Maryland Basketball Triumphant in Return to Baltimore

Diamond Stone Baltimore
Diamond Stone, #33

The last time the Maryland Terrapins played a game at what was then known as First Mariner Arena in downtown Baltimore, they defeated the Iowa Hawkeyes 84-65 in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. That was on Nov. 30, 1999. Maryland was also looking for déjà vu against Princeton, beating the Tigers 81-58 at First Mariner on Dec. 19, 1998, one of five wins by the Terrapins over the Tigers.

Sixth-ranked Maryland started out by trying to establish the three-pointer early, with seniors Jake Layman hitting two of his first four three-point attempts, and Rasheed Sulaimon knocking down one of his own. Princeton responded with two three-pointers and eight points from its top player, Henry Caruso. Maryland went cold from beyond the arc, and the Tigers pulled out to a 14-13 lead when media timeouts were called with 13:25 and 11:38 left in the first half. Princeton pulled out to a 25-19 lead on another Caruso three-pointer with six and a half minutes left in the first half, prompting Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon to call a 30-second timeout. That timeout seemed to spark Maryland.

Coming out of the timeout, Maryland went on a 16-6 run for the rest of the first half to take a 35-31 lead at halftime. Jake Layman had a three-point play, Robert Carter, Jr. made a pair of free throws, and Jared Nickens and Trimble hit three-pointers. A floater by Trimble and a three by Layman gave Maryland a 35-27 lead, and Princeton head coach Mitch Henderson had to call two timeouts in less than 15 seconds as the nearly entirely red-clad crowd rose for standing ovations with just over three minutes left. Layman finished the half with 12 points and five rebounds, while Trimble had five points and five assists. Freshman Diamond Stone scored six points off the bench, but Maryland went scoreless for the final 3:10 of the first half. Caruso led the Tigers with 11 points.

Maryland started with possession in the second half, and used some crisp ball movement to get the ball to Carter, who found Damonte Dodd with a bounce bass that Dodd finished with a dunk. Carter followed with a jump shot, and Layman answered a Caruso three-pointer with a three of his own to give the Terrapins a 42-34 lead two minutes into the second half. At one point, Carter scored three straight baskets to give Maryland a 48-38 lead with 15 and a half minutes left.

The Terrapins started to pull away as Nickens hit a three with the shot clock winding down, and on the next possession Layman slammed home a long alley-oop from Sulaimon to extend the lead to 53-39 with just under 14 minutes left. Princeton pulled to within eight on threes by Devin Cannady and Spencer Weisz, but Stone made a short jumper, was fouled and completed the three-point play to stretch the led back out to 11 with 12 minutes left. After Princeton cut the lead back under 10 with a steal and dunk by Caruso, Maryland went on a 13-2 run over the next three and a half minutes, featuring a combined three three-pointers from Sulaimon and Jaylen Brantley to give Maryland a 20-point lead with  just under seven minutes left. Brantley scored 10 out of the 13 points during that run. The Terrapins cruised from there on the way to an 82-61 win before a crowd of 11,076 at Royal Farms Arena. Layman finished with 19 points. Trimble dished out at least 10 assists for the second time this season. Brantley scored all 14 of his points out of Maryland’s final 20 over the final 11 minutes. Maryland (10-1) extended its winning streak to four games, improved to 6-3 all-time against Princeton (6-3) and 10-2 all-time when they play in Baltimore, including six straight wins.

Turgeon said his team struggled with Princeton’s zone defense in the first half, and his players too often settled for three-pointers.

“Princeton came out in a 3-2 zone; they haven’t shown it all year. We didn’t prepare for it; we weren’t prepared for the 3-2 zone at all, and it showed a little bit,” Turgeon said. “Jake got us going, making some shots, and Diamond gave us energy off the bench, did a terrific job.” Turgeon said his team played up to its potential in the second half, shooting 65.5 percent overall, including 54.5 percent from three-point range after halftime. Maryland held Princeton to just 38.5 percent shooting in the second half. Turgeon says the Terrapins try to base their offense out of the lane, but were rattled by the 3-2 zone.

“Our whole offensive strategy was play in the paint, and then they show a 3-2 zone, and I thought we shot too many jumpers at the start,” Turgeon said, explaining that the team really got going in the second half, thanks to better player and ball movement.

“We weren’t really ready for it, so we kind of got caught off guard a little bit, so Coach Turgeon called a timeout, and we just ran a play,” Stone said, referring to the timeout Turgeon called with the Terrapins trailing 25-19, followed by Layman’s three-point play. Stone said the team went into its zone offense, and started getting the ball into the paint. He finished with 11 points and six rebounds.

“Like Diamond said, I think this is the first time they’ve run that all year, so we definitely weren’t expecting it. I think once we got the ball inside, we kind of calmed down a little bit, and then things started going our way,” said Layman, who went four of eight from the three-point line, and also grabbed eight rebounds.

Turgeon spoke about how the city of Baltimore embraced his team, and how he spoke with a couple of fans before the game who said they got tickets to see the Terrapins in Baltimore because they couldn’t get tickets to see them at the Xfinity Center in College Park. He said a trip up to Baltimore is something the team has wanted to do for a while, and would like to make happen on a more regular basis, especially if it can be beneficial for the men’s basketball program.

