Maryland (13-9, 3-5 ACC) looked like it was in position to pull the upset against the #6 team in the country on Saturday afternoon. Say what you will, but the Terps broke down in the second half against UNC (20-3, 7-1 ACC). Be it tired legs from two overtimes on Wednesday, overall talent level at Roy Williams disposal or sloppy play from the Terps in the second half, but they couldn’t get the job done. The Terps ultimately fell to the Tar Heels 83-74 in front of a strong home crowd.
The starting 5 from North Carolina is one of the best in the country, and showed their dominance today. Tyler Zeller finished 22 points and 7 rebounds, while forwards John Henson and Harrison Barnes combined for 35 points and 20 rebounds. Point Guard Kendall Marshall finished with 9 points and 16 assists, tying a Comcast Center record (also held by Greivis Vasquez).
It’s hard to believe that the Terps held a 9-point lead in the second half, but they couldn’t come back after a Harrison Barnes three-pointer put the Tar Heels in front for good with nine minutes to go.
Alex Len continued a strong run of form as he did more than what the stat sheet will indicate. He had 12 points, 9 rebounds and 4 blocks, but altered a handful of shots and kept plays alive. He really gave the big trees of UNC fits all game. Len was able to be a force on the inside, but did seem to wear down at the end after being left alone in a four guard lineup.
Terrell Stoglin had another solid game leading the Terps in scoring (20) but struggled from beyond the arc, and looked to go for the kill shot early in the second half when Maryland had the lead, and forced it at the end when they were down. Stoglin did make a few impossible shots, and it was one of the games you had to take the good with the bad as no one else was stepping up from outside.
One of Maryland’s biggest issues this season had been free throws, but tonight had one of their better shooting performances of the season. An issue that remained a problem was generating assists. Kendall Marshall alone doubled up the Terps in assists, 16 for Marshall to just 7 for the Terps. Overall, UNC finished with 20 for the game.
Maryland proved, again, that they are good enough to play with the best teams in the country. Unfortunately, they just don’t have the depth to play 40 minutes with them. Maryland has lost 5 of its last 6 games, and have been in every game, they just have no been able to finish.
Maryland fans did their best to keep the team in the game. They also did their best to welcome 5-star football recruit Stefon Diggs (Good Counsel) of Olney; who was in attendance with Mike Locksley. Fans were handing out these signs in anticipation of Diggs arrival:
The Terps are on the road for their next two games against Clemson (Tuesday) and Duke (Saturday). Follow Brendan Darr on twitter for more updates on the Terps: @BrendanDarr1067