Reporting Brendan Darr
Maryland struggled most of the day. Whether it was their shooting, or attempting to defend Virginia, Maryland couldn’t put it all together and come back against their biggest rivals. After falling behind early, Maryland let a slow start in the second half be their undoing as Virginia got it to double digits quickly and Maryland couldn’t make enough plays down the stretch.
Coach Turgeon didn’t want to make excuses, but the Terps and their coach seemed to point to a late-night on Thursday after the Virginia Tech game as the main reason for their struggles on Sunday afternoon. A late tip combined with a delayed flight and other travel issues were the culprit.
Logan Aronhalt said it was an issue, but reiterated, “We still should have been ready, we had all day yesterday to relax.”
Perhaps the travel was an issue, the Terps seemed like they were able to hustle and make plays on the defensive end, they just couldn’t get their shots to fall. When you shoot near 50% from the free throw line, and under 30% from behind the arc you just aren’t going to win games. It also doesn’t help your cause to allow your opponent to shoot 58% from three.
All in all, Virginia had two guys go for career-high’s in points, and like coach Turgeon said, “All the credit goes to Virginia.”
“I thought we were a half-step slow; I thought they were real physical. They held their box outs. We didn’t handle the physicality early very well. It was their day, it definitely wasn’t ours,” Said Turgeon.
Maryland, for the first time all season long, was out-rebounded by an opponent. A staggering statistic given that Virginia went with a smaller lineup for most of the game. For portions of the second half, Alex Len (7-foot-1) was forced to guard Justin Anderson (6-foot-6) in what was a horrible mismatch defensively for Len.
For Anderson, who flipped his commitment from Maryland to UVA after Gary Williams left, heard it from the Maryland fans. Students peppered him with chants like “traitor” and “we don’t need you,” but Anderson didn’t let it bother him en route to a career-high 16 points.
Maryland drops to 17-7 and 5-6 in the ACC with the loss. The Terps will now have almost a week, and they’ll need it, to prepare for Duke at home next Saturday night at 6 pm.