Thursday, February 10, 2011

A Tale of Two Cities Halves

Maryland's 7-game win streak came to an end tonight in Miami, 83-75. The Hurricanes, who haven't lost at home all season, still haven't. And the Terps, who entered the game tied for 4th in the ACC, now head back to College Park tied with Georgia Tech for 5th. In other words, not a good day for Maryland.

But "not a good day" doesn't even begin to describe the Terps' performance (or lack thereof) in the first half of tonight's match-up. In the first 20 minutes, Maryland committed 20 turnovers (no that's not a typo) . . . one turnover per minute. And those 20 TOs led to 20 points for Miami. 20 TOs in an entire game generally makes for a bad outing. But 20 in a single half? (Holy hurricane, Batman, it's a Category 5!) It was so bad that, according to GameTracker, redshirt freshman Whitney Bays was even credited with a TO! The 'Canes took 38 shots in the first 20 minutes; Maryland (by virtue of giving the ball away) took a measly 22. Half-time score, 45-31 in favor of Miami.

Miami has a great backcourt; let's give credit where credit is due. But forcing 20 turnovers great? A 38-22 shot advantage great? We didn't see it; we followed the little figures on GameTracker. So how much was great backcourt play by Miami and how much was Maryland mistakes? Hard to say.

But what we can say is that a very different Maryland team emerged from the locker room after the break. The same team that coughed up the ball 20 times in the first half only gave it away a stingy 3 times in the final 20 minutes. The Terps who took only 22 shots in the first period took 35 in the second (hitting 57%), while only allowing the 'Canes 27 tries (with only a 40% success rate).

Maryland's second half effort was remarkable. The Terps battled back to close that 14-point 1st period deficit to just 2 points within the final few minutes of the game. But, in the end, the hole the Terps found themselves in at halftime was just too deep. For once, there were no miraculous final minute heroics. No last second salvation for Maryland. Just an "L" in the win/loss column.

As for individual performances, five Terps put up double-figures in tonight's losing effort, including ACC Player of the Week Lynetta Kizer, who had a double-double (15 points and 11 boards), and Ti-Hawk, who also had a double-double (12 points, 10 boards). Kimmie (11), Anjale and Alyssa (each with 10) also finished in double figures. We're sure they'd all rather have had a win than any individual stat highlights.

With just a few weeks left now in the regular season, the Terps return home to College Park, where they will face a (tougher-than-their-record) Virginia team on Sunday at 2 PM. Let's hope this is the start of a new Maryland win streak. The Terps cannot afford to lose to the Cavs if they have any hope of getting a bye in the first round of next month's ACC Tournament.

Go Terps . . . Beat the 'Cavs!


At 11:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very disappointing performance. Young team so we will have these games where we turn it over a lot. Although, 20 in a half--I have never seen that in my life. These last 5 games will be very tough. FSU, Duke, BC, VA. Let's see what we are about--what kind of team we have. G0 Terps!

At 4:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well that was a bummer. nonetheless, I still feel great about this young team - I think they're having a fantastic year that will only improve.

I was also very sad to hear of Yemi's indefinite suspension. I hope she will return to the team.


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