Virginia has turned in woeful outside shooting efforts in
back-to-back losses while Maryland continues to learn to adapt
without its starting point guard.
The No. 22 Cavaliers and visiting Terrapins are dealing with
major perimeter issues heading into Saturday’s matchup between
neighboring ACC rivals.
Virginia (19-6, 6-5) lost 70-52 at then-No. 5 North Carolina
last Saturday and 60-48 at Clemson on Tuesday. The Cavaliers shot 3
of 16 on 3-pointers in each defeat.
Second-leading scorer Joe Harris broke his left hand against the
Tar Heels. He played through the injury Tuesday, but came off the
bench and had a season-low two points while going 0 of 4 from
beyond the arc.
“We shot 50 percent, but our 3-point shooting was poor,” coach
Tony Bennett said. “Without Joe, we’re not as much of a threat from
Harris is the Cavaliers’ top 3-point shooter at 39.6 percent,
with senior guard Sammy Zeglinski second at 34.4 percent.
Zeglinski, however, has made just 4 of 25 over his last five games,
totaling 20 points and shooting 22.6 percent overall.
Zeglinski had a team-high six assists against the Tigers.
“He had a hard time getting by the guys they were playing on
him,” Bennett said. “He also tried to be a team guy. A lot of times
when your shot is struggling, you look to make the next pass.”
Maryland (15-10, 5-6) will play the rest of the season without
starting point guard Pe’Shon Howard, who underwent right ACL
surgery Tuesday. Freshman Nick Faust has started the last two games
in his place.
Faust had 15 points, one assist and four turnovers in last
Saturday’s 73-55 defeat at then-No. 10 Duke. He finished with 14
points, six assists, five steals and five turnovers in Thursday’s
81-65 home victory over Boston College.
Maryland coach Mark Turgeon is having Faust share the
ballhandling duties with backcourt mate Terrell Stoglin, who is
averaging an ACC-best 21.7 points. Stoglin had 24 points, one
assist and one turnover Thursday.
“We’re figuring it out,” Turgeon said. “Sometimes Terrell has it
and sometimes Nick has it, and it’s going to take us a little bit
Howard averaged a team-high 3.7 assists for Maryland, which
averages an ACC-low 10.7 in that category.
“The loss of Pe’Shon, that really hurt us,” said Faust, who has
two of his three best scoring efforts in the last two games. “We
had a team meeting, got together and said, ‘We can either make this
season better or worse.'”
With the Cavs struggling to make shots, they may have to rely
even more on a defense yielding 52.2 points per game for the
nation’s second-best average.
“We still have some good basketball in us,” Bennett insisted. “I
Virginia uncharacteristically had 18 turnovers Tuesday. The Cavs
lead the conference in that department with 11.7 per game.
“When you’re in a game that’s lower scoring, possessions really
matter,” Bennett said. “Whether it’s a turnover on our end or we
make a defensive mistake, those possessions hurt and sting.”
Maryland forces the fewest turnovers in the ACC with 11.2 per
These teams split two meetings last season, with the visiting
team winning each.