Maryland overcame a 16-point second half deficit, only to lose on a heartbreaking three-point shot at the buzzer by Michigan State’s Korie Lucious, 85-83 in the second round of the NCAA tournament today in Spokane, Washington.
Maryland senior guard Greivis Vasquez, playing in his final game, scored 26 points including 10 in the final two minutes as the fourth-seeded Terrapins (24-9) fell just short of the Sweet 16. Vasquez added eight assists, four rebounds and three steals.
However, the Terps had no answer for junior guard Durrell Summers, who scored 26 points and shot six of eight from three-point range for the fifth-seeded Spartans (26-8).
Michigan State controlled the game most of the way, breaking Maryland’s pressure defense for easy baskets and open three-pointers. The Spartans held an 80-71 lead with less than two minutes to go.
However, the Terps’ trapping defense led to several Spartans turnovers in the final minutes.
The Terps went on a 10-0 run to take the lead at 81-80 on a Vasquez jumper from the right side of the lane with 38 seconds left. That gave Maryland its first lead of the game since they led seven to six.
Then with :20 left, sophomore forward Draymond Green’s jump shot gave the lead back to the Spartans.
Vasquez countered with a driving jumper from his favorite spot, the right side of the lane, to put the Terps ahead 83-82 with 6.6 seconds remaining.
On the final possession, Green passed the ball to Lucious, and the sophomore guard calmly launched a shot from the top of the three-point line. The ball fell through the net at the buzzer.
The Spartans dominated on the boards, outrebounding the Terps 35-21. Michigan State also had a great day from behind the arc, shooting 10 of 18 from downtown.
Senior forward Raymar Morgan scored 17 and Lucious had 13 for the Spartans.
For Maryland, senior point guard Eric Hayes had 18 points and 7 assists. Senior forward Landon Milbourne scored 10 points but had only three rebounds. Freshman center Jordan Williams contributed 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Maryland’s comeback was jump started with 1:53 left when Vasquez hit a short jumper on the right side of the lane. He converted the foul shot to cut the lead to 80-74.
Maryland used a trapping defense as Vasquez stole the ball, and Sean Mosley scored on a layup to make the score 80-76 with 1:40 to go.
Then Maryland’s Adrian Bowie knocked the ball out of Morgan’s hands near midcourt. Cliff Tucker came up with the steal and missed a layup, but the Terps retained possession.
Vasquez then sank a three-point shot from the left corner to close the gap to 80-79 with 1:19 left.
“It just seemed like we were going to win that game and we had it taken away from us,” said Maryland coach Gary Williams. “It was tough.”
The Spartans played the second half without junior point guard Kalin Lucas, who left before halftime with a lower leg injury, possibly a torn Achilles tendon. Junior guard Chris Allen also played sparingly because of an injured foot.
Vasquez, the ACC Player of the Year, passed Len Bias for second place on Maryland’s all-time scoring list, trailing only Juan Dixon.
Michigan State will take on ninth-seeded Northern Iowa Friday in the Midwest Regional semifinals in St. Louis.
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