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Maryland Fails First Test, Falls to Cincinnati

Maryland got their first taste of a "real team" today in Maui against Cincinnati, had another slow start, and couldn't overcome it this time. They never really got going and ended up losing handily, 69-57.

Lance Stephenson got his revenge with the win and 11 points, but he was never really dominant, nor terrible (though he did have two horrible, Duke-worthy flops). More to the point was Greivis Vasquez' continued struggles - he finally broke into double-digits today, but did it on 31% shooting. Against Charleston Southern and Fairfield, Maryland can get away with him being less than his best, but the Terps aren't talented enough overcome a lack of scoring from last year's omnipotent leader. Even though he started to look better as the game wore on, I'm still concerned.

No one showed up today, though. Eric Hayes was remiscient of last year with a quiet 5 points. Sean Mosley followed up his 19 point game against Chaminade with 7 points. Landon Milbourne was in foul trouble all game long, and only had 7. I can't think of one player who played well.

It wasn't that Maryland didn't get any shots - they missed plenty of open ones. Effort wasn't outstanding, but it was adequate. The problem was rather 36% from the field, 13% from 3, and 55% shooting from the line. Early on, the Terps were forcing shots, forced into bad situations by Cincinnati; later, they just weren't falling.

Defensively, they were...average. Cincinnati did a few lucky shots, but Maryland was often a step or two behind cutting players and fell for shot fakes. Getting outrebounded by ten didn't help. The main problem, though, was the offensive performance, not the defensive and rebounding one.

There's definitely a lot to be done before ACC play. We've learned that much, if nothing else. This also means that beating Villanova becomes completely paramount - otherwise, Maryland will have absolutely no good OOC wins, and the committee never likes that.

There's not much to say about this one other than there's a lot to work on, no one did well, not much went right, and Maryland is no longer unbeaten.