Maryland’s final nonconference game will be on Dec. 27 against Marshall at Xfinity Center. The Terrapins will open its Big Ten schedule on Dec. 30 at home against Penn State.

Terrapins’ Memorable Baseball Season Comes to End

The best season in more than a generation for Maryland Terrapins baseball has come to an end.

Maryland lost the final two games of their best-of-three Super Regional series against the University of Virginia on June 8 and 9 in Charlottesville, Virginia. The Terrapins won the series opener on June 7, 5-4. Leadoff hitter Charlie White went three for five and scored two runs, and also made a big catch. Starting pitcher Jake Stinnett allowed three runs (two earned) on six hits in six innings to improve his record to 8-6. Second baseman Brandon Lowe drove in White with what turned out to be the game-winning run on a sacrifice fly in the fifth inning. Maryland knocked out Cavaliers starter Nathan Kirby after just four and two-thirds innings, forcing him to throw 88 pitches. Terrapins designated hitter Kyle Convissar helped drive that pitch count up by fouling off 10 straight pitches before drawing a walk to cap a 15-pitch plate appearance in the second inning. The win gave Maryland its first 40-win season.

In Game 2, Virginia took a 1-0 lead in the third. White drove in catcher Kevin Martir with an RBI single to tie the game at 1 in the fifth. The Cavaliers responded in the top of the sixth with a leadoff double down the left-field line by Kenny Towns, who advanced to third on a fielding error. He then scored on a groundout to give Virginia a 2-1 lead that they wouldn’t relinquish. Virginia broke the game open with three runs in the seventh, and added insurance runs in the eight and ninth innings. The Terrapins scored twice in the bottom of the ninth, but that was too little, too late as Virginia tied the series with a 7-3 win.

In the series’ deciding game, Virginia got off to a fast start. The Cavaliers scored three runs in the first, and added three more in the third to jump out to a 6-0 lead, knocking out Maryland starter Bobby Ruse after just two and a third innings. Terrapins shortstop Blake Schmit hit a two-run double in the top of the eighth to help Maryland get slightly back into the game. However, the Cavaliers responded by ending any hope of a Maryland comeback, putting the game away with a five-run eighth to put the finishing touches on an 11-2 win over the Terrapins and advance to the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska. Virginia starter Josh Sborz allowed just four hits, walked three and struck out nine in 7 shutout innings to improve to 5-4.

Maryland finished the season with a 40-23 record. Virginia will open the World Series against Ole Miss.

Terrapins Baseball Off to Strong Start in College World Series Regional

By Andrew R. Koch

The Maryland Terrapins baseball team isn’t ready to let their best season in more than 40 years end just yet.

Down 3-0 to Old Dominion after seven innings in their May 31 opener of the Columbia Regional at the University of South Carolina, Maryland started down the comeback trail. LaMonte Wade, Brandon Lowe and Jose Cuas all singled to load the bases with none out in the eighth inning. Wade scored on a double play grounder off the bat of Blake Schmit to cut the Monarchs’ lead to 3-1. After a leadoff single in the top of the ninth, Terrapins catcher Kevin Martir picked off the pinch runner at first. Reliever Tayler Stiles then struck out the next two batters to end the inning.

In the bottom of the ninth, pinch-hitter Kyle Convissar came in as a pinch-hitter and led off with a double to left-center field. With one out, Martir reached on an error, and Convissar advanced to third. Center fielder Charlie White singled to drive in Convissar. Wade walked to load the bases, and then Lowe and Cuas were each hit by consecutive pitches to force in the tying and winning runs, giving Maryland a walk-off 4-3 win. It was the Terrapins’ first win in an NCAA baseball tournament game since 1970.

The following night, Maryland jumped out to a 4-0 lead over host South Carolina in the first two innings. White doubled to start the bottom of the first for the Terrapins, and scored on a one-out single by Lowe. In the second inning, Martir singled with two outs and advanced to second on an error. He went to third on an infield single by White, and then scored on a double by Wade. Wade and White then scored on a fielding error.

The Gamecocks got back into the game with a run in the fourth and two more runs in the sixth. In the top of the seventh, Terps starter Mike Shawaryn hit South Carolina’s Tanner English with a pitch. English then stole second, and Shawaryn then walked Gamecocks shortstop Marcus Mooney. Bobby Ruse came on for Maryland in relief of Shawaryn, and got a fly-out and a ground-out to end the inning. In the eighth, South Carolina got runners on the corners with two outs, but Maryland reliever Kevin Mooney struck out Gene Cone to snuff out the rally. In the ninth, English and Max Schrock each singled to put runners on the corners with one out, but Kevin Mooney got Joey Pankake to ground into a double play to end the game, securing his 12th save of the season. With the win, Shawaryn improved to 11-3 on the season. The win snapped South Carolina’s 28-game home winning streak in the NCAA tournament, dating back to 2002.

Maryland will play the winner of the South Carolina-Campbell loser’s bracket game at 7 p.m. on June 1.