Instant analysis: Virginia 80, Maryland 69
How it happened: Virginia controlled the pace of play in a strong road win over the Maryland Terrapins. The hot shooting Cavaliers lead for almost the entire game, while Maryland looked lost on the offensive end for long stretches.
In what some considered a play-in game for NCAA Tournament chances, Virginia delivered a resounding victory for their tourney resume.
Joe Harris and Justin Anderson gave star performances for the Cavs. Harris led Virginia in scoring with 22 points while Anderson chipped in with 17. Anderson got quite the earful from the College Park crowd in the opening minutes; the former Terp commit turned UVa. player was loudly booed whenever he touched the ball.
Maryland made a run at the Cavs midway through the second half, but the efforts fell short. Terps coach Mark Turgeon put his team into a full court press, attacking Virginia’s smaller lineup. The press sped up the pace of the game, but sloppy ball-handling from Maryland limited its chances of a comeback.
With five minutes to play, Maryland had trimmed Virginia’s lead to eight, down from 14, and Jake Layman had a corner three-pointer to make it to a five point game. Layman missed, Virginia grabbed the rebound and Cavs guard Paul Jesperson buried a three pointer that effectively ended Maryland’s comeback chances.
Maryland only had one starter score in double figures – Dez Wells with 13 – while four of Virginia’s five starters broke the double digit barrier.
Key Stat: Virginia scorched the Terps from three point land. The Cavs made 11 of 19 threes, shooting almost 60 percent. Time after time Harris and Jesperson drilled deep shots that continued keeping the Cavs with a comfortable lead.
Odd Stat: Turnovers have plagued the Terps all season, but in this game Virginia turned the ball over at a high rate. The Cavs gave up the ball 16 times, allowing Maryland to capitalize for 13 points. It shows the strength of the Cavs defense and hot shooting that despite the turnovers they still controlled the game throughout.
Cleaning the Glass: With quality big men like Alex Len, Shaquille Cleare and Charles Mitchell, Maryland enjoys one of the best rebounding rates in the nation. Against an undersized Cavs team, many expected Maryland to have the advantage in the paint. The results proved quite different.
Virginia grabbed 31 rebounds to Maryland’s 27, with the freshman Anderson leading the Cavs with eight boards.
Not so charitable stripe: Maryland struggled at the free throw line today, like they have most of the season. The Terps only made 10 free throws out of 18 attempts.
What happens next: Virginia will face in-state rival Virginia Tech on Tuesday, while Maryland has the week off before facing Duke at home next Saturday.