The Maryland Terrapins’ journey in the NCAA Tournament ended Sunday and turnovers were the main cause. The first half and second half were two totally different animals and the Terps were unable to handle the defensive pressure of the Mountaineers. The bad night the Terps had towards the end of the game got worse as Dez Wells kept turning the ball over and Melo Trimble was forced to sit on the bench with a head injury.
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The West Virginia Mountaineers move on to play the Kentucky Wildcats Thursday, March 26th at 9:45pm. That game can be seen on CBS.
This Maryland/West Virginia matchup was everything the fans wanted it to be in the first half. Both teams were making shots, counteracting each other’s production. WVU jumped out to a five point 15-10 lead with under 16 minutes to go, but the Maryland Terrapins still made plays just like this one:
Jared Nickens in this game had six points and two rebounds coming off the bench. Not the production you expect from a player of his caliber but he helped in a group effort to take the lead. Under 12 minutes to go, the game was tied at 16 and went back and forth until Maryland had a three-point, 30-27 lead with four minutes left. Watching the game, I acknowledged the home stretch of the first half would be pivotal for the Terps:
The score at halftime was 35-34 West Virginia, and there were glaring differences in a few statistics:
Turnovers: Maryland (9) / West Virginia (5)
Points Off Turnovers: Maryland (5)/West Virginia (12)
Second Chance Points: Maryland (0)/West Virginia (10)
On the first play shown, the illegal screen that was made by West Virginia forward Nathan Adrian, although it may have not been intentional,should have resulted in a foul. His feet were not set, so therefore, that’s an illegal screen or pick. The second was a bang-bang play, unfortunate because afterwards Trimble had to be taken out of the game with a head injury. He was very emotional on the bench watching his team suffer through the inevitable. Nothing clicked in the latter stage of the second half and it resulted in the loss.
Turnovers were a big reason for the loss more than any other factor. The Maryland Terrapins had 23 of them. West Virginia only had 10 which is why they’re moving on to the Sweet 16.
Despite the loss, the Terps received an outpouring of support: