xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement
Advertisement

Terps can't squeeze by Syracuse

COLLEGE PARK - Maryland's NCAA tournament chances would have received a big boost a week ago if not for a potential game-winning shot glancing off the rim at Duke.

They may have been put to rest Monday night, and a sellout Comcast Center crowd was left to endure another oh-so-close dramatic finish.

Seth Allen's off-balance 3-pointer deflected off the rim as time expired, and the Terrapins fell short against Syracuse 57-55 despite a late charge that nearly handed the Orange their third consecutive loss.

Maryland (15-13, 7-8 ACC) built a 16-6 run down the stretch and had a chance to win after failing to resemble an upset-minded team for most of the night. The Terps committed 18 turnovers and shot 35 percent, yet had the ball twice in the final seconds and a shot at the lead.

Before Allen's running one-hander, Maryland trailed 56-55 and had the ball after Syracuse's C.J. Fair missed a jumper.

Rather than call a timeout, the Terrapins raced down court and Dez Wells (15 points, seven rebounds) found Nick Faust streaking toward the basket. Faust drew contact from Orange center Baye Moussa Keita but not a foul call - Keita blocked Faust along the baseline and Fair grabbed the rebound.

"I thought he got fouled, I was right there," said Allen, who led Maryland with a game-high 22 points and sank six 3-pointers. "He kind of got hit in the face, and I thought it was a clear call. But you can't rely on the call. You're not going to get every call. You've got to expect bad calls."

Syracuse guard Trevor Cooney missed one of two free throws at the other end and Terps coach Mark Turgeon called timeout, leaving Maryland 3.5 seconds to go the length of the court.

The Orange took away Turgeon's first two options on the final possession, he said, leaving Allen too much room to roam with not enough time to get off a set shot.

But Turgeon wasn't focused on Allen's final heave.

"We got the stop, it's the play before," Turgeon said. "Probably got fouled twice on it and they didn't call it, but that's kind of the way the year has gone for us."

Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim has recent history with officials in the waning seconds of a close game. He got ejected late in Saturday's contest at Duke after Fair drove the baseline and scored but picked up an offensive foul instead of drawing a block. Boeheim charged onto the court, nearly coming out of his sport coat before picking up two technical fouls and an early exit.

Boeheim kept his coat on Monday, but he had some opinions on Turgeon's comments.

"They shot 27 free throws," Boeheim said. "If anybody's going to complain about the officiating, I'm going to complain. I think I did enough of that Saturday. It was five times we saw them go to the basket that there was no foul and there was a foul called. Five times.

"If they didn't turn it over 18 times, they wouldn't have to worry about that."

Allen kept the Terps close in the first half with 12 points on four 3-pointers, shooting over the Orange's traditional 2-3 zone defense. Fair had 10 points before sitting the final five minutes in four trouble. Syracuse turned to guard Tyler Ennis, their freshman sensation, for nine points and a long-range 3-pointer just before the halftime horn that made it 32-24.

Ennis finished with a team-high 20 points and Fair had 17, which helped Syracuse overcome getting to the free-throw line a mere six times.

Maryland shot 31.8 percent in the first half (7 for 22) compared to Syracuse's 14 for 28, but the Terps almost came back from a double-digit deficit when the Orange seemed in control thanks to Fair and Ennis.

"We just weren't very good against the zone to be quite honest with you," Turgeon said. "I'll take the blame. I don't know why. I felt great about our game plan. I've seen it work against them. We just turned it over too much."

Now the Terrapins are off until Sunday, a road game at Clemson, before returning home for their final two regular-season games, their postseason dreams fading more and more.

"It's not the end of the world," Wells said. "Our season's not over until the ACC tournament is over. We still have a chance. So I'm ready, my teammates are ready, and we're going to go on a run."

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement