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

Maryland Men’s Basketball vs. Minnesota

The 12th-ranked Maryland men’s basketball team came into their Big Ten home opener against the Minnesota Golden Gophers on Jan. 3 riding high after a gutty 68-66 double-overtime win at Michigan State in their conference opener. The Terrapins came out firing, and got the crowd involved early.

Freshman guard Melo Trimble scored a team-high 20 points and grabbed six rebounds, and senior forwards Jake Layman and Dez Wells each added 12 points to lead Maryland to a 70-58 win over Minnesota (11-4 overall, 0-2 Big Ten) to improve to 14-1 (2-0 Big Ten). The Terrapins went 17 of 24 from the free-throw line in the second half after making just three of four in the first half.

Maryland went seven of 19 from the three-point line in the first half. One of those threes was from Jake Layman to give the Terps their first lead of the day. That was immediately followed by a steal and dunk by Dez Wells that got the near-capacity crowd of 15,788 roaring less than a minute and a half into the game. Maryland continued using the three to extend their lead to 26-17 with nine and a half minutes left in the first half. Meanwhile, freshman forward Damonte Dodd of Centreville, Md. and Queen Anne’s High School continues to become a fan favorite in College Park. He nearly threw down an alley-oop from Wells, but was fouled. He had a team-high nine first-half points, two blocks, and three of his seven rebounds in the first half were on the offensive glass. However, Maryland’s offense still comes and goes.

“We’re a team that plays in spurts offensively, and we had one really good spurt where everything was clicking, and we built the lead up to 15, and then just kind of held on from there,” said head coach Mark Turgeon. Maryland pulled out to a 32-17 lead with just over seven minutes left in the first half. Minnesota got back into the game by extending full-court pressure, and that took its toll as the first half wound down. The Golden Gophers went on a 16-4 run to close out the half as Maryland went just two of seven from the floor and committed four turnovers in the final seven minutes. Turgeon said the team let their offense affect their defense, and feels his players may have been nervous because of how large and electric the crowd was, even in the middle of the semester break.

“I think we were nervous a little bit because of the crowd, and we have to get used to it a little bit. How we play the rest of the year will determine what our crowds are. If we play well and continue to get better, then our crowds are going to be great,” Turgeon said.
Freshman guard Melo Trimble came out of the locker room attacking, scoring Maryland’s first seven points to start the second half. He capped his one-man run with a layup while being fouled just over three minutes into the second half. Trimble said that at halftime, Turgeon addressed the team’s lack of trips to the free throw line, and said Maryland wasn’t playing its game.

“Coach Turgeon said we weren’t shooting free throws in the beginning of the game, and that’s not the way we play,” Trimble said. “So I just took what he said and tried to get to the basket, and that’s what we did as a team.” Trimble went nine of 13 from the foul line, and scored 15 points in the second half.

Minnesota tried to speed Maryland up, and while it worked in forcing turnovers and poor quick shots by the Terrapins, the Gophers also had trouble hanging onto the ball to run their offense. The game got physical in the second half, with both teams being called for double-digit fouls, and the fans loudly booing each foul called on Maryland, including at least two on what looked like clean blocks. Minnesota head coach Richard Pitino was not happy with his team’s 19 total fouls, as well as its shot selection. However, Maryland maintained a lead throughout the second half, and Jake Layman ended any hope of a Gophers comeback by hitting a three with 2:54 left coming out of a timeout to give the Terps a 66-54 lead. Layman then blocked a layup attempt, Dodd picked up the loose ball, and connected with Trimble on an outlet pass for a layup with 1:20 left to make it 69-56 and forcing Minnesota to call a 30-second timeout. Dodd received a standing ovation when he fouled out with 1:07 left, finishing with 12 rebounds (four offensive) and three of Maryland’s nine blocks. Turgeon was pleased with his team’s defense, among other things.

“I thought our defense was really good most of the game. I thought it was terrific in the second half,” Turgeon said. The Gophers went three for 22 from beyond the arc, including 0 for 11 in the second half. Since an eight-day layoff in December, Turgeon says the team has improved the most in defending and rebounding. He’s particularly pleased with how Dodd is playing on defense, and how he’s continuing to get better and contribute more on the offensive end.

“He’s just playing with a whole lot of confidence, and the offense is just an added addition to what he gives us every game on defense. He’s a great presence at the rim” Turgeon said, adding that Dodd did a great job defending Gophers forward Maurice Walker one-on-one, without any team help. Walker led Minnesota with 20 points and 10 rebounds.

“He’s a really good big, solid, very strong. It was a pleasure to play against him,” Dodd said. He says he’s hearing about how happy people are for him back home on the Eastern Shore.

