Maryland Loses Heart Breaker

By Jesse Jones

With a birth to the Sweet 16 and a chance to play Northern Iowa on the line, the Michigan State Spartans and Maryland Terrapins knew what they could gain from a victory over the other.

Maryland was coming off a win against Houston, and Michigan State had just beaten New Mexico State.

The first half was controlled by the Spartans, who took a 48-39 lead into the half. They dominated the boards, and capitalized on more of their scoring chances than the Terrapins had.

For much of the second half, nothing had changed. Michigan State had taken complete control of the game. They increased their lead to as much as 16 points, but everything went downhill soon after. Senior star Kalin Lucas suffered an Achilles injury that sidelined him for the rest of the game. Greivis Vasquez, Maryland’s star player and one of the best in school history, took over the game. Vasquez (26 total points) scored 9 of the Terrapins last 11 points, who took an 83-82 lead with 6.6 seconds left. However, this proved to be more than enough time for the Spartans, who hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to win 85-83 and earn their trip to St. Louis.

Although the game was so close down the stretch, Michigan State had controlled much of the game with their key shooting. Overall, the Spartans shot 55%, and went 56% from behind the arc. They also outrebounded the Terps 35-21. What allowed Maryland to stay so close was the 18 turnovers they made Michigan State commit.

At the end of the day though, it will be Michigan State playing in St. Louis, not Maryland.

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March 2010
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