- Catholic League slams Obama: ‘Do Christian lives mean so little to you?’
- National laboratory cancels ‘Southern Accent Reduction’ classes after outcry
- U.S. woman with Ebola is stable, improving, son says
- Belgium pushes for clear labeling of goods from Israeli settlements
- ‘Queen of Mean’ Leona Helmsley’s former home hits market for $65M
- Florida beach-goers told to beware flesh-eating bacteria in water
- Lundergan Grimes uses ‘war on women’ strategy to attack McConnell
- Rep. Jeff Miller: ‘Ain’t no leash for VA’
- Al Qaeda nets $125M from ransom payoffs from Europe since 2008
- Ohio Gov. John Kasich cruising to re-election: survey
UM beats Cal; AU loses to Villanova
Question of the Day
KANSAS CITY, Mo. | It all felt so right - the jubilant locker room, the double-digit victory and the date in the second round of the NCAA tournament.
It was more than a wee bit unlikely, but it’s also becoming much more believable.
As Maryland rolled past California 84-71 on Thursday afternoon at Sprint Center, the Terrapins moved within a victory of another impressive feat: the program’s first trip to the tournament’s second weekend since 2003.
“I’d like to say it’s how it’s supposed to be, but there were a lot of doubts throughout the season,” guard Eric Hayes said. “For anybody to think we would be in the second round right now, I’m sure they would have thought we were crazy. We all knew we were capable of this; it was just a matter of us putting it all together.”
TWT RELATED STORY:AU surges early, then slumps late again
Maryland (21-13), the West Region’s No. 10 seed, will meet second-seeded Memphis (31-3) on Saturday afternoon in an attempt to extend a season that had all the looks of ending with the bitterness of an NIT berth just two weeks ago.
But timing is a funny thing. The Terps produced perhaps their best overall game at the most ideal moment last week, stunning Wake Forest in the ACC tournament. And with Thursday’s meeting with the similarly constructed Golden Bears (22-11), Maryland came through with a brief burst precisely when it was required.
After haggling with seventh-seeded California for much of the game - fending off the Golden Bears, permitting them to draw closer, swapping the lead from time to time - and receiving plenty from Greivis Vasquez (27 points), the Terps demonstrated precisely why they have extracted so much from a team admittedly less talented than the bunch relegated to the NIT a year ago.
Hayes and Landon Milbourne stepped out and drilled consecutive 3-pointers. What was close throughout suddenly was a little comfortable, and Maryland needed little time to finish off Mike Montgomery’s first California team.
“Those 3-point shots we made at that time of the game were huge,” Vasquez said. “They completely changed the game.”
The offensive improvement lent Maryland the opportunity to gamble at the other end. The Golden Bears began the tournament as the nation’s top 3-point shooting team, but the Terps pestered them into a 7-for-24 night.
It expended plenty of energy but was a necessity so long as things remained tight. Yet the Terps’ 13-2 burst gave them a 63-53 edge and some room to maneuver.
“It was a gamble,” said coach Gary Williams, who won his ninth straight first-round game. “The score was close, and they made some 3s down the stretch but not enough to really hurt us because we started to score well once we went to zone, and that changed the game.”
It was also an acknowledgment, however tacit, that the Golden Bears’ greatest strength was not particularly useful against another perimeter-oriented bunch committed to a solid defensive performance. Cal guard Jerome Randle scored 14 points but was bottled up in the second half. Forward Theo Robertson scored 22 but committed five turnovers and did little from the outside.
About the Author
Patrick Stevens has covered Maryland and other Mid-Atlantic college sports for more than a decade. You can reach him at email@example.com.
- Maryland's Pe'Shon Howard willing to let others put ball in the basket
- George Mason's defense dissipates in 84-74 loss to Northeastern
- 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
- Patent workers paid to exercise, shop, do chores: report
- Boehner rules out impeachment: 'Scam started by Democrats'
- CARSON: Rudderless U.S. foreign policy
- Obama thanks Muslims for 'building the very fabric of our nation'
- Fla. mom arrested for allowing 7-year-old son to walk to park alone
- Smugglers, rainstorm combine to poke holes in border fence
- Obama mum on where illegal immigrant children are sheltered
- Federal judge grants 90-day stay in D.C. gun case
- Defense lawyer: McDonnell's wife had 'crush' on CEO
- CARSON: Costco and the perils of politicizing business
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world