“People are just real proud ‘cause not many people get to play at the collegiate level like I’m playing at back where I’m from,” Dodd said.
Maryland will go back on the road to play its next two games on Jan. 7 at Illinois and Jan. 10 at Purdue. The Terrapins will return home on Jan. 14 against fellow Big Ten newcomer Rutgers.

Maryland Terps Shooting Heats Up in Second Half to Hold Off Spartans

Maryland’s defense got off to a strong start in one of its final nonconference games of the season, but the offense took a little longer to get going.

Jake Layman scored 17 points and went six of 15 from the floor to lead the 19th-ranked Maryland Terrapins to a 67-57 win over the South Carolina-Upstate Spartans on Dec. 13 before an announced crowd of 9,093 at the Xfinity Center in College Park. Freshman guard Melo Trimble added 14 points and 12 rebounds, and Evan Smotrycz added 10 off the bench. The Terrapins held USC-Upstate scoreless for the first 3:13 of the game. The Spartans eventually got their legs under them following the early tipoff, and found success by driving inside, and then kicking the ball out for jump shots. That opened up the inside for the Spartans.

Freshman guard Melo Trimble shooting a three-pointer over Ty Greene of USC-Upstate. Trimble recorded his first career double-double in the game with 14 points and 12 rebounds. Maryland Terps Vs. USC-Upstate on Dec. 13.  Photo Credit: Zack Bolno
Freshman guard Melo Trimble shooting a three-pointer over Ty Greene of USC-Upstate. Trimble recorded his first career double-double in the game with 14 points and 12 rebounds. Maryland Terps Vs. USC-Upstate on Dec. 13.
Photo Credit: Zack Bolno

USC-Upstate took their first lead of the game at 13-12 when Michael Buchanan made a free throw with 9:04 left in the opening half. The teams then traded the lead before Ty Green of the Spartans made a layup off a steal, Buchanan followed with another layup and Fred Miller knocked down a jumper to give USC-Upstate a 21-14 lead. Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon called a 30-second timeout with six minutes left before halftime as the Terps were going cold from the floor. After Calvert Hall College grad Jon Graham made a layup to give the Terps a 14-13 lead at the 8:40 mark, the Terps went without a field goal for just over five minutes, and went scoreless for 4:16. They missed 13 of their final 16 shots in the first half, and shot only 25.7 percent, including just two for 17 from the three-point line. Maryland went into the locker room trailing 28-24.

“Their zone was tough. Their offense was really good. They grind you, they run it,” Turgeon said. He went on to praise the quality of the Spartans’ players, saying they didn’t really have any weak spots, and that’s why they’re still 8-3 following the game. USC-Upstate’s 1-2-2 zone frustrated Maryland’s shooters.

“And then we couldn’t make a shot in the first half, shots that we normally make,” Turgeon said. “I think if we make a few shots, it’s maybe a little bit even different score.” Turgeon said he and his staff changed up the offense with about eight minutes left in the first half, and then talked to the players about driving to the basket more in the second half. The Spartans’ zone was less effective in the second half.

“They were really pressuring us. They were communicating; they had a lot of energy. I mean, our shots weren’t falling, but in the second half, it kind of wore down, and we started to attack the basket more and make shots,” Trimble said.

Maryland came out attacking to start the second half, drawing two fouls on USC-Upstate in the first 66 seconds. The crowd started getting involved after Jared Nickens hit a three two and a half minutes in to pull the Terps to within two at 33-31. Maryland continued to turn up the pressure when Trimble made a layup and was fouled by Buchanan, and Layman threw down a dunk after his missed jumper was rebounded by Pack. Layman then made a layup and a jumper sandwiched around a Smotrycz three to extend Maryland’s lead to 43-37 with 11:37 to play, drawing a loud ovation and forcing the Spartans to call timeout. The Terps used a 6-0 run over a roughly 90-second stretch around the midway point of the second half to stretch their lead to 49-39. After the Spartans cut that lead in half, Layman hit a three with 7:19 left to give Maryland an eight-point lead, and added another with just over a minute and a half left to end any hopes of an upset by the Spartans. Maryland shot 65 percent in the second half, including four of eight from beyond the arc. The Terps were rewarded for attacking the basket in the second half, going 13 of 17 from the free throw line.

Layman was more of a factor in the second half, scoring 16 points after making just one free throw in the first half. He said the coaches wanted the team to be more aggressive, and Layman even admitted that he felt he wasn’t aggressive enough in the first half.

