The final play that Maryland Coach Mark Turgeon drew up in Monday night’s game against Syracuse was not complicated. Turgeon devised his plan with 56 seconds remaining and his team down by two, unwilling to let the ringing chaos of the Carrier Dome infiltrate his huddle as he delivered his instructions.
But panic settled in shortly thereafter. Turgeon wanted to get a quick shot for sophomore Kevin Huerter, who grew up just a short drive from here in Upstate New York and had dazzled with seven three-pointers on Monday night, but the Orange wouldn’t allow it with their 2-3 zone defense. The Orange bracketed Huerter. The shot clock ran down. The spacing fell apart. Sophomore point guard Anthony Cowan Jr. tried to create something that wasn’t there and lost control of the ball. Turgeon stomped his foot on the sideline.
“It kind of broke down a little bit. They overplayed a little bit,” said Huerter, who finished with 23 points.
It was perhaps the decisive offensive play in Maryland’s 72-70 loss in the thrilling Big Ten/ACC Challenge game. But it was the first part of a breakdown for the Terrapins in the final minute. First, they suffered a defensive lapse and allowed Syracuse star Tyus Battle to hit a corner three-pointer to put the Orange up 68-66 with 1:04 left.
Then came Cowan’s turnover, and after two even more free throws by Fight. Maryland had another possibility to create it an one-possession video game yet committed another turnover when freshman Darryl Morsell couldn’t corral a pass in the center of Syracuse’s area with 13 seconds still left. That marked Maryland’s 18th turnover, yet another than its season ordinary entering the entire night.
“I thought we used poise. They’re good really. They’re quick and long plus they get practical balls. It is created by them difficult,” Turgeon said. “Perfectly now, we’re not making enough has at the ultimate end to gain these close games.”
Playing its third game in 4 days, Maryland appeared rested and relaxed in its initial true road check of the growing season in a single of university basketball’s loudest venues. The Terrapins could experience jitters easily. The Orange instantly swarmed using its zone, and the building gradually amplified to a louder decibel level as the night wore on. The plenty be contained by it of protest at one point, a Syracuse pupil sarcastically screamed: “You lost to St. Bonaventure!”
Maryland was indeed upset by the Bonnies in the Emerald Coast Classic in Florida on Friday night, and while the Terrapins bounced back with a victory over New Mexico on Saturday. They had something to prove against the Orange. It started out hopeful: The Terrapins hit five of their first eight shots and seemed to settle into an offensive groove. But Turgeon didn’t like his team’s protective effort through the initial 12 minutes. They need to have got shot seven layups in the initial 12 a few minutes of the game, more maybe. He stated – and that established the tone on an evening when Syracuse grabbed 19 offensive rebounds and outscored Maryland 42-20 in the paint.
The only positive advancement on the inside came on a string of brilliant plays by freshman center Bruno Fernando, who scored 13 points and had three blocks for the fifth consecutive video game. But Fernando encountered foul difficulty in the next half, which forced Maryland to manufacture offense in the perimeter mostly. Huerter was for the task up, playing as though he might have felt slighted never to end up being on scholarship with the Orange, just later on from where he was raised in Clifton Recreation area, N.Y.
“That is probably a casino game you circle on the calendar,” Huerter said.
He played in front of hundreds of family and friends on Monday and showed maybe the most emotion of his young career. Flailing his arms violently after hitting a couple of 25-foot bombs in the second half. Even as Maryland’s additional sophomores struggled somewhat on the offensive end – Cowan finished with 11 points on 3-for-9 shooting. While Justin Jackson obtained just eight points on 3-for-8 shooting – Huerter carried the load down the stretch.
He gave Maryland an one point lead with a three point with 1:42 remaining. And Maryland had a chance to extend the lead on the next possession after Fernando was fouled. But he skipped leading end of the one-and-one free of charge throw, and Fight made Maryland spend with the part three-pointer that place Syracuse up by two with 59 seconds still left.
Maryland squandered another two possessions on turnovers by Morsell and Cowan. Huerter drained his seventh three-pointer with seven secs left to draw Maryland within 70-69. But Battle broke free of charge on the press-break through the inbound, finishing a simple bucket at the various other end with five secs to enjoy.
Turgeon told his group to leave this reduction in the building, because in only four times the Terrapins will open up Big Ten play against Purdue. But it stung still, knowing that Huerter’s outstanding homecoming have been spoiled. And that Maryland couldn’t obtain him a go on its most pressure-loaded possession of the night time.
“You feel as if you wasted one,” Turgeon said. “You are feeling like you wasted an excellent effort on his component. We’re an ongoing work happening. We’re trying to find it out.”