The University of Maryland Terrapins ended a 2 game losing streak, beating Boston College 88-80 in the Atlantic Coast Conference opener for both teams.
With the victory, MD improves to 6-4 overall (1-0 in the ACC). MD now has games against Florida Atlantic, Boston University, Tulsa, and North Carolina Central; before getting back into ACC play January 4th vs. Georgia Tech. While BU, and Tulsa could possibly push the Terps, it would be an upset if MD was not 10-4 overall when they face the Yellow Jackets.
(Discuss this on the BSL Board here.)
What did we see?
1) Maryland got off to a good start, taking a 23-11 lead 8 minutes into the game. At the half, the Terps led 42-36, having hit 56% of their shots from the floor (including 6 of 15 from 3 point land). MD shot 55% for the game, and was 8 of 22 from 3. BC also had a good shooting %, hitting 49% of their attempts. MD was in-control of this game for a good portion of the game, but BC would take their first lead with 10:20 remaining. Trailing by 4 points with under 8 minutes remaining; Wells took over and secured the win for the Terps.
2) Getting the start, Peters began the game with an early touch foul. He also scored MD’s first 2 points with 2 FT’s at the line. MD went up 17-8, when Peters used his speed to get to a loose ball, and then fed Layman with a great look for a slam. BC had gone on a 19-7 run to pull within 1 (31-30) when Peters scored while being fouled. For the half, Peters had 7 points, 2 assists, and a steal. Peters would finish with 14 points, 3 assists, and 3 turnovers. Peters was 5 of 8 from the floor.
3) Early on, Wells looked more comfortable tonight, playing along Peters. Late in the game, when MD needed him most; Wells answered the bell. Wells was consistently looking to do what he does best – push the ball in transition, and attack the basket. He scored his first basket in transition. His second basket came on short jumper in the lane. A 3 pointer from Wells put MD up 20-11. At the half, Wells was 4 of 5 from the floor, with 11 points, and 3 boards. With MD trailing 64-60, Wells got to the line and hit both shots. MD would get a fast break going off a steal, and Wells would finish while being fouled. Making his FT, MD went up 65-64. Wells had another 3 point play, scoring off a jumper in the lane off the jump stop; while being fouled. This put MD up 70-68. MD took a 4 point lead (74-70) with Wells going completely uncontested to the rim. Wells just continued to take the ball inside, over and over as he bullied the BC defenders. MD went up 78-74 on another Wells basket, but he missed his foul shot at the line. Wells went left, putting the Terps up 82-76 with under a minute left. A new career high in scoring for Wells, as he finished with 33 points, and 5 boards. He was 12 of 18 from the floor, and 8 of 11 from the line. Tremendous job being a leader, and taking over when needed using his athletic advantage vs. any BC defender who tried to guard him.
4) Smotrycz got off to a good start, hitting two early 3′s. However, that would be the only positives from the Michigan transfer in the first 20 minutes. His rebounding took a step back vs. Ohio State and GW. Tonight he had just 1 board at the half. He did hit a 3 early in the 2nd half. His 4th foul came with 10:20 left in the game. With MD down 4, Smotrycz was forced back into the game with 8 minutes left. He would foul out with 1:57 left. Smotrycz had 9 points, 2 boards, 1 assist, and 1 steal.
5) One of Shaq Cleare’s issues is with getting in foul trouble. ESPN’s Len Elmore said it starts with footwork (Cleare moves well as a former soccer player, but apparently not well enough). Tonight, Cleare had 2 fouls 3 minutes into the game. He would add a 3rd late in the 1st half. His 4th came with 11 minutes left in the half. He did show good positioning, ending a 6 minute MD scoring drought with a basket. He followed that with 2 FT’s. Cleare finished with 4 points, and 4 boards.
6) Graham had some quality minutes vs. GW, and was the first big off the bench tonight. He had a nice board off a Layman miss. Graham added an important tap in with under 2 minutes left in the game to put MD up 6. Graham had 2 points, 4 boards, and a block.
7) The first basket for Layman tonight came on a slam, from a great pass from Peters. He added a 3 late int he 1st half to put MD up 38-31. He was just 2 of 5 from the floor in the 1st 20 minutes. Too often Layman can disappear for minutes at a time. Should not happen with his varied skill set. He started the 2nd half with a 3 in the initial minute of play. With MD down 4, with 8 minutes left; Layman hit a jumper to pull MD within a basket. Driving down the lane, Layman put MD up 72-70 with 4 minutes left. Layman finished with 13 points, 2 boards, 2 steals, and a block. Layman had just 2 FT attempts. I’d like to see him find ways to get the line more often.
8) Maryland was 8 of 10 from the FT line in the 1st half. For the game, MD 16 of 22.
9) Faust was off the bench early, and his first shot was a made 3 off an inbound play. He would add a 2nd 3, and a block over the rest of the half. He continued to fire off 3′s in the 2nd half. He finally attacked the rim, and scored on a reverse to put MD up 58-57. Down 62-60, MD used a press and Faust started a fast break (that Wells finished) with a steal. A baseline jumper from Faust put MD up 67-66. While Faust had too many 3 point attempts (7), he had an okay game overall. 11 points, 2 boards, 1 assist, 1 steal, 1 block.
10) After MD went up 23-11, BC would go on a 19-8 run of their own to close the gap. MD had a 6 minute scoring drought (from around the 12 minute mark to the 6 minute mark) in the 1st half.
11) Mitchell finally into the game, with 8 minutes left in the 1st half. He was rewarded for running the floor with Wells later in the 1st half. He rushed a shot underneath the basket early in the 2nd half. Mitchell finished with 2 points, and 4 boards. MD had a lot of points in the paint due to Wells efforts, but MD did need more post scoring. I was surprised to see Mitchell’s minutes limited like they were overall. Back in Coach Turgeon’s doghouse?
12) MD had just 11 turnovers tonight, certainly an amount you can live with. 6 assists on 32 made baskets is pretty ugly though. Of course a large reason for that was Wells just taking the ball to the basket himself. (BC had 17 assists on their 25 made FG’s.)
13) The Terps won the boards 31-28.
14) BC took a 57-56 lead with 10:20 left. MD had been up 54-47. With just under 8 minutes left, the Eagles were up 62-58. Wells put MD on his back down the stretch, allowing MD to leave with the win. Getting a conference win is always important. Getting it on the road, is even better.