The dream run that we all pondered about was over when Florida State forward Boris Bojanovsky got the ball and slammed it in with 0.4 seconds left. For the second straight year, Maryland’s NIT ticket has been punched after a 67-65 loss at the hands of the Seminoles.
In a game of two halves, Maryland took a two-point lead into halftime despite guard Dez Wells sitting for the final eight minutes. Thanks to a hot start from guard Seth Allen, Maryland’s offense looked cohesive and in sync. What stood out the most was the lack of scoring from their big men, and that was certainly a problem heading into the second half.
Maryland was out-rebounded 39-26, largely due to 7’3” Bojanovsky grabbing 12 rebounds of his own. With Maryland coming into the game averaging just under 38 rebounds per game, good for 42nd in the nation, it’s not often Maryland gets out-rebounded like that. Forward Charles Mitchell reportedly dislocated his left pinky certainly did not help that margin.
What Florida State did best was defending Allen. In the first half, Allen poured in 13 points on 3-of-4 shooting from three-point range. In the second half, Allen scored just five points. A big reason Allen was so tightly guarded was that Wells was the only scoring threat all game. Forward Jake Layman was aggressive, but his shot still was not falling and finished with 15 points, but only shot 6-of-15. Guard Nick Faust had arguably his worst game as a Terp and finished with six points on 1-of-5 shooting.
Mitchell’s injury and the absence of forward Evan Smotrycz were huge because Turgeon could not use his bench like he would like to. Layman played with foul trouble for seemingly the entire game and Wells sat out the final eight minutes of the first half with two fouls. Due to the lack of depth, Turgeon was forced to play senior forward John Auslander a little in the first half.
In the end, it’s another close-game that Maryland couldn’t pull out. It’s a loss that will make fans officially question if Turgeon is the right guy. But in the end, the difference was a loose ball and an open shot for Bojanovsky. It’s easy to be excited for the future, but right now, the present hurts.