Maryland Men Win in Second Straight Trip To Baltimore

jon-and-ernie-grahamAfter playing a game in Baltimore in December 2015 for the first time in 17 years, the Maryland men’s basketball team returned to Royal Farms Arena on December 20 against the Charlotte 49ers. With one of the top scorers in program history serving as an honorary captain on the anniversary of a record-setting night, the Terrapins struggled in front of a crowd that was on their side.

A layup by Ivan Bender of Serbia gave Maryland a 7-5 lead just over three minutes into the game. However, that two-point lead quickly turned to a two-point deficit as the 49ers’ Andrien White hit a three-pointer from the right elbow, was fouled by Maryland’s Kevin Huerter, and then made the free throw to complete the four-point play. That started an 8-0 run by the 49ers that gave them a 13-7 lead. Bender and Michal Cekovsky got increased playing time because of an injury to starting center Damonte Dodd.

Upper Marlboro native Jon Davis then gave the 49ers their largest lead of the game at 32-22 by finishing a pass from Braxton Ogbueze for a layup with 5:42 left in the first half. Turnovers and an inability to hit open jump shots and finish layups plagued the Terrapins throughout the first half, but they fought back as the half came to a close.

After Najee Garvin committed an offensive foul with nine seconds left, Melo Trimble drove down the court, but missed a layup. Cekovsky finished the ensuing scramble by tipping in the ball to beat the halftime buzzer and pull Maryland to within 37-36 at halftime. Anthony Cowan had nine points and Cekovsky scored eight to lead the Terrapins in the first half. Maryland shot just one for six from the three-point line, and turned the ball over 13 times, leading to 14 points for Charlotte. Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said Charlotte’s zone defense caught his team off-guard.

“We didn’t expect them to start in zone. We’ve been practicing in zone a lot, and it showed in the second half,” Turgeon said. “They did some things a little bit different in their zone, and we were just kind of standing around, and we just couldn’t really get any rhythm. The turnovers were disappointing…the no-look passes and throwing to guys that weren’t there.” Turgeon added that injuries and illness racked the team in the week leading up to the game.

The Terrapins got off to a fast and furious start in the second half, scoring on each of their first three possessions, capped by Cekovsky finishing off an alley-oop from Huerter. The layup gave Maryland a 42-39 lead and forced Charlotte to call a timeout just under a minute into the second half. The Terrapins retook the lead with an 11-2 run over a 3:42 stretch on a jumper by Bender and back-to-back-to-back three-pointers by Huerter and Cowan for a 56-49 lead with 11:15 left. Another three by Jared Nickens just over 30 seconds later extended the lead to 60-51. A goaltending call on an attempted layup by junior guard Melo Trimble gave Maryland a 67-55 lead when a media timeout was called with 7:32 left in regulation. However, the 49ers wouldn’t go away.

Davis scored 6 straight points for the 49ers to pull them to within 69-61, but L.G. Gill set up Nickens for a three-pointer that stretched the Maryland lead back out to 72-61 with just under six minutes left in regulation. Trimble and Brantley then hit back-to-back threes to give the Terrapins an 83-64 lead with 3:47 remaining, effectively putting the game out of reach. Maryland

closed out the game on a 16-9 run over the last five and a half minutes and cruised to a 88-72 win before a paid crowd of 7,139, improving to 12-1 heading into Big Ten play. Trimble finished with 21 points (17 in the second half) to lead the Terrapins, while freshman Anthony Cowan added 16. Cekovsky, Huerter and Bender each finished with 10. Davis led all scorers with 28 points for the 49ers.

This was the second straight year that Maryland has played a game in Baltimore, which is home to a significant portion of the team’s fan base. Turgeon praised the crowd in Baltimore.

“It’s the best crowd we’ve had in three or four games, so I was proud of that. Our guys like coming over here. Every time I come to this city, there are so many Terp fans over here that make you feel special, so we’ve enjoyed it the last two years. Of course, we won both games, which helps, and we’ve had great crowds, so it’s been a lot of fun,” Turgeon said.

During the first media timeout of the second half, honorary captains Ernie and Jon Graham were recognized. Ernie currently ranks 13th on the all-time scoring list at Maryland. On December 20, 1978, Graham set Maryland’s single-game scoring record by scoring 44 points as the Terrapins defeated North Carolina State 124-110 in the season opener of the 1978-1979 Atlantic Coast Conference at Cole Field House. Jon, a graduate of Calvert Hall College in Towson, played for two years at Penn State before transferring to Maryland for his senior season last year.

Maryland will begin its Big Ten schedule on Dec. 27 against Illinois at the Xfinity Center in College Park.

