"It would have been that next step for us," Mark Turgeon said after Maryland's double-overtime loss to Miami -- a game that saw the Maryland coach ejected after picking up two technicals.
The media knew what Turgeon meant. Before leaving for Miami, the coach had said the team needed two things to continue on an upward arc:
*A road win. Maryland is now 0-4 in away games.
*A road win against a team the Terps are not supposed to beat.
Miami is a solid, experienced team led by junior guard Durand Scott, who had a fabulous game. Scott shot 11-for-14 before fouling out. He also defended Terrell Stoglin, who scored 33 points and had some big shots but was 9-for-26 from the floor.
Beating the Hurricanes on the road -- Maryland is 0-6 here in recent years -- would have qualified as progress.
Even so, it might not be a stretech to say that even in defeat, this was a game the Terps can build on. That's a sports cliche, I know. But if you watched it, you can appreciate that it was one of those memorable contests that sometimes bonds players and their coaches closer.
Consider that Turgeon has often challenged his team to show "gumption" at the end of games. He's used that word more than once.
On Wednesday night, Maryland showed gumption after trailing 62-46 with 7;09 left. The Terps -- trying to win for the ejected coach -- came all the way back and had a chance to win at the end of regulation. Stoglin's 3-pointer had tied the game at 69, and he missed a heave with four seconds left that would have won it.
By the way, Sun reporter Don Markus and others say they can't remember another Maryland coach getting tossed since Gary Williams in '97-'98. Anybody want to chime in?