Maryland men's basketball's 5-0 start didn't come without blemishes. Sophomores Justin Jackson and Kevin Huerter were inconsistent while inferior foes, such as Bucknell on Nov. 18, challenged the Terps.
Perhaps the most concerning aspect of Maryland's first five wins was its 15.6 turnovers per game, the 268th-worst rank in the nation.
The Terps' carelessness cost them Saturday in their 63-61 loss to St. Bonaventure, matching a season high 20 turnovers in the semifinals of the Emerald Coast Classic in Destin, Florida. Maryland plays New Mexico in the loser's bracket Saturday afternoon.
Bonnies forward Courtney Stockard made a layup with 3.4 seconds left to put his team up, 63-61, and Maryland failed to get a shot off after guard Anthony Cowan dribbled into three defenders at midcourt and fell.
The Terps' turnovers didn't keep them out of the win column until Saturday, but against St. Bonaventure, Maryland complemented its giveaways with ice-cold shooting and struggles cracking the Bonnies' zone defense.
The Terps opened the game 1-for-15 from 3-point range and finished with a season-low 42.2 field goal percentage.
Still, with 8:19 left, Cowan hit a 3-pointer to put the Terps up 52-44, their biggest lead of a game they led for more than 25 minutes.
That triple capped a 14-4 run that included three of Maryland's five 3-pointers and seemed to signify the Terps putting the Bonnies away.
Instead, the Terps made just two field goals in the final eight minutes and 19 seconds. One was another trey from guard Dion Wiley that regained Maryland a 56-53 lead after St. Bonaventure had come even.
But after that, Maryland returned to looking listless on offense against the Bonnies' 1-3-1 zone. During his halftime interview with CBS Sports Network, coach Mark Turgeon said his team expected to face zone defense Saturday, but also for St. Bonaventure to heavily utilize man defense.
With how the Terps played against the zone, however, St. Bonaventure had little reason to change their defense. Maryland frequently dribbled and passed around the perimeter deep into the shot clock, causing bad 3-pointers and turnovers. Cowan led the way with 13 points, but no other Terp scored in double figures.
Nine of Maryland's 10 players, meanwhile, had a giveaway. The team's starting guards, Cowan and Huerter, combined for seven turnovers and eight assists.
For most of the night, Cowan made up for a shaky offensive performance by playing strong defense on Bonnies guard Matt Mobley, who entered Saturday averaging more than 25 points per game. Mobley was quiet until the final five minutes, when he scored seven of his game-high 16 points to help his team to a 61-59 lead before fouling out with under a minute left.
Cowan made a pair of free throws to tie it, but Stockard's clutch shot and Cowan's subsequent spill spelled the end of Maryland's undefeated season after its ugliest performance of the season.