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November 17, 2013

Terps drop shootout to Beavers

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Well, at least this time it wasn't the first half that did them in. The Terps allowed eight quick points before they managed their first in the second half and were never able to recover, falling 90-83 to Oregon State in front a packed Comcast Center crowd that included President Barack Obama.

Roberto Nelson and Devon Collier combined for 60 of the 90 Oregon State points to sink the Terps, who had no answer for either player defensively. The Beavers were opportunistic and physical, turning 15 Maryland turnovers into 29 points and outscoring the Terps 48 to 42 in the paint.

Maryland managed to pull down 23 offensive boards and outrebound Oregon State 39 to 32, yet somehow could not defend the Beavers down low. Nelson got to the rim at will, finishing with 31 points and going 12-for-14 from the free throw line. Collier had 18 of his 29 in the second half and snatched 11 rebounds. The Beavers shot a scorching 59.6 percent from the field.

"Two kids," a disgusted Mark Turgeon said after. "That's all we talked about in the scouting report was those two kids, and trying to guard those two kids. Obviously we didn't do a very good job."

"I'm just disappointed. I rely on, as a coach, us being good defensively. Almost all my teams that I can remember can guard. And this one right now is not doing a very good job of it."

The Terps scored 83 points but lacked efficiency on the offensive side of the court. They shot 42.3 percent from the field and made only 14 of 24 free throws. Dez Wells took charge in the second half with 16 of his 23 points as the Terps repeatedly cut into the lead, but they never were able to catch the streaking Beavers, who could do no wrong on offense.

Jake Layman (15 points) and Evan Smotrycz (16 points) drilled a combined six threes and Charles Mitchell and Roddy Peters each kicked in 10 points in the loss. Because of their effort on the offensive boards, the Terps took 71 shots in the game compared to only 52 for the Beavers.

"I thought we should have scored every time down to be honest," Smotrycz said. "We were able to get what we wanted when we took our time and attacked."

Oregon State seemed susceptible on defense, but Maryland was too undisciplined to capitalize. Their pace was so fast on offense that Turgeon struggled to recall the details of particular possessions after the game. Maryland committed 15 turnovers - exactly their average for the season - but most were costly as the Beavers continuously turned them into buckets on the other end.

"I've got to watch the film," Turgeon said. "There are so many mistakes happening, I can't even keep up. I can't correct them."

While he was one of the Terps guilty of playing too fast at times, Peters provided a silver lining to Sunday's loss for Maryland. The freshman played 25 minutes and had his best game as a Terrapin. His 10 points came on five-of-nine shooting. He added six assists, several of which were slick dishes in traffic that resulted in easy baskets.

Peters repeatedly penetrated the Oregon State zone, getting to the rim with quickness and finishing with athleticism and a touch of power. His talent has been obvious since he arrived in College Park and it is apparent that he is creeping towards the starting point guard position, regardless of whether or not his coach will admit it.

"He's really close," said Layman, who was the beneficiary of a couple of Peters' dimes on Sunday. "With him, when he's aggressive it helps us out a lot. Sometimes he gets too aggressive and makes some bad plays. Once he figures that out he will be fine."

"He was excited about the crowd and he played well," Turgeon added. "He's going to be a great one for us."

Nearly full, the Comcast Center was rocking for the majority of the game. The Terps provided the energy they lacked against Abilene Christian, but they were without the polish that it would have taken to send their fans home happy. Meanwhile, President Obama was likely pleased. His brother-in-law, Beavers' head coach Craig Robinson, and his Beavers took down their first ACC opponent since 1999.

"That's really the most disappointing thing for me, is we had our students here and they were ready to cheer," Turgeon said. "It's hard to yell and cheer when you can't get stops."

"I hope it's like that every game," Smotrycz said. "But it probably won't be if we keep playing like this.


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