It was a rough Saturday for Maryland sports as the Terps and Ravens both lost and what is crazy is that both losses looked eerily similar. They both played very well in the first half and had all the momentum. Then, a ten minute stretch in the second half left them trailing and unfortunately they didn’t have the horses to rally and come back.
For the Terps, it is an all to familiar story of how this season has gone. Against Villanova, they were up 12 with 9 minutes to play but a 19-0 run sparked by Corey Fisher doomed them as they fell 74-66. They are now 0-5 against ranked teams and have actually lead in each of those games against Pitt, Illinois, Temple (neutral court games), at Duke, and at Villanova. The reason this game was so important because it would have given them a signature victory as they are running out of time to get those especially since the ACC this year is down. The only top 25 team in the ACC for the last few weeks has been Duke. The only other team currently on Maryland’s schedule in the top 25 is home against Duke on February 2. Another concerning thing for the team is the free throw shooting as they are 310th in the nation in free throw percentage with a 62.8.
However, all is not doom and gloom for the Maryland Terps (11-6, 1-2 ACC) right now. Jordan Williams has been a double double machine as he got his 10th straight on Saturday and currently averages 18.1 points and 12.2 boards. Another encouraging sign is the development of the freshmen Terrell Stoglin, Pe’Shon Howard, and Hauker Palsson. They have seen significant growth. For example, Stoglin struggled with his shot against the Wildcats but was still able to be effective as he handed out eight assists and only had one turnover. At the beginning of the season, the only time Palsson would have got was in garbage time but he has worked his way into the rotation for the Terps and has been a good solid defender and rebounder when called upon.
Gary Williams needs to rally the troops from the tough defeat, but this is not his first rodeo and he will have the Terps ready to rock out Comcast Center against the Hokies on Thursday. With the ACC being down, it is not out of the realm of possibility to go on a winning streak against fellow ACC foes and get nine to ten ACC victories. The victory total could even put them in second place as the conference is wide open. Earlier in the year, I said this team would be like riding a roller coaster and so far that has been pretty accurate. For the final 7 weeks of the season, I am looking forward to a crazy roller coaster ride with these Terps.