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Basketball: Maryland game thread

By Jeff Faraudo
Thursday, March 19th, 2009 at 11:29 am in Basketball, Gameday.

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FINAL: Maryland 84, Cal 71. The Bears never recovered from the Terps’ 9-0 spurt. They got within seven points at one juncture before Vasquez scored on a putback of a missed free throw, then was fouled and completed the 3-point play for a 66-56 lead with 7:18 left. That triggered an 11-3 run that ended things. In the final analysis, the Terps was just a little tougher to loose balls and a little calmer down the stretch. More later. Bears finish a pretty good season 22-11.

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9:55 2nd H: Montgomery just called timeout to quell a 9-0 Maryland run that has put the Terps up 59-51, their biggest lead in the game. Back-to-back 3-pointers by Eric Hayes and Landon Milbourne changed the game, and this is a critical moment for Cal. This game could get out of hands quickly if the Bears don’t respond. Gutierrez and D.J. Seeley back in, along with Randle, Robertson and Kamp. PC getting a rest.

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11:49 2nd H: Cal leads 51-50. Robertson has scored 12 second-half points, including a mid-range jumper a few moments ago, giving the lead to the Bears for just the second time. Robertson has 18 points. Cal is finding a bit more rhythm in its offense. Christopher doing a nice job defensively on Vasquez, making him work and not allowing the Maryland offense to easily flow through him. Boykin has returned and made a couple big baskets inside on up-and-under layups.

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SECOND HALF STARTS: Jorge Gutierrez and Harper Kamp — the two Cal players who took charges in the first half — are starting, in place of Wilkes and Boykin.

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HALFTIME: Maryland leads 34-31 in what has been a somewhat ragged game. Cal is shooting 33 percent from the field, just 3-for-13 from 3-point range and has missed four of its 10 FTs. Randle has 11 points, but his darting drives to the hoop (four times) have been the Bears’ best offense. Ball movement is erratic and very few good looks from the perimeter. Christopher is just 3-for-10 (0-for-5 from 3PT) and has six points.

Maryland not much better: 37.5 percent from the field. Four different Cal players– most often Christopher or Gutierrez – have taken a turn defending Vasquez, who has 11 points on 4-for-11 shooting and just one reobund with zero assists. Cal’s one clear advantage — a 24-19 rebounding edge that includes 11 offensive boards. The Bears have 10 second-chance points. This game is there for the taking by Cal, but Maryland’s aggressive defense definitely has them out of sync on offense, and the Bears may have to figure out a way to win an ugly one.

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11:36 1st H: Our second media timeout and the Bears are trying to weather the early-game storm. The Terps lead 17-15.  The Bears appeared very shaky coming out of the game, with two turnovers and an airball by Randle on their first three possessions of the game. Still struggling to crack Maryland’s fullcourt press after Terps’ baskets, so it’s imperative the Bears play good enough defense to avoid the press whenever possible. Randle just hit a 3-pointer, so maybe he’s finding a rhythm.  All in all, Cal should feel good to be trailing by just two points in a game so far controlled by Maryland.

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FOG LIFTS: Cal sophomore reserve forward Omondi Amoke, who said he still was feeling “foggy”‘ on Wednesday after suffering a concussion in practice Sunday, has been cleared to play. This is good news for the Bears, who need all the manpower they can get against a team that goes deeper on its bench. Also, Amoke is a good matchup for several of Maryland’s players.

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LINEUPS: According to lineup sheets just distributed courtside, Cal will start its usual group — Jerome Randle, Patrick Christopher, Theo Robertson, Jamal Boykin and Jordan Wilkes. Maryland’s starters: Greivis Vasquez, Sean Mosley, Adrian Bowie, Dave Neal and Landon Milbourne.

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RECORDS: Cal 22-10, 11-7/tied third in Pac-10; Maryland 20-13, 7-9/tied 7th in ACC.

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NOTE: To meet NCAA regulations governing how often in-game blogs can be posted, I will not be providing an update at each timeout, as usual.  Will try to give you observations and insights when appropriate without violating the law of the land.

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  • Joey

    Did these refs hang out with the Pac 10 refs last night?

  • Joey

    Cal is hanging tough considering some shaky play and some bad officiating.

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    Repeating that same AAU play in the second half will get you one and done.

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    Stick a fork in it. You’re done. You should have been in the NIT.

  • Joey

    Hard to win a game when the refs are against you.

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    Nice going…you are about to become the highest seed to fall in thr tourney. Everyone should have seen it coming.

  • MikeD

    don’t feed the troll

  • anon

    Tough loss. The most frustrating thing about the game was the lack of emotion from the key players. Its the tourney……you can’t survive unless you are willing to leave everything you have out on the court. Gotta love Jorge’s effort and emotion though! Randle, et al, could learn something about how hard they need to fight to win a tourney game.

    Should be back next year and hopfully with this being one of the biggest lessons.

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    Looks like USC wasn’t the only team this season to beat you in both football and basketball.

  • MikeD

    well all – it was a fun ride this year, the team really overachieved, they were enjoyable to watch up until the last few weeks when it seemed that they got complacent – lack of leadership seemed to show too. no one really stepped up and at the end of the year and I think it really hurt them. everybody but Wilkes is back next year, looking forward to the start of pre season practices already. go bears!

    don’t feed the troll

  • Jeff kelly

    Honestly, Maryland did not appear any more talented then Oregon this year. I have been a Cal Basketball fan since the days of Keith Smith and Brian Hendrick. This years team had a ton of athletic talent, it was there, but the heart and hunger to win dwindled after the the 5th pac-10 game against Stanford. If you have atleticism like Randle, Christopher and Robertson, Drive the lane with these guys. They are all solid free throw shooters as well. Too many TO’s (turnovers not timeouts)Too much live and die by the 3pt shot. A lesser talented more agressive team would have been able to launch Maryland from the tourney today.

  • Dubya

    Done in by the same thing that has characterized Weenie basketball for the last 15 years: a lack of focus, discipline, and composure. Monty has reduced the frequency of the lapses, but he can’t reduce them enough without different personnel. Problem is, he can’t recruit the same type of player the he did at Stanford – the kind who can be disciplined for 40 minutes 30+ times a year.

    But at least he’ll elevate you Weenies from a perennial NIT team to a regular first-/second-round loser, and make your program a worthy rival for the first time in a LONG time.

    Have a nice off-season Weenies!

  • abe

    man there is there some serious hating going on here. i mean this is just sports-amateur student sports that is-whats with all the name calling and taunting? talk about lack of character and overall depreciation of dignity-we are turning into a nation of rats with small minds, congrats ya all…

  • Rocko

    DUPA says:

    Done in by the same thing that has characterized Weenie basketball for the last 15 years: a lack of focus, discipline, and composure. Monty has reduced the frequency of the lapses, but he can’t reduce them enough without different personnel. Problem is, he can’t recruit the same type of player the he did at Stanford – the kind who can be disciplined for 40 minutes 30+ times a year.

  • Rocko

    DUPA says:

    Done in by the same thing that has characterized Weenie basketball for the last 15 years: a lack of focus, discipline, and composure. Monty has reduced the frequency of the lapses, but he can’t reduce them enough without different personnel. Problem is, he can’t recruit the same type of player the he did at Stanford – the kind who can be disciplined for 40 minutes 30+ times a year.

    Your forgetting he was a late hire, and I only think he had one scollie available to him last year. Let’s see what he can do with Braun’s players next year as four of the starters who were recruited by Braun not Monty will be returning next year! Get your facts straight DUPA!