The Maryland Terrapins held of an under-manned yet scrappy University of Virginia team 74-68, to clinch at least a share of the 2010 ACC Regular Season Championship. The Terps were againled by ACC POY front-runner Greivis Vasquez, who poured in 23 points (5-11 from three) and added 5 assists and 4 steals. Maryland won their 7 straight conference game and finishedthe regular season at 23-7, 13-3 in theACC. Whether or not Maryland wins the regular season crown outright will be determined by tonight’s Duke North Carolina game in Durham.
Maryland seemed like they were going to make short work of the Cavaliers jumping to a 21-9 lead while dominating the backboards. Maryland out rebounded UVA 31-18 and had 15 offensive rebounds, but could not hold off a Cavalier run in the 2nd half. The Terps contributed to the UVA run by going more than 5 minutes in the middle of the 2nd half without scoring. UVA got within one point of the Terps, but Sean Mosley made a big play drawing a foul. The foul caused UVA coach Tony Bennett to erupt on the sidelines and draw a critical technical foul. Maryland made all four free throws, forced a tough shot from UVA and did not look back. Bennett could not have picked a worse time to draw the technical.
Vasquez, despite some bad decisions int the 2nd half, kept Maryland alive by hitting three straight 3 pointers holding UVA at bay during their run. The Terps also got solid performances from Eric Hayes and Adrian Bowie. Landon Milbourne contiues to struggle with his shot, but showed more aggressiveness grabbing 7 boards and getting to the line 6 times.
Maryland will need to improve on both ends to make a run int he ACC Tournament. The Terps struggled from the field, hitting only 42% of their shots. They were assertive on the boards and they earned 26 trips to the charity stripe. Defensively, Maryland was 2nd in the ACC in FG % defense, but UVA must not have read that stat because they shot 53% overall and 45% from the 3 point line. Credit to UVA for shooting that well without their best offensive player Sylvan Landesburg, who was suspended for academic reasons prior to the game. Sometimes losing a top player does cause the rest of the team to step their games up. That seemed to be the case today.
Up next for the Terps is the ACC Tournament in Greensboro which begins on Thursday. Seeding for the Tourney is to be pending the rest of the weekends games. The Terps have earned a first round bye and will not play until Friday. Hats off to the Terps who greatly exceed my and many others pre-season predictions. Fill in the blank. This is the best team under Gary since _______ .