College Park, MD – The regular season wraps up for the 24th- ranked Virginia Cavaliers and the Maryland Terrapins when the two meet up at the Comcast Center for an Atlantic Coast Conference tussle this afternoon.
Virginia is reeling a bit of late losing back-to-back games and four of its last six. The Cavaliers are now 8-7 in league play and in a four-way tie for the fourth spot in the ACC standings. Virginia needs a win and a loss by Clemson to claim the fourth seed for the ACC Tournament.
The first meeting this season wasn't very competitive as Virginia rolled to a 71-44 victory in mid-February. The win was the 70th for the Cavs in the all- time series, but Virginia still trails Maryland overall, by a 106-70 count.
Maryland is already locked into its seeding for the ACC Tournament. At 6-9 in league play, the Terps have a two-game lead on Virginia Tech but is two games back of Clemson with just a game left on the schedule. The Terrapins will settle in with the eight-seed.
Virginia fought to the end against No. 22 Florida State but lost 63-60 on a last second shot from Ian Miller. In the game, Virginia shot at a 45.5 percent clip but allowed the Seminoles to connect on 51.1 percent including a superior 7-of-16 effort from beyond the arc.
Defense has been the key to Virginia's success this season as the Cavaliers are allowing only 52.6 points per game this season to rank second in the nation in scoring defense. Despite a lack of scoring depth, Mike Scott (17.3 ppg, 8.2 rpg) remains one of the ACC's top frontcourt threats, currently third in the conference in scoring and fifth in rebounding. The senior forward poured in 28 points and ripped down 10 rebounds against Florida State for his eighth double-double of the season. Sophomore guard Joe Harris (11.4 ppg) is the only other player averaging in double figures for the Cavaliers but failed to get into double digits with only nine points against the Seminoles.
Maryland was outclassed its last time out falling by an 88-64 score on the road to North Carolina. Although the Tar Heels shot only 39.4 percent from the floor, Maryland knocked down only 36.5 percent, while committing 17 turnovers en route to a blowout loss.
The Terrapins have had the benefit of the ACC's top scorer this season in sophomore guard Terrell Stoglin (21.0 ppg), who is the only player in the conference averaging more than 17.5 points per game. Stoglin had a down performance by his standards against North Carolina managing 16 points. He has now scored in double figures in all but one game this season. Sean Mosley (10.1 ppg) is the team's only other player averaging in double. James Padgett (9.1 ppg, 6.0 rpg) and Nick Faust (8.3 ppg) took on more of a scoring roll against UNC as they combined for 30 points and 18 rebounds. As a team Maryland is near the middle of the conference in terms of scoring (68.1 ppg) but is second to last in field goal percentage (.423). Defense has not been a strong suit either, with the team allowing 70.4 points per game.