After a forgettable first half full of turnovers and missed shots that left Virginia in a double digit halftime hole, the Hoos played inspired ball against the Terps in the second half to close to within 2 points with 5 minutes to play. But, alas, that horrid first half was too much to overcome, as Maryland regained control in the waning minutes. Virginia rallied but fell at College Park, 78-84.
In this season of silver linings, it’s easy to find some bright points in this game. Virginia stopped the bleeding with its turnovers, which allowed the Hoos to play solid half court defense. That allowed an offensive effort, led by a sharp shooting Jamil Tucker and his 21 points, that outscored Maryland by 9 points in the second half. Mike Scott also turned into a manimal in the second half, with his power moves forcing the Terps to foul him left and right to send him to the stripe, where he was a perfect 10 for 10. And solid offensive production from Calvin Baker too. Maybe these points from other sources bodes well in the quest for finding Sylven Landesberg some help. Maybe.
However, silver linings and moral victories all still add up to a loss. The sloppy play in the first half was simply ugly, and the Hoos have to address the turnover issues and poor shooting we saw during that part of the game. Maybe the second half can give us hope on that front. Maybe.
Given that Maryland isn’t one of the stronger ACC teams, it’s a shame that the Hoos dropped a very winnable road game. But if they are this close to beating the middle-of-the-pack conference teams on the road, the Hoos may be on track to win more games that we expected at home. Maybe.
Well, here’s to wishful thinking!