Terps could not replicate Syracuse's speed
COLLEGE PARK--There has not been a louder series of moments in Comcast Center this season than the seconds that comprised the final minute of Monday night’s game between Syracuse and Maryland.
A furious 16-4 run cut the Maryland deficit to just one point, 56-55, with 48 seconds to play. Maryland got the defensive stop it craved but could not come away with points at the other end. One make and one miss from guard Trevor Cooney at the free throw line gave Maryland one final possession down two points, 57-55, and 3.5 seconds to play.
But a running jump shot for the win from Maryland Seth Allen missed, allowing No. 4 Syracuse to escape with a 57-55 victory on Monday night in College Park.
If one digs a hole deep enough, there comes a point at which it becomes difficult to lift oneself out. That is where Maryland found itself against the Orange.
A first half plagued by turnovers and empty possessions could not easily be overcome, even in a second half that featured a more assertive Dez Wells, less team turnovers, and more penetration into Syracuse’s patented zone defense.
Syracuse junior C.J. Fair finished with 17 points and nine rebounds as part of an offense paced by 20 points, six rebounds, and three assists from freshman point guard Tyler Ennis.
The poise from Ennis, who played all 40 minutes, was something Maryland could not match in the first half, ultimately succumbing to it in the second.
Maryland’s Dez Wells went on another second-half tear, finishing with 15 points after scoring just two through 20 minutes. Allen led all scorers with 22.
Read more below.
Syracuse 57, Maryland 55
YOU HAD (TWO) JOBS
There are two things you can’t do against Syracuse’s zone defense. The first is take bad long-range shots. The second is turn the ball over. Maryland did plenty of both in the first half.
The Terrapins shot 31 percent as a team through the first 20 minutes. What’s more, those players not named Seth Allen shot 3-of-17 over that stretch. Jake Layman, Nick Faust, and Dez Wells were a combined 0-for-8 during that time.
And the turnovers. Nineteen of Syracuse’s 32 points in the first half came off of 12 Maryland turnovers.
The Terrapins cleaned it up in the second, turning it over just six times, but the hole was too deep at that point.
FOUL TROUBLE IS TERPS BEST DEFENSE
C.J. Fair was chewing up Maryland’s defense through the first 15 minutes of the first half. Dez Wells wasn’t tall enough to counter his drives. Nick Faust didn’t have the length. His 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting powered Syracuse’s offensive push.
But he picked up his three foul on a loose ball with 4:55 to play in the first, sitting him down for the rest of the half. He returned to the floor for the start of the second.
The train kept rolling. He finished with 17 points.
SETH ALLEN KEEPS TERPS ABOVE WATER
Allen’s 4-of-5 shooting performance in the first half is what kept Maryland’s head above water. He, too, continued to produce in the second half. Ten more points (though would have preferred to put down three more to win the game) gave Maryland its best offensive output of the night.