“I wasn’t really looking for my shot. I kind of settled for some threes that I probably shouldn’t have taken,” Layman said, adding that in some cases he settled for quick threes and other tough shots. “And then, just to kind of get myself going, I tried to get the ball in the paint a little bit, found some guys that were open. Richaud had some great passes to me.” Layman said Maryland’s ball movement was much better in the second half.

Smotrycz, in just his third game of the season after breaking a toe in October, was praised by both Turgeon and his teammates for what his presence on the floor meant to the team.

“He basically was telling me things to do and what to say to my teammates. He was very vocal out there. He helped me get through the screens,” said Tremble when asked about the lift Smotrycz provided. Layman added that Smotrycz stretches the floor and opens things up for the rest of the team. Smotrycz says he’s still trying to get back in game shape after missing so much time with his injury.

“I got to use a little more legs. My first shot I was kind of dead, so that one was well short,” said Smotrycz, who scored five points during the crucial run midway through the second half. He says it’ll take a little more time to get where he was before the injury.

“I’m not in the best shape right now, and obviously not moving the best I can, but…I haven’t practiced in a while, and I’ve only played in like one and a half games, so it’ll take some time but it’s coming,” said Smotrycz, who said his foot was a little sore after the game.

Maryland (10-1) held USC-Upstate to 37 percent shooting from the floor, and Turgeon praised his team for how it played on defense for all 40 minutes. The Terps’ next game will be on Dec. 21 at Oklahoma State (7-1).

Turnovers and inconsistent offense continue to hurt Terrapins

After getting blown out by #20 Ohio State and a Wisconsin team that’s now ranked in the top 15, the Maryland Terrapins were looking to bounce back with a statement win in Big Ten play. They got it in Happy Valley, but appear to be reverting back to their old ways.

After Melvin Gordon ran for 122 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Badgers to a 52-7 win in Madison on Oct. 25, Maryland went to Penn State with a chip on its shoulder. A scuffle broke out during pregame warmups, with star receiver Stefon Diggs in the middle of the action. After order was restored, Diggs and the other two Maryland captains refused to shake hands with the Penn State captains at the opening coin toss, drawing a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Maryland had the last laugh at the end as the defense held the Nittany Lions to 42 yards rushing, and Brad Craddock kicked a 43-yard field goal with 51 seconds left in the fourth quarter to give the Terrapins a 20-19 win. However, after the game, the Big Ten fined Maryland $10,000, and suspended Diggs for the Terrapins’ next game against Michigan State.

Two weeks later, the 12th-ranked Spartans came to College Park looking to bounce back from a loss at home to Ohio State. They were welcomed by a Terps team and a Byrd Stadium crowd that was dressed in black for a cold nighttime matchup. Maryland, playing without Diggs, went three-and-out on two out of first three possessions, and C.J. Brown threw an interception, but the defense was able to hold Michigan State to three field goals. After Michael Geiger gave Michigan State a 9-0 lead with 10:33 left in the first half, Will Likely returned the ensuing kickoff 52 yards to the Spartans’ 41-yard line. Five plays and 1:52 later, Brown connected with Daniel Adams for a 20-yard touchdown pass to pull Maryland to within 9-7. However, Jeremy Langford seized the momentum back for Michigan State with an eight-yard touchdown run to make it 16-7 at halftime.

The Spartans would start to pull away in the second half. With 1:14 left in the third quarter, R.J. Williamson picked off a Brown pass and returned it 22 yards for a touchdown to give Michigan State a 23-7 lead. In the fourth quarter, after Maryland was unable to put a drive together after getting the ball at its own 48 and had to punt, Spartans quarterback Connor Cook engineered an eight-play, 77-yard drive that ended when Langford scored his second touchdown of the night on a 25-yard run with just over seven minutes left. Three minutes later, Brown hit receiver Juwan Winfree for a 31-yard touchdown pass, and then found freshman tight end Derrick Hayward for the two- point conversion to pull Maryland within two scores at 30-15. Less than a minute later, Spartans running back Nick Hill scored on a 33-yard run to close out the scoring in a 37-15 win for Michigan State (8-2, 5-1 Big Ten). The Spartans held the Terrapins to just six yards rushing, and Brown had three interceptions in another game where he struggled with consistency throwing the ball. Likely had 228 return yards for Maryland (6-4, 3-3 Big Ten).

Maryland will close out the season at a struggling Michigan Wolverines team at The Big House in Ann Arbor on Nov. 22, followed by the regular season finale at home against Rutgers on Nov. 29.