Maryland holds off Indiana in “Throwback Night” rematch

In Maryland’s first meeting with Indiana at Assembly Hall in Bloomington on Jan. 22, the Hoosiers lit up the Terrapins to the tune of 15 of 22 from three-point range on the way to an 89-70 win. Junior point guard, Yogi Farrell of the Hoosiers hit seven three-pointers on his way to a 24- point night. On Feb. 11, the Terps chose to take a trip down memory lane, this time creating more pleasant memories of the former matchup matchup with Indiana.

Dez Wells and Melo Trimble each scored 18 points, and Maryland held off another upset bid for a 68-66 win on “Throwback Night” in the rematch against Indiana at Xfinity Center in College Park. Fans were encouraged to wear merchandise from the 2001-2002 season, when Maryland beat Indiana 64-52 in the national championship game at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. Prices at the concession stands were even rolled back to where they were that season.

The crowd of 15,304 loudly booed the Hoosiers when they took the court for the start of the game. Freshman forward Damonte Dodd sent a message on the defensive end, blocking three shots in the first half, and guard Richaud Pack added two blocks of his own. That didn’t deter Farrell, who picked up right where he left off in Bloomington by hitting a pair of threes that beat the shot clock buzzer. In a back-and-forth first half,

Evan Smotrycz and Melo Trimble helped Maryland get a little bit of breathing room by hitting threes on back-to-back trips a minute apart late in the half. However, Maryland only had a 30-28 lead at the media timeout with 3:12 to go in the first half. Out of the timeout, Farrell hit a three from in front of the Maryland bench, and was fouled by Pack. Farrell made the free throw to complete the four- point play and give Indiana a 32-30 lead. Maryland took a 35-34 halftime lead on a circus layup by Trimble, who finished the first half with a team-high 11 points.

In the second half, Jared Nickens hit a three just over six minutes in to give Maryland a 47-42 lead.

The Hoosiers responded with six unanswered points, highlighted by a James Blackmon, Jr. dunk and free throw to take a one-point lead, but Trimble answered right back with a three to put the Terrapins back up, 50-48. Farrell made a layup to tie the game at 51 with 6:14 left. Maryland was unfazed.

Wells made the front end of a one- and-one, but Jake Layman got the rebound. Trimble kicked the ball out to Nickens in the corner in front of the Maryland bench, and he drilled a three. Wells then drove to the basket for a layup that gave the Terps a 57-51 lead, drew a standing ovation and forced Hoosiers coach Tom Crean to call timeout with 5:09 left. Once again, Farrell came up with a big shot.

After Maryland committed a shot-clock violation with 3:54 left, Farrell banked in a three to tie the score at 57 with 3:30 to go. After the teams traded baskets, Layman posted up his defender, turned and scored on a layup to give Maryland a 63-61 lead with a minute left. Layman says that was a play designed for him.

“It was a play call for me to get the ball at the elbow, and just drive right and try to get by him,” Layman said, who finished with 14 points and seven rebounds. “It was a big shot for us. It was good that Coach had that confidence in me down the stretch to put it in to me.”

The Terps then made five of six free throws in the final minute to fend off a Farrell three. However, he missed a three that would’ve won the game, and an off-balance shot at the buzzer that would’ve tied it. Layman grabbed the rebound to secure the win in a game that saw 18 lead changes. Maryland improved to 20-5 overall (8-4 Big Ten), and remains unbeaten at home in conference play. Indiana fell to 17-8 overall, and 7-5 in the Big Ten. Both Mark Turgeon of Maryland and Crean raved about just how great a game it was.

“Give Indiana a lot of credit, they were terrific,” Turgeon said after the game. “Yogi was obviously good, but I thought down the stretch we really executed, whether it was Jake, Melo, Dez making a play, Jared Nickens hitting a shot.”

Crean said while both teams played well, it came down to who could make that one last play.

“We made mistakes, they made mistakes, and at the end of the day, they just made a play more than we did,” Crean said. “We withstood some poor shooting. We withstood some excellent shooting from Maryland, and at the same time, we made plays, we made just one less.”

Crean said he wouldn’t trade Farrell for anyone. Farrell finished with a game-high 23 points, along with five rebounds and six assists. Trimble said it was great to be able to match up against Farrell.

“He played great in both games, hit a lot of threes. Last game, I didn’t really match the way he was scoring,” Trimble said.

Wells also had a strong game, scoring several times on drives to the basket. He said he exercised patience against Indiana’s defense.

“I think they played really good defense on me. They sent double teams to me, and they tried to make it extremely hard for me to get into the paint, but I tried to take my time and do what was necessary for us to win. So when somebody was open, I tried to get them the ball. I needed to be assertive. I was assertive,” Wells said.

Maryland will wrap up the season with a rematch at Penn State, followed by home games against Nebraska, a top-five Wisconsin team, and Michigan, and then two more rematches at Nebraska and Rutgers