College Park, Md. – Maryland came into tonight’s game against Virginia Tech looking to rebound after last Saturday’s heartbreaking loss at Villanova. Instead of coming out and proving they belonged in the discussion among the top of the ACC behind Duke, they fell flat on their faces in the worst home loss in the Comcast Center.
The Terps loss seemed to be attributed to a lack of effort tonight as everyone from Coach Gary Williams to the players blamed the loss on effort. Senior Guard Adrian Bowie, Senior Forward Cliff Tucker and Sophomore Center Jordan Williams all mentioned how the lack of effort contributed to the loss to Virginia Tech.
It was a bitter-sweet night for Jordan Williams, as he tied Len Elmore’s school record for consecutive games with a double-double at 12. After the game, Williams said “I’m not worried about individual stats, we just need to learn from this game and get ready for Clemson”. Williams was clearly frustrated all evening by Virginia Tech’s zone defense. Often Williams appeared to be a ghost on offense as it took over 7 minutes to finally get Williams the ball in the post.
Williams inability to get anything going in the first half, combined with an overall poor effort by the team – with the sole exception of Adrian Bowie who had 10 points in the first half – put the Terps in a huge hole to start the second half. A hole not even the best 3 minutes of Cliff Tucker’s career could save. Tucker had a stretch in the second half where he scored 11 straight points for Maryland, while the Terps went on an 11-2 run and cut the lead to down to 8 with 7:06 to go.
The final 7:06 Maryland managed to score four points. Maryland coaches and players had talked about playing a full 40 minutes tonight after the collapse against Villanova. You could roughly say they played about 27 tonight, at most.
Gary Williams led off his press conference by saying “After a game like that you wonder where that comes from”. He also mentioned how he hoped it was only a single-game performance. The Terps have a little more than 36 hours to recover and get ready for Clemson on Saturday. With so little time to recover, Williams can only hope another performance like that is lurking around the corner.
The players seem to understand the sense of urgency. Tucker and Williams used the phrase multiple times. Tucker even went as far to say that the team has no time to mope around. Both will need big games for the Terps to beat Clemson on Saturday.
Jordan Williams said “I’m going to be fired up on Saturday”. For everyone’s sake, lets hope he is and the rest of the team follows his lead.
- When asked about the different starting lineup this evening, Coach Williams mentioned that Freshman PG Terrell Stoglin was late for a team function, and therefore did not start.
- Virginia Tech Sophomore Erick Green scored a career-high in points tonight with 24. His previous high was 18.
- Maryland was actually better at the free-throw line tonight than Virginia Tech. Maryland came into the game, as a team, averaging 62% from the free throw line. Tonight, they shot 73.3%.
- For the game, Virginia Tech shot 53.6% from the field, they came in averaging under 40%. According to KenPom.com Maryland had the #1 defense in the country. As evidence of Virginia Tech’s hot night, PF Jeff Allen made his only three-pointer, he came in 2-for-19 this season, and a career 27% shooter. Even Jordan Williams referenced it after the game.
- Fans really let Virginia Tech’s Senior Guard Malcolm Delaney have it tonight after his comments in today’s Washington Post. Delaney had said “Maryland may have the worst fans ever”. Delaney quieted the crowd with 19 points and 7 assists.