No, it wasn’t as bad as nearly wasting a 23-point lead eight days earlier against Cornell. In been-there, done-that fashion, the Terps just maintained a two- or three-possession the lead the rest of the way.
That wasn’t just fine; it was progress. The closing minutes weren’t especially harrowing. Padgett hit free throws. Alex Len collected a crucial offensive rebound to extend a long possession against the foul-addled Deacons.
The Terps haven’t quite deciphered the right path to take to arrive at end-game situations, to the extent it simply isn’t a surprise when things grow incrementally more intriguing and harrowing as second halves progress.
It doesn’t make for an especially comfortable work life for Turgeon. At 11-4, all square in the conference and gradually improving at both ends of the floor, it’s just another bit of progress for a team always seeking some improvement.
“It was no fun going through that,” Turgeon said. “We’d like to win one [by] 16, 18, 20, but that’s not who we are right now. Who we are is a team that beat a good team by six points with good players on our home floor.”
For the Terps, it’s a recipe working just enough to keep things interesting a little deeper into the season.
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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.
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