Jim Larranaga and his Miami Hurricanes invaded the Comcast Center Wednesday night, not far from where Coach L and his staff had so much success in 14 years at George Mason.
Tonight's game, while exciting, was not one for the scrap books.
Despite 25 points from Rion Brown and a career high 19 from Manu LeComte, UM could not overcome a huge second half from Dez Wells and succumbed to Maryland 74-71 to fall to 10-10 and 2-6 in the ACC.
At the first TV timeout the Terps led 8-7, sparked by two buckets by leading scorer Jake Layman.
But Rion Brown was on point with two medium range pull-ups and the Canes kept things close.
Another Layman three ball and an and one by Roddy Peters would put the Terrapins ahead by 5, but they would miss their first 3 FTs of the half, and Lecomte would knock down a triple behind a nice ball screen to cut the lead to 19-17.
Evan Smotrycz would knock down a pair of triples of his own, but some sloppy ball handling and missed layups by Maryland would give the Hurricanes a chance to take the lead, and another bucket by LeComte did just that.
It was short lived though. A giveaway led to a Layman dunk, and Miami struggled to finish from in close as Brown, Garrius Adams, and LeComte would combine to score UM's first 25 points.
UM still could not score from down low, but Donnavan Kirk broke the string and knocked down a three ball with under a minute in the half to briefly retake the lead.
Again it was short lived.
A very poor defensive sequence allowed Seth Allen to stroll to the bucket just before intermission and the Terps led at the break, 30-29.
In the first half, the battle of the boards was even at 15, a drastic improvement for Miami considering how Duke and Syracuse crushed them on the glass the past two contests.
Maryland did a good job early in the second half of forcing Miami to speed up via their three quarter court press, and the result was a 6-0 run that put the Terps up 5.
The pace was not all that picked up. The intensity of this game was about to go into hyper drive.
Unfortunately for Miami, both worked to Maryland's advantage.
LeComte briefly calmed things down with a bucket, but another transition opportunity led to a Charles Mitchell basket and Maryland was temporarily in control as they took control and a 43-35 lead.
Manu responded and hit a couple of more threes to keep UM in striking distance, and Davon Reed would complete a 10-2 run with a corner three to tie it back up.
But a Wells leak out would answer. Wells was just getting started.
Two more buckets by the 6'5 junior would put Maryland in the lead 63-57.
Wells next finish an alley hoop that was set up by Miami's 12th turnover of the contest. The Terps would eventually build a double digit lead, before UM went into its full court press.
The result was a 7-0 run just when the game appeared decided.
Allen missed back to back one and ones to give UM hope and Miami would capitalize as Brown nailed a cold blooded three would tie the game back up at 71.
But with 5.3 second left, there was that man again. Dez Wells just would not allow the Terps to collapse.
His long three from the top of the key put Maryland back up 74-71.
The Terps chose to foul LeComte, and he missed the front end. He would miss the second on purpose but the Terps would secure the ball and the buzzer would sound, ending the roller coaster contest.
Wells would finish the game a perfect 7-7 from the floor with the one huge three, and 6-6 from the line for 21 points. The Terrapins needed every bit of his heroics.
The 'Canes, despite a terrific comeback effort, have lost another close contest and must yet again regroup if they hope to stay out of the ACC's basement.
|Miami (FL) Hurricanes|
|Donnavan Kirk, F||3-8||1-4||2-4||3||6||9||0||2||2||1||2||9|
|Tonye Jekiri, C||0-3||0-0||0-0||3||3||6||0||0||1||3||2||0|
|Garrius Adams, G||4-8||1-5||3-8||1||5||6||2||0||0||4||3||12|
|Manu Lecomte, G||8-11||3-4||0-2||0||0||0||2||0||0||5||1||19|
|Rion Brown, G||5-8||3-5||12-13||0||5||5||2||1||0||0||3||25|
|Erik Swoope, F||0-0||0-0||0-0||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||1||0|
|Raphael Akpejiori, F||0-0||0-0||0-0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|Davon Reed, G||2-6||1-3||1-1||0||1||1||1||1||0||1||2||6|
|Evan Smotrycz, F||5-7||3-4||2-2||2||1||3||4||2||0||0||3||15|
|Jake Layman, F||6-15||3-8||0-0||0||4||4||2||1||0||2||1||15|
|Jonathan Graham, F||0-1||0-0||0-0||1||1||2||0||0||0||0||4||0|
|Seth Allen, G||4-7||1-3||0-2||0||0||0||2||1||0||1||3||9|
|Dez Wells, G||7-7||1-1||6-6||0||4||4||3||2||0||2||3||21|
|Damonte Dodd, F||1-1||0-0||0-0||1||0||1||1||0||1||1||0||2|
|Charles Mitchell, F||1-2||0-0||0-2||0||2||2||0||0||0||1||3||2|
|Shaquille Cleare, C||0-0||0-0||0-0||0||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Nick Faust, G||2-7||2-5||0-0||0||3||3||2||0||0||3||1||6|
|Roddy Peters, G||2-3||0-0||0-1||0||3||3||2||1||0||0||0||4|