On Wednesday night, at the Xfinity Center, the Maryland Terrapins were trying to earn their second significant victory of the young 2014-15 college basketball season. A week after beating then-#13 Iowa State, the Terps played host to the seventh-ranked Virginia Cavaliers.

Unfortunately for coach Mark Turgeon and his crew, Tony Bennett’s Cavs proved why they are ranked in the Top Ten.

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Meeting in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge after being conference foes for years, Virginia crashed the boards and shot the ball at 53.1% clip to hand the Terps their first loss, 76-65. Playing minus Dez Wells (16.2 ppg ), who is out with a broken wrist, Maryland had a rough time trying to generate much offense against one of the nation’s best defensive teams.

The Cavaliers jumped out to an early lead and forced the Terrapins to play catch-up in front of the home crowd and a national television audience. Of course, that did not work out well.

Maryland shot 40% from the field and had just 16 made baskets. They were outrebounded 34-22 and could only manage three offensive boards against the physical Cavaliers.

Virginia was crisp on offense and scored many easy hoops on a night in which Maryland blocked a mere two shots. In the paint, the Cavaliers dominated by outscoring the Terps 36-20.

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To be fair, minus Wells and senior forward Evan Smotrycz, Maryland was obviously not at full strength. For youngsters like Melo Trimble, Dion Wiley, Jared Nickens and Michal Cekovsky, it was a learning experience.

They were taken to school by a very good team.

Hopefully, what they learned will help them in the long run.


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