Terps Shell-Shocked By #4 UNC
After the impressive performance on Thursday against Wake Forest, Maryland was looking to continue their run in the ACC Tournament against top-seeded North Carolina. Even without All-ACC First Teamer John Henson for most of the game, Maryland couldn’t take advantage and fell 85-69. It could be the final game of the Terps’ season, as the Terps are, at best, a long-shot for the NIT.
Henson went down early in the first half and injured his wrist after a hard fall. Even without Henson, the Heels dominated the Terps inside. At one point, UNC had a 28-0 scoring lead inside during the second half. At the end of the day, UNC had a 31-7 advantage inside, and Maryland’s starting big men (Alex Len and James Padgett) did not contribute to those 7 points. Without Henson, James Michael McAdoo, a very promising freshman, came off the bench and had 14 points and 8 rebounds in his place.
Maryland’s best big man today was Ashton Pankey off the bench. Pankey, who this time last week played six minutes (all in the first half) and came off a game against UNC, the game before, where he fouled out in just eight minutes of action. Pankey had a very good ACC Tournament off the bench. However, today he was let down by his teammates. Padgett and Len combined for an 0-for-7 day from the floor and 4 total rebounds.
The front court wasn’t the only issue for the Terrapins. While Terrell Stoglin had his 30 points, Nick Faust and Sean Mosley struggled mightily. Faust and Mosley combined for 1-of-10 from behind the arc. Neither had a good second half, and both really struggled defending. Faust spent a lot of time on Kendall Marshall and lost him on defense that allowed Marshall to sink two wide-open three’s.
Mosley, who may have been playing in his final game, did not have a game he would want to go out on. The senior finished 2-for-11 from the floor, and while he did have 6 rebounds he was largely ineffective. He hustled all game and never gave up, but it’s a rough way for Mosley to potentially go out on.
Maryland was thoroughly outplayed by North Carolina without one of their top players. However, in stretches, Maryland was able to stick with UNC, and never gave up – despite twice going down by 17 points. Maryland will now have to wait to see if they get picked for the NIT. They have no chance of making the NCAA Tournament, and will likely pass on both the CIT and CBI post-season tournaments as they are pay-for-play.
The coming weeks, with or without another game, should be interesting. We know Sean Mosley and Berend Weijs will be gone next year, but could Maryland potentially lose one or two more players? We’ll have to see, and I’ll know more in the coming weeks. For more, follow Brendan Darr on twitter: @BrendanDarr1067