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 3."
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 more time."
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 know that."
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 contest.
These teams split two meetings last season, with the visiting team winning each.
- Tony Bennett