- Texas man arrested for powder-letter hoax
- Islamic State opens ‘marriage bureau’ for single jihadists
- Drone almost blocks California firefighting planes
- Tornado rips off roofs, downs trees near Boston
- GOP: Environmental rules keeping agents from accessing border
- John Kerry: Millions displaced by religious fighting in 2013
- Federal appeals court rules against Virginia’s gay marriage ban
- White House says Russia ‘losing’ war in Ukraine
- Hamas turns to North Korea for weapons deal, Iran for money
- Syrian casualties surge as jihadis consolidate
Close not good enough
Question of the Day
The middle of the paint Tuesday epitomized Maryland’s basketball season.
So it was all season. Sometimes, the unusually configured Terps discovered a way to hide their weaknesses enough to win. And sometimes, like the 65-63 loss to No. 10 Wake Forest, their flaws ultimately got the better of them at a crucial juncture of the season.
The Demon Deacons dwarfed the Terps, holding a 50-32 rebounding edge, blocking 10 shots and pretty much ensuring Maryland could not function inside of 15 feet in the final 10 minutes.
“They did a good job exploiting our weakness,” forward Dave Neal said. “They were relentless on the boards and fought hard. That’s what they do. They take some tough shots, but they know in the back of their mind they have three huge guys coming into the middle of the lane to funnel the ball back. They did a great job tonight.”
Neal scored a career-high 19 points and Greivis Vasquez had 16 points for Maryland (18-11, 7-8 ACC), which squandered a six-point lead in the final seven minutes.
Jeff Teague scored 17 points and Al-Farouq Aminu added 16 points and 14 rebounds for the Demon Deacons (23-5, 10-5), who snapped a four-game losing streak against Maryland.
While the Demon Deacons long ago solidified a claim to their first NCAA berth since 2005, the same was not true for the Terps. With a visit to Virginia (9-17, 3-12) looming Saturday, the home finale represented the last guaranteed chance to produce emphatic evidence for the selection committee.
Certainly, the victories in hand against Michigan State and North Carolina will look good when the committee sequesters itself next week in Indianapolis, but the prospect of another Top 25 victory possessed plenty of allure for a Maryland bunch that has vacillated between a team bound for the NCAA and the NIT over the last month.
That victory wasn’t secured Tuesday night, a result that ensures some nervous nights in the coming days for the Terps.
Should Maryland’s players receive any sleep, they no doubt will dream of Wake Forest’s giant front line. The Demon Deacons start three players who stand at least 6-foot-9. Maryland’s two frontcourt starters are listed at 6-7.
“Every time we got it in there, it seemed like they swatted it away,” coach Gary Williams. “It’s going to happen. We’re not the biggest team this year. But you compete.”
That they did, building an 11-point lead in the first half. The edge didn’t last, and the Demon Deacons needed about five minutes in the second half to build a 41-37 lead.
Neal, though, prevented a blowout, connecting on three 3-pointers in a little more than two minutes in what he hoped would be his final home game. Not only did it lead to a deafening monosyllabic chant of Neal’s name among the raucous crowd, it also ignited Maryland to build a 54-48 advantage.
Yet for all of Neal’s slick shooting and Vasquez’s floor-slapping antics, it didn’t prevent a Wake Forest counterpunch. Consecutive 3-pointers erased the Maryland lead, and Teague followed up with a one-handed slam from the wing and his own greeting to Neal and the Terps to make it 57-54.
About the Author
Patrick Stevens has covered Maryland and other Mid-Atlantic college sports for more than a decade. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- George Mason's defense dissipates in 84-74 loss to Northeastern
- Maryland's Pe'Shon Howard willing to let others put ball in the basket
- At 7-5, George Mason looks on the bright side entering CAA play
- Terps beat IUPUI, set for ACC after final tuneup
- Maryland's Jake Layman shows signs of progress in freshman season
Latest Blog Entries
By Scott Pinsker
- D.C. seeks to stay judge's order allowing gun owners to carry in public
- Illegal immigrants demand representation in White House meetings
- Hillary Clinton: Forget Obama, George W. Bush made her 'proud to be an American'
- Babson College, BYU win top spots in Money magazine's college rankings
- Iraqi Christians rally at White House: 'Obama, Obama, where are you?'
- White House defends Kerry failure to broker Middle East cease-fire
- Romney would win popular vote in rematch against Obama: CNN poll
- D.C. seeks stay in order striking down ban on handguns in public
- Tennessee Gov. Haslam slams White House for secret dump of illegals in his state
- Computer glitch caused odd Saturday release of D.C. guns ruling
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq