Maryland was falling apart in the second half, and then as if to turn the game, they caused a turnover on the press. Nick Faust promptly got called for a charge, a charge that changed the entire complex of the game. Maryland was down 57-46, and the game was getting away from the Terps. Head Coach Mark Turgeon lost control after the questionable charge and got his first career technical at Maryland, and then immediately followed that up with his second and was ejected. Miami made three of the four free throws and followed that up with a lay-up after they got the ball back with seven minutes to go.
The ejection sparked the Terps to come back on a 23-7 run to end the game and tie the game up with 1:03 to go with Terrell Stoglin taking over down the stretch scoring 10 of the teams 23 points. Stoglin, however, couldn’t hit the game winning shot at the end of regulation. Stoglin shot an unbelievable 20 – yes, 20, that’s not an exaggeration with most being contested – three-pointers tonight, but couldn’t hit one with four seconds left in regulation.
In the first overtime neither team could take advantage – the biggest lead was 2 points by Miami – and Pe’Shon Howard had a chance to win the game in the final four seconds but didn’t look to rush down the court and pulled up just inside half court. The second overtime saw a costly error by the refs gift Miami two points on what should have been an offensive goaltending call. Stoglin threw up an early three on Maryland’s first possession and Maryland was forced to play catch-up, but never could after that.
Maryland had a lot of opportunities to win this game, and it certainly should have. The Terps got Miami’s two lone big men, Raphael Akpejiori and Reggie Johnson, fouled out. Maryland Center Alex Len had a solid game, but was starved of service in the overtime periods and couldn’t take advantage of the massive size advantage. Len struggled on rebounding at times, both offensively and defensively. At one point, he lost a rebound to 5’11” Shane Larkin in overtime.
Fans will be upset and claim that Maryland had to play against Miami and the refs tonight, but Maryland had a few chances to win, and couldn’t and left it to double overtime. Fans can still be proud, but disappointment will probably be the most common sentiment tomorrow. Fans will also draw unnecessary parallels between Turgeon and Gary Williams for getting ejected, which is fine since it did ultimately spark the comeback. Although let’s not forget Scott Spinelli did a wonderful job filling in for Turgeon.
“Everybody was playing inspired. Everybody was trying to play for coach. We felt it was unfair he got those technicals.” Said Stoglin, “We were trying to get the win for him. We knew he couldn’t watch the game so we wanted to go back there and tell him we won. ”
Spinelli spoke to the media after the game and said “I was the substitute teacher. I just had the lesson plan and tried to implement what I needed to implement.” He also added “He [Turgeon] did it to get his team fired up & he left it with us assistant coaches to get out guys rallied and they rallied for their Head Coach.”
All of this happened and I hadn’t even mentioned that Pe’Shon Howard didn’t start for the first time since his first game back. It all was for naught as he still played 44 minutes on the night.
Maryland still hasn’t won on the road this season, but things won’t get any easier at home on Saturday when #6 UNC comes to town. Terrell Stoglin went of for a career-high 33 points tonight, but will find the sledding a little tougher against the bigger UNC guards.