Yikes

Tough loss.  Very tough.  I don't think I'm as worried as I was last season when we lost to American and Ohio at home, but this loss definitely hurts Maryland's tournament chances now.  Hopefully Morgan will continue to be a good team in the MEAC, which won't make this loss look as bad. This loss is  so surprising that even MEACsports.com's score board lists the Terps as beating the Bears, probably because they didn't think there was anyway the Terps could have lost last night.

Here is my take on what happened. The Terps turned the ball over too much, which they haven't really done this year. Although the game was close in the 1st half, that has been the case for a lot of games this year, so it wasn't really worrisome at the time. But it did allow Morgan State to keep their confidence up. Not putting a team like this away early in the game can come back to haunt you, which finally happened to the Terps tonight.

Midway through the 2nd half, the Terps were up by as many as 14, at which point I thought the game was basically wrapped up.  But the Terps shooting went dead cold after that. With 11:39 left in the game, Milbourne was at the line. He made his first free throw and then missed the second. From that point on, here is what Maryland did with the basketball:

Missed jumper

Missed jumper

Missed jumper

Missed layup

Missed layup

Turnover

Missed 3

Turnover

Turnover

Foul

Missed 3

Turnover

Foul

Missed Jumper

By this point, there is 6:58 left in the game and the Terps lead is down to 6. The Terps went on an 0/8 stretch and also turned the ball over 4 times and committed 2 fouls before Milbourne finally scored again for the Terps after a steal and pushed the lead back up to 8. Buy by that point, Morgan State was saying to themselves "hey, we're still in this." And give the Bears credit - they kept on fighting. The Terps then went on another scoring drought, with the following results:

Missed jumper

Missed jumper

Missed jumper

Foul

Turnover

Missed 3

The Terps are now in a 1/13 shooting stretch before Vasquez hits a jumpshot, but the Terps lead is now down to 3. And then the Terps allow Morgan State to hit some shots, including a clutch 3 with 48 seconds left, and you all know how it ends.

Maryland had several defensive lapses, turned the ball over, and went on one of the worst scoring droughts I've ever seen. They also seemed to settle for a lot of jump shots, which is concerning because the Terps severely outsized the Bears in this game. This team has the ability to beat a lot of teams this year, but their margin of error is much smaller then a lot of other teams.  So if the Terps struggle on defense, rebounding, or making shots, this team will struggle and can lose, even to Morgan State.  Remember, if one of those 13 shots had fallen, if they committed 1 less turnover, 1 less foul, this game is won by Maryland and we're not really talking that much about it today.  The Terps need to move on from this game. A new season starts on Saturday with ACC play and the Terps have to put this game behind them. Hopefully they're able to do so.

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