Maryland falls below .500 in the ACC
Maryland has been a team criticized for being lazy and showing a lack of effort when they take the court this season.
Tonight, the Terrapins tried a little too hard against the Pittsburgh Panthers (18-2, 6-1 ACC). With every possession the Terps had in the second half, it seemed as though they were trying to do everything they could to make sure Pitt would leave College Park with a win.
Dumb turnovers, dumb fouls, and keeping the lane wide open for Pitt to drive to the basket for easy scores doomed Maryland at home where they lost a close one to Pitt, 83-79.
The Maryland Terrapins (11-9, 3-4 ACC) came out of the gate fast and took an early 9-2 lead in the first three minutes of the game. After that, it seemed as though they wanted Pitt to win. The Terps went into halftime down five and never regained the lead in the second half.
There were early flashes of great basketball being played by the Terps with alley-oops, fast-break dunks, great ball movement, and rebounding, but they were too few to get a win.
Here is a glimpse of a great defensive to offensive play.
Dez Wells led the Terrapins with 19 points and five steals while Jake Layman contributed 18 points, five rebounds, and three steals for the Terps.
Despite some great effort shown by the Terps, they made it far too easy for Pitt to drive the ball right to the rim and score. Pitt guard, Lamar Patterson should send a thank you card to the Terps defense for making him feel right at home. Patterson put on a show with 28 points, seven rebounds, seven assists, and three steals.
Maryland let another win slip out of their hands tonight, just like the ball. The Terps committed 17 turnovers on their home court and also let the Panthers dominate them on the boards. Maryland was out-rebounded 39-27 by the Panthers. Too many second chances were given to Pitt and the chances Maryland did have were not taken advantage of throughout the game.
One of the commentators made a great statement that pretty much summed up the entire game. “Pitt makes a nice play and finishes. Maryland makes a nice play and doesn’t finish.”
Despite Maryland’s short-comings tonight, they still managed to keep the game close and give themselves a chance to compete at the end. Coach Mark Turgeon said he felt his team played hard, executed well and that he was proud of their effort. He also commented that he believed Pitt being ranked #20 is a joke. He thinks they should be ranked as one of the top five teams in the country.
If Turgeon believes this Pitt team is a top-five team, hey, they probably are. From what they have done this season, there is no doubt Pittsburgh will contend for the ACC title and make some noise in the NCAA tournament.
With that said, Maryland hung with them. They should have beat them. It was a competitive game that went down to the wire. Yes, the Terrapins should be disappointed with the loss, but they should be proud of the way they competed to the end against a very good team.
The Terps will look to get back to .500 in the ACC on Wednesday at home against Miami (10-9, 2-5 ACC). Tip-off is set for 9PM.
Coaches vs. Cancer
Both Mark Turgeon and Pitt head coach Jamie Dixon wore sneakers to show support for Coaches vs. Cancer – a joint effort of the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball Coaches that empowers basketball coaches to make a difference in the fight against cancer.
The annual Coaches vs. Cancer Suits and Sneakers Weekend runs from January 24-January 26.