Cavs lose heartbreaker to Terps

UVAInsider.com Basketball Editor
Posted Feb 5, 2004


The Virginia Cavaliers suffered a heartbreaking loss to the Maryland Terrapins Wednesday night at home 71-67. The loss drops the Cavaliers record to (12-7) overall and (2-6) in ACC Conference play. Both teams came into the game viewing it as a "must win" game for a shot at a NCAA tournament berth.

John Gilchrist, a Virginia Beach native, was the difference for the Terps as he scored 26 to lead his team to a dramatic win in Charlottesville. Gilchrist managed to hit key baskets throughout the game hitting a long 3 pointer to end the first half to stretch the Terrapin lead from 4 points to 7.

The Cavaliers' effort was led by Elton Brown (24 points, 9 rebounds), J.R. Reynolds (15 points) and Devin Smith (12 points). Jason Clark continued his strong play in the paint as well chipping in with 13 rebounds and 5 blocked shots. Both teams had a horrible night from the field shooting 39.6% (UVA) and 35.8% (MD) respectively.

The Cavaliers once again played brilliantly at times in order to mount a valiant comeback only to fall in the end. Case in point...the Cavaliers held a 5 point lead early in the game's early stages and managed to get behind by as many as 12. They would battle back to grab a one point lead at the 13:52 mark of the second half and once again closed to 68-67 on a three pointer by Devin Smith with 26 seconds remaining. The Cavs got the ball back down 69-67 and with 8 seconds left guard Todd Billet had the ball stolen away by D.J. Strawberry who shot and missed, but once again Gilchrist was there to pick up the Terps with a put back for the final outcome.

Coach Gillen was visibly upset with his young Cavalier team as they continued to turn the ball over down the stretch. Gillen was quoted as saying, "We've got to mature mentally," and ended by saying,"You've got to be tougher."

The Cavaliers head to Raleigh, NC on Saturday to take on the North Carolina State Wolfpack (13-5, 6-2). Be assured that the Hoos will be put through some of its toughest practices this season after this loss to Maryland via Coach Gillen and the rest of the Cavalier coaching staff. The team hopefully will respond in a positive manner and come out on top with their first conference road win this season. Kerry's Key Points:

-The Cavaliers turned the ball over 20 times and you will not win at home much less on the road committing that many turnovers in conference play.

-Freshman J.R. Reynolds has shown he's capable of being a star in this league and needs more opportunities on the offensive end for him in order to capitalize on his scoring/shooting ability. His strong play has recently earned him ACC Rookie of the Week honors.


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