LAHAINA, Hawaii - -Wisconsin disrupted Maryland's intermittent rhythm with an inelegant prose that has become the staple of its program during coach Bo Ryan's nine-year tenure. One pass, two pass, three pass, four. The Badgers remained unconcerned with Maryland's desire to push the pace during the third-place game of the Maui Invitational and prevailed in large part because of their unruffled approach.
The Terrapins dropped a 78-69 decision to Wisconsin on Wednesday, their second loss in two days. No. 21 Maryland (4-2) has not made players available to the media after either of its defeats.
"They play their way; we try to play our way," Maryland coach Gary Williams said. "That's his style; that's our style."
Poor perimeter defense in the first half by the Terrapins contributed significantly to the early lead Wisconsin established, as did Maryland's recurring foul trouble and shaky free-throw shooting.
The Terrapins placed an emphasis at the outset on limiting entry passes to Wisconsin forward Jon Leuer, and while Maryland succeeded in doing so at first, the Badgers responded by firing away from 3-point range.
"We thought after [Tuesday] night watching them that if we doubled down [on Leuer] and they kicked it, since they didn't make 3s last night, that that would work," Williams said. "But they made 3s tonight when they kicked it out."
Wisconsin's shooters connected on seven of their 12 3-point attempts in the first half. Maryland tried man-to-man and zone defenses, but the Badgers proved immune to either approach. Wisconsin shot just 20.8 percent from beyond the arc Tuesday in a loss to Gonzaga.
Ryan's style altered the way Williams designated playing time as well. Williams said that after watching tape of Wisconsin's loss to Gonzaga, he felt he could play his starters for more minutes.
"The pace of the game wasn't that quick because of the way Wisconsin plays," Williams said. "I went into the game kind of feeling like just trying to find out who's playing well and get it going."
The Terrapins made their first four shots and took a 9-3 lead. But as the half progressed, Maryland could not keep its momentum. Sophomore guard Sean Mosley (St. Frances), who finished with 10 points, got into early foul trouble, as did freshman forward Jordan Williams.
And while the Terrapins were able to get to the free-throw line, they struggled for the second straight game with converting such scoring opportunities. Maryland shot 58.8 percent (10 of 17) on free throws.
Try as they might, the Terrapins could not bait Wisconsin's trudging lineup into an up-tempo affair. When a transition opportunity presented itself, the Badgers nearly always held up and initiated a half-court set. Where Maryland prefers to wear its opponents down through constant movement, Wisconsin achieved the same end through the polar opposite approach: patience.
Wisconsin guards Trevon Hughes and Jason Bohannon were the primary beneficiaries of the Badgers' game plan. The pair combined to make seven of 13 attempts from 3-point range and total 34 points.
When Wisconsin did misfire, its post players frequently afforded the Badgers second chances. Maryland compensated, as is its custom, with stifling defensive pressure. The Terrapins forced a typically disciplined Wisconsin squad into committing 15 turnovers. During a stretch early in the second half in which the Badgers went with a small lineup, Maryland used its defense to close the deficit to six.
Even when Wisconsin put Leuer and Nankivil back into the game, Maryland's pressure enabled the Terrapins to pull even closer. Senior forward Landon Milbourne made a jumper with just more than 10 minutes remaining, cutting the Badgers' lead to three. It was as close as Maryland would come.
Milbourne tallied 15 points and senior guard Greivis Vasquez finished with a team-high 18. Fellow senior guard Eric Hayes shot 6-for-10 from the field and recorded 13 points. But Maryland's efforts could not overcome a Wisconsin squad that took its time and made shots when it had to.
Wisconsin "didn't make the same shots [Tuesday] night," Williams said. "That's the way it goes sometimes."
FG FT Reb
Wis. M-A M-A O-T Pts
Leuer 6-11 3-3 2-7 16
Nankivil 2-4 3-5 3-7 7
Hughes 5-17 1-2 2-6 14
Bohannon 5-7 6-6 1-3 20
Jarmusz 2-3 0-0 1-4 5
Evans 2-3 0-0 0-1 4
Taylor 1-4 1-2 0-2 4
Bruesewitz 1-2 0-0 2-3 2
Wilson 1-1 1-1 0-0 3
Berggren 1-1 1-1 0-0 3
Totals 26-53 16-20 11-33 78
Percentages: FG .491, FT .800. 3-point goals: 10-22, .455 (Bohannon 4-5, Hughes 3-8, Jarmusz 1-2, Leuer 1-2, Taylor 1-3, Nankivil 0-1, Bruesewitz 0-1). Team rebounds: 0. Blocked shots: 2 (Bruesewitz, Bohannon). Turnovers: 15 (Nankivil 4, Hughes 3, Leuer 3, Berggren, Bohannon, Taylor, Wilson, Jarmusz). Steals: 5 (Bohannon, Hughes, Evans, Nankivil, Leuer). Technical fouls: None.
FG FT Reb
Maryland M-A M-A O-T Pts
Milbourne 5-12 4-5 1-2 15
Williams 2-6 0-4 3-6 4
Hayes 6-10 0-0 0-5 13
Mosley 4-5 1-2 1-3 10
Vasquez 6-13 4-4 1-4 18
Choi 0-1 0-0 1-2 0
Bowie 0-0 1-2 0-0 1
Tucker 1-5 0-0 0-0 2
Padgett 3-4 0-0 2-4 6
Totals 27-56 10-17 9-28 69
Percentages: FG .482, FT .588. 3-point goals: 5-13, .385 (Vasquez 2-4, Milbourne 1-1, Mosley 1-1, Hayes 1-3, Choi 0-1, Tucker 0-3). Team rebounds: 2. Blocked shots: 3 (Milbourne 2, Hayes). Turnovers: 9 (Vasquez 5, Mosley 2, Hayes 2). Steals: 10 (Hayes 3, Tucker 3, Mosley, Williams, Vasquez, Bowie). Technical fouls: None.
A-2,400. Officials-Joseph Lindsay, Roger Ayers, Dick Cartmell.
No. 21 MARYLAND @INDIANA
Tuesday, 7:30 p.m.
Radio: 105.7 FM, 1300 AM