Terps fall to the Demon Deacons 65-63

In a chance to establish themselves as a team that should be chosen come Selection Sunday, the Maryland Terrapins hosted the #10 Wake Forest Demon Deacons at the Comcast Center on Tuesday. Despite a strong first half and Senior Night, the Terps fell to the Demon Deacons 65-63.

The game started out in favor of Wake Forest, but the Terps soon let the Demon Deacons know they were there to play. Greivis Vasquez (16 points,7 assists) took it upon himself to try to get the win, as he had attempted to do against Duke and North Carolina State in previous games.

Two early fouls by senior center, Dave Neal (19 points), led to Coach Gary Williams sitting his veteran inside player. Neal would spend a majority of the first half on the bench, supporting his teammates as they came back from an early Wake Forest lead.

At 5:38, Adrian Bowie (6 points) would dunk on the Demon Deacon defense, putting Maryland up 27-16, and making the student section of the Comcast Center go wild. "Garyland" was back.

With 2:00 left in the half, Wake Forest had reduced the Terp lead to 27-22 as a half court press proved effective in causing Maryland turnovers. Wake Forest used the shot clock and wasted as much time as they could, trying to eat away at the Terps once comfortable lead. Coach Williams brought Neal back into the game with a few remaining minutes in the half and he did not disappoint as he led his Terps into the locker room after a 3-point buzzer beater.

Three minutes into the second half, the Maryland Terrapins took ill-advised shots and allowed Wake Forest to take advantage of them on defense. An old-fashioned 3- point play sent Ishmael Smith (11 points, 4 assists) to the line and cut the Maryland lead to three. Maryland was playing like a team that did not want to go to the Tournament.

As the lead volleyed back and forth, Wake Forest made the Terps nervous as they established a late lead and looked as if they were controlling the game. As the Maryland crowd became pensive and quiet, neither the Maryland players nor fans knew what their post-season future entailed.

Wake Forest had outscored Maryland 17-4 and with seconds ticking off the clock Maryland could do nothing but foul in attempts to halt time. As Wake Forest kept hitting free throws, the Terps knew they could not get out of the hole they were in. Fittingly, Vasquez brought the ball down with 4 seconds left and gave the final shot to Neal for a 3-point final buzzer shot.

Although the Terps lost, Neal went an impressive 5-6 from the perimeter on his senior night and last home game at the Comcast Center. The Terps will now need to win at Virginia on Saturday and at minimum, make a run in the ACC Tournament in order to be considered for the NCAA Tournament.

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