Then came the second half, during which Maryland scored just two field goals over a 10 minute stretch, and some key mistakes cost the Terps a potential win.
In the end, it was a microcosm of Maryland's season, as the Terps eventually fell in overtime to the Cavaliers, 61-58.
Nick Faust led the Terps with 15 points, but was fairly quiet after a strong first half. Dez Wells was really the only Maryland player that showed up for the second half and overtime. The rest of the team seemed hesitant and almost scared to make something happen on the offensive end.
Maryland had a two-point lead with just seconds to play in regulation, but Alex Len made a costly mistake that allowed the Cavaliers to get the game-tying basket to force overtime. Len went for a steal on the inbounds pass instead of simply contesting what would have been a difficult shot. The result was an easy basket that left teammates frustrated at the defensive breakdown.
It's hard to imagine the amount of frustration that must be building up in the locker room for Mark Turgeon and his players. They have been so close so many times this year only to make critical mistakes at the most important times of the game. If they could have eliminated just a few of those errors, the Terps may be sitting on the right side of the bubble.
It was also strange that Shaquille Cleare did not see the floor against the Cavaliers. Turgeon did not say it was disciplinary action, but maybe something else is going on behind the scenes. Either way, it seemed like Cleare was really starting to come on of late until Turgeon suddenly reduced his minutes. With Len almost certain to jump to the NBA, it would make sense to play Cleare and Charles Mitchell a lot more the rest of the way.
Maryland will try to take positives away from building a big lead on the road against a quality opponent when they face off against Wake Forest in the first round of the ACC tournament. The Terps beat the Demon Deacons in both matchups this season, so they should be confident coming into the game. With a win, Maryland would advance to play Duke in the second round, a game that will likely finally put to rest their NCAA tournament hopes.