Maryland begins first Big Ten basketball season

By Andrew R. Koch

The Maryland Terrapins’ first basketball season in the Big Ten is officially underway. The UMD Men’s and Women’s basketball teams hosted a Superman-themed “Super B1G Maryland Madness” rally on Oct. 17 at the XFINITY Center to kick off the 2014-2015 season. Radio Men’s basketball announcer Johnny Holliday served as the Master of Ceremonies. He began the evening by pointing out the new video scoreboard over center court. The two video-boards measure 12-and- a-half foot tall by 33 foot wide each and feature the Under Armour logo at the bottom.

The XFINITY Center in College Park, Maryland
The XFINITY Center in College Park, Maryland

The Women’s team was introduced first, players making their way down to the court from the luxury suites into the lower bowl. The coaching staff, led by Head Coach Brenda Frese, was introduced next. She expressed confidence in both her team and the Maryland fans in her speech to the crowd.

“How are the best fans in the country doing tonight?” Frese asked in her opening remarks.

She told the Terrapin faithful that after falling just short in their Final Four appearance last season, her team is “extremely hungry” and “extremely motived” for the coming season. Keeping in the spirit of the rally she also informed the crowd that she’s been asked what it will be like for Maryland to come to the Big Ten. Her response to them she stated is always, “What will it be like for the Big Ten to come to Maryland,” ending her speech in a round of applause.

Following a performance by the dance team, the Men’s team was introduced next and players rose up one by one onto the stage. As a unit, they walked through red lasers down onto the floor, took a ball provided to them by one of the ball boys, and dribbled down to the basket for either a layup or dunk. After the coaching staff was introduced, Head Coach Mark Turgeon came out of a phone booth, ditched a pair of glasses, and opened up his shirt to reveal a Superman-inspired Maryland logo. His remarks to the crowd were inspired by the slogans of their apparel provider.

“We will play harder. We will play smarter. We will practice like champions, and we will…protect this house,” the fourth-year head coach told the crowd. He added that even though the season is just getting started, this is already one of his favorite teams in 16 years as a college basketball head coach. Emphasizing their position as student athletes, Turgeon praised his player’s for going to their classes, getting good grades, and maintaining a good work ethic in practice.

“They come to practice on time, they work their tails off, and they’re very coachable,” Turgeon said of his team, which was picked to finish 10th in the Big Ten in the preseason coaches’ poll. He praised the strength the conference has showed on the national stage over the last several years.

“The Big Ten is a heck of a league, arguably the best league in the country the last four years; great coaches, great players,” Turgeon said, whose recruiting class has been ranked in the top 10.

Redshirt senior guard Richard Pack will be among the players counted on to direct Maryland’s offense. The Detroit native is a two-time transfer, having played his freshman and sophomore seasons at Florida International University before transferring to North Carolina A&T and then Maryland. He’s tried to impart to the Maryland freshmen how things work in college basketball and how it’s different from high school. Pack feels that the team will perform well this year because of how close the group is. He was asked about how that confidence can be translated into positive results:

“A lot of the confidence has come from how hard we’re working and how together we’re playing, so we lean on each other, so we give each other confidence.” Pack said. “We’re a tight group, and I think that’s how it can translate. Whenever someone is feeling down, someone else picks it up. Someone’s having an off night, another guy picks up that slack. We have that type of team this year where I think we have a lot of guys who can contribute.”

The Maryland women were picked as the preseason favorite to win the Big Ten. Coach Frese says that means her team has already garnered respect from its new league.

“I think people have obviously followed our program and watched our tradition and our past,” Frese said, pointing out that the games during the regular season are more important than a preseason ranking. However, the team will have to move forward without the most successful player in program history, Alyssa Thomas. Frese says it will have to be a group effort to fill the void that Thomas is leaving behind.

“No one’s going to do what Alyssa Thomas did. She’s one of the special players who’s hanging in the rafters for a reason, but I do think it’ll be by committee,” Frese said.

Two of the players Frese singled out to watch are sophomore center Brionna Jones of Havre de Grade, who will provide a presence in the post, and sophomore guard Lexie Brown, who was named to the All ACC Freshman team last season. In the team’s intra-squad scrimmage, Brown connected on a pair of three pointers.

As part of the evening, the teams unveiled new uniforms from Under Armour. Both teams have red, white and yellow uniforms trimmed with the colors of the Maryland flag. The men’s team will also have a black alternate uniform. Each team then performed a dance routine that Brown said took two to three weeks of several hour practices with the dance team to perfect.

November’s schedule for the

Maryland Women features six home games, including South Florida on Nov. 19 and Loyola on Nov. 24.

The Lady Terrapins will play James Madison and Washington State in the San Juan Classic in Puerto Rico during Thanksgiving weekend. The Maryland Men will play seven home games and travel to Kansas City to join Arizona State, Iowa State, and Alabama in the CBE Hall of Fame Classic the week of Thanksgiving.

Photo Credit