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Recap: An unforeseen blast of offense complementary of Terrell Stoglin, and a second-half surge by Jordan Williams got cut just short when Virginia Tech guard Erick Green connected on two straight 3-pointers to help his team to seize a six-point lead down the stretch, a leader the team would not relent.
All five of the Hokies starters finished with double –figure scoring, none less than 14 points. Senior Malcolm Delaney led the way with 22 points despite a 3-14 night from the field. Stoglin finished with a game-high and career-best 25 points, including 7-12 FG and 10-10 from the free throw stripe, but it was not enough as Virginia Tech swept the season series 91-83 in Blacksburg.
Stoglin the Spark: With freshmen, sporadic play is somewhat a given. For Terrell Stoglin, a career-best 25 points, seven better than his previous 18 points in a win over UNC Greensboro, led the way for Maryland. The freshman shot 7-12 from the field, including 1-2 from beyond the arc. Stoglin displayed smarter shot selection and was more aggressive drawing trips to the free throw line, evident by career-best 10 trips where he converted all 10 attempts. In addition to scoring, Stoglin added four rebounds and six assists.
Stoglin earned the starting nod in the second half of play after dropping 15 points in the first half, replacing an ineffective Adrian Bowie. The senior guard scored just three points, 1-5 from the field with one assist.
Upon his entrance, Stoglin thrived as a scorer versus his usual role at point guard. Immediately, Stoglin nailed jumper, then followed up with two free throws,a steal, an assist, a layup and a 3-pter. Stoglin was Maryland's primary scorer as they drew a lead over Virginia Tech, and played very well in tandem with fellow frosh Pe'Shon Howard. His play was clearly contagious this game.
Slow start: A problem that has been to Maryland's detriment all season long, coming out flat. It had not reared its head as of late, but against Virginia Tech they allowed five straight baskets in 3.5 minutes. The 11-4 run set the tempo for the Hokies offense, beating Maryland in transition. Judging by the stellar outing out of Stoglin and the consistent inconsistency from Bowie, head coach Gary Williams may look to spark the starting five by fiving Stoglin the nod at the two-guard position moving forwards, perhaps more of a learning experience heading into his sophomore season.
Jordan Fouled: Early foul trouble for the Terps big man took away the team's best scoring option. In their first match-up in College Park, Williams registered 11 points and 11 rebounders. Williams has been in foul trouble more and more recently. In February, Williams has been tagged for four personal fouls in three of the team's four contests. Tonight marked the fourth game in which he was one charge shy of fouling out.
Beating the Zone: When Stoglin was on the courts, the Terps were quick enough in transition to get buckets based on purely speed. However, the team struggled with the Hokies' 2-3 zone, often having trouble getting their shot down and settling for poor attempts. Without Williams in the middle drawing defenders, the perimeter shooters for Maryland looked troubled to get their shots off.
Balanced Attack: Since Howard has been inserted into the starting lineup, the pass-first point guard has helped to continue Maryland's rank as the nation's 10th-best passing team. Howard has helped the Terp to balance their scoring. Against Longwood and Boston College, Sean Mosley, Stoglin and Howard have all scored in double figures. In Blacksburg, the trend continued as Dino Gregory, Williams, Howard, Tucker and Stoglin all scored 10 or more points.
Bench Pressed: Led by Stoglin's 25 points, Maryland possessed an enormous advantage in terms of bench scoring compared to the Hokies. Tyrone Garland and Jarell Eddie combined for just three points and zero buckets. In contrast, the Terps sixth, seventh and eight men in the rotation scored 38 points. Only James Padgett went scoreless in his three minutes of action.
Painted Out: Bullying the Terrapins inside were Victor Davila and Jeff Allen. Davila, who finished the night 7-9 from the field after making seven straight buckets, finished with 14 points and four rebounds, three of which came on the offensive end to keep possessions alive. Despite playing with three fouls for most of the game, Allen dominated his match-up with Gregory, scored 16 points with a game-high 11 rebounds. Virginia Tech outrebounded Maryland by three, but held an 11-4 advantage in offensive boards.
Delaney Earns His Points: The stringy zone defense and one-on-one effort on behalf of Mosley and Tucker to defend Malcolm Delaney did not go unnoticed. The ACC's second-leading scorer (19 ppg) had just eight points, 2-7 from the field to begin the game. But as good scorers do, Delaney made his presence felt by drawing charges and converting all 14 of his free throws. The senior finished with 22 points off just three baskets to go along with five dimes and six rebounds. In their first content, Delaney scored 19 points with seven assists in the Hokies' 74-57 win.
Second Half Slump: The Terps sixth man extraordinaire seemed to have shaken the funk he has been in as of late when he scored 10 first-half points, keeping his team ahead for most of the game. However, Tucker went scoreless in the second half of the game, finishing with just two rebounds and one assists.
What it Means: Consider this the proverbial final dagger in the hearts of Maryland's hopes to earn a bid to the N.C.A.A. Tournament. Heading into this two-game road trip, Maryland likely had to avenge both home losses to conference foes Boston College and Virginia Tech. Instead, what ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi called a "must-win," the Terps missed out on their opportunity for an invitation.
Maryland surrendered 44-41 lead at half, one in which they held for a majority in the second half. Now, at 16-10 and under-.500 in a mediocre ACC, it seems as if Maryland may have to miss out on a third straight trip to the big dance, perhaps settling for a trip to N.I.T., one on which Bowie said he and his fellow senior teammates dreaded after the Hokies beat them at home earlier this season.
Bracketology: After Reggie Jackson lead Boston College over the Terps last Saturday, the Eagles have a 55-percent chance of cracking the big dance, according to Lundardi. Before the tipoff between Virginia Tech and Maryland, ESPN's bracketologist predicted three ACC teams – Duke, North Carolina and Virginia Tech – were assured spots in the tournament. The Eagles were considered a fourth team, but not a lock at all.
Maryland was categorized as a team hovering within No. 73-76, a team that may still have had a shot of cracking the tournament. However, still without a signature win in this season, the team's RPI is unimpressive, and a team ranked this high rarely gets in.
What's Ahead: The Terrapins have a five-day stretch before retaking the court at Comcast Center to face off against N.C. State. The team will host two consecutive games, including a date with Florida State team Wednesday night that will play without Chris Singleton, who recently had leg surgery.
During the game against the Wolfpack Sunday, the Terps will honor Greivis Vasquez by hanging his name in the rafters. Tipoff is set for 5:30 p.m.