MD beats BC, wins ACC opener; What did we see?

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.

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About the author


Chris Stoner   

Chris Stoner founded Baltimore Sports and Life in 2009. He has appeared as a radio guest with 1090 WBAL, 105.7 The Fan, CBS 1300, Q1370, WOYK 1350, WKAV 1400, and WNST 1570. He has also been interviewed by The Baltimore Sun, Baltimore Business Journal, and PressBox (TV). As Owner, his responsibilities include serving as the Managing Editor, Publicist, & Sales Director. You can reach him via email at Chris.Stoner@baltimoresportsandlife.com.


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