On Thursday afternoon, the Terps were victorious 84-71 over the Golden Bears of California (22-11). The win advances the Terps to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, and keeps their dancing shoes on for at least a few more days.
The first half began with Maryland winning the tip-off, which resulted in a quick 2 points from Adrian Bowie (12 points). Coming out in an aggressive full court press, the Terps were able to create turnovers on defense, giving them opportunities on offense. Maryland went on a 7-0 run for the first two minutes of the game until a layup my Jamal Boykin (9 points) would finally put Cal on the board. Though Maryland proved they came to play offensively, they still showed their weakness under the basket with defensive rebounding, allowing 10 second-chance points for Cal, and keeping the Golden Bears in the game.
Cal entered the game with a 43.4% from the 3-point line, boasting the #1 spot in the country in that category. Although Maryland at times was caught in some baseline screens, they were able to maintain a defense that would only allow Cal to shoot 3-for-13 (23.1%) from the perimeter and 7-for-24 for the game.
Early fouls by the game’s leading scorer, Greivis Vasquez (27 points), forced Maryland Head Coach, Gary Williams, to sit his star player and allow Eric Hayes (14 points) to run the Terp offense. Hayes, who has proved he is an effective substitute for Vasquez, came in and provided Maryland with the leadership and points they needed.
Maryland would close out the first half 34-31, never giving Cal the satisfaction of having a lead.
The second half was plagued with poor rebounding and a high amount of turnovers for Cal. Maryland outscored the Golden Bears 50-40 in the last half, and would benefit from the lack of Cal defensive rebounding, by putting up 16 second-chance points.
Despite seven turnovers from Cal, they were still able to keep the game relatively close until the last few minutes of the game, at which point Maryland would pull away on the scoreboard with late point from Senior Dave Neal (15 points), letting them walk away with a win in the first round of the tournament.
Maryland will face No.2 seed Memphis this coming Saturday.