
The game tips off at 7:00 PM and can be watched on ESPNU