CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — The last of Maryland’s recruited scholarship players departed with more than three minutes remaining Saturday, a merciful reprieve from the final stages of a miserable half.
“I’d just had enough – selfishness, not boxing out, not defending,” coach Mark Turgeon said. “I wanted to do it earlier.”
Alas, there are 40 minutes in a game, and someone had to finish off the final stages of the Terrapins’ 71-44 loss to No. 22 Virginia. Not that a late appearance posse of walk-ons made a bit of difference.
No, Maryland whimpered out of a sold out John Paul Jones Arena with 13 points in the second half, the byproduct of disinterest, Virginia’s suffocating defense and exhaustion from completing a game less than 40 hours before tip.
It was Virginia’s largest margin of victory over Maryland since an 86-59 rout in 1989, and the fewest points the Terps managed against the Cavaliers since a 45-40 overtime setback in 1982.
Terrell Stoglin scored 14 points – all, appropriately enough, in the first half – for the Terps (15-11, 5-7 ACC), who at one stage scored two points in a 16-possession stretch in the second half.
“You can go down our whole list,” Turgeon said. “If you can tell me one guy who played well today, I’ll argue that you’re wrong. We were 0-for-14. It’s a little disappointing.”
Enough so that Turgeon acknowledged it stirred echoes of Maryland’s early-season trip to Puerto Rico, when it couldn’t score against Alabama or defend against Iona.
It did both to a reasonable degree early against the Cavaliers (20-6, 7-5), hitting seven 3-pointers in the first half – nearly all contested, including Nick Faust’s just before the break to forge a 31-all tie – to answer the work of forward Mike Scott (25 points).
“[We said] if you can make those all game, well, there’s not any defense that can stop that,” Virginia coach Tony Bennett said. “I just kept challenging them to have that intensity from start to finish.”
After seizing a brief 33-31 lead out of the half, Maryland sputtered. And sputtered.
Virginia wisely opted to try to exhaust Stoglin. The sophomore was marking Sammy Zeglinski, who zipped around the court as the Cavaliers patiently waited for open shots to present themselves.
The Terps eventually switched Stoglin onto point guard Jontel Evans, but he was already weary. And as has been the case at several other junctures this season, no one else was capable of scoring in bunches.