Monday, February 1, 2010

Maryland commits 26 turnovers, loses to Clemson on the road

After winning four games in a row and playing fantastic basketball, the Terps struggled against Clemson's pressure defense last night and fell to the Tigers 62-53. With the loss, the Terps drop to 4-2 in the ACC.

To be blunt, Maryland looked awful, and it would be difficult for them to play much worse. They turned the ball over 26 times, shot just 34.6 percent from the field, made only two of 10 three-pointers, were outrebounded by six (while allowing 15 offensive rebounds), and only dished out eight assists. And yet, the Terps still had a chance to win the game. After trailing by seven at halftime, Maryland eventually took a two-point lead with 8:20 left in the game, but they never led again. In fact, Maryland didn't even score in the last four minutes of the game.

Even though Clemson won the game and played well defensively, they looked terrible on offense, which obviously kept Maryland in the game. The Tigers shot just 31.9 percent from the field and had 21 turnovers. Also, their best player, Trevor Booker, only scored 10 points and shot an abysmal 2-16 from the floor. Then again, he did have 16 rebounds and four assists, so he stayed involved.

As for Maryland, freshman Jordan Williams (13 points, 13 rebounds) had a solid game, but no one else really did. Landon Milbourne only had three points (1-8 from the field), Eric Hayes had 11 points but turned the ball over five times, and Sean Mosley had a subpar game (eight points, five rebounds) but did pick up four steals. But the player who struggled the most was probably Greivis Vasquez, who scored 10 points on 3-11 shooting and turned the ball over nine times. Vasquez was taken out of the game early after picking up two quick fouls, and he never really seemed to get back in the game and wasn't able to get any kind of rhythm going. (By the way, this game featured a lot of ticky-tack fouls for such a physical game.)

This was the type of game in which Maryland needed Vasquez to hit a few buckets down the stretch to give the Terps a chance to pull out a win. The Terps weren't playing their best but still had a chance. But none of those shots fell. Also, Williams had a pretty quiet second half, though he did have a wonderful first half (10 points, nine rebounds). To be fair, he did seem to roll his ankle early in the second half, so that may have slowed him down.

It's tough for any team to win on the road in the ACC, especially when that team commits 26 turnovers. The Terps need to play much better to keep winning conference games, though things won't get much easier in their next game at Florida State on Thursday.

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