The University of Maryland Terrapins improved to 3-2 on the year, beating Northern Iowa 80-66 in the semi-finals of the Paradise Jam Tournament. With the win, the Terps will face the winner of Providence / La Salle tomorrow night at 10pm for the Championship.
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What did we see?
1) Maryland didn’t look like world-beaters, but they received contributions from a number of different players and came away with a nice team victory to advance to the Paradise Jam Championship.
2) Northern Iowa got out to a 7-0 run to start the game, with MD being held scoreless over the initial 3 minutes. The Terps then answered with a 16-5 run of their own over the next 7 minutes.
3) Coach Turgeon remarked at half-time that it was a very physical game. Terps Radio Analyst Chris Knoche had stated several times in the first-half that MD had significant size, strength, and athletic advantages across the board.
4) MD was having success when they attacked the basket, and not settling for 3′s.
5) The Terps took a 33-30 lead to the half, with a 5-0 run over the last minute plus. That run came with MD utilizing a smaller line-up; partly due to the issues Cleare and Smotrycz were having trying to cover the Northern Iowa bigs.
6) Knoche was suggesting during the game that he would like to see Layman get more time at the 4. I think that is something we might see more of when Allen returns. I’m picturing a line-up of Peters, Allen, Wells, Layman, and Mitchell getting a lot of time together, with Smotrycz, and Faust getting plenty of time as well.
7) Down 7-0 3 minutes into the game, Faust got MD on the board with 3 points the old-fashioned way. That was followed by a steal and a dunk to make it 7-5. Right before the half, he had another steal and dunk. In the first 20 minutes, Faust had 9 points on 6 FG attempts. Faust got called for a 3rd foul early in the 2nd half. He quickly answered that foul with a 3. With 3 minutes left, Faust picked up an offensive foul. Faust finished with 17 points, 6 boards, and 3 steals.
8) Wells gave MD their first lead (8-7) exploiting Northern Iowa with his athletic advantage. Tied the game at 22. His layup to end the half put MD up 5. He was aggressive over the initial 20 minutes, scoring 10 points on 7 attempts. Wells’ first points of the 2nd half came on a UNI goal-tending call with under 8 minutes left. Big basket with 1:43 left. Wells finished with 16 points, 6 boards, 6 assists, and 2 steals.
9) After a tough game vs. Marist, Peters was back to coming off the bench tonight. His first basket came on a steal and breakaway dunk. An athletic layup from Peters put MD up 9 (46-37) with 15:12 left. Nice job from Peters to find Smotrycz for a layup to make it 59-52 Terps. Peters was having trouble defending Mitchell. 5 points, 3 boards, 2 assists.
10) Ram fouled out against Marist, in his 19 minutes of play. Tonight he picked up 2 early fouls. He is getting regular time against smaller quicker guards, and generally seems to be helping by being a pest with his perimeter defense. Ram’s 3rd foul came with just over 14 minutes left.
11) Overall, Maryland was playing strong defense when they got back and set. Northern Iowa was just 3 of 14 from 3 in the 1st half, 7 for 26 for the game.
12) Seth Allen was interviewed at half-time saying Charles Mitchell is the Terps player who consistently brings the most energy. Didn’t see much from Mitchell tonight though. MD was up 10 (47-37) when Mitchell missed a layup, followed by a UNI 3.
13) Layman was 2 of 7 in the 1st half, hitting a couple of jumpers. There were 3 different 3 point lines on the floor, and it seemed like Layman might have been confused of which line was which. A 3 from Layman with 17:21 in the 2nd half put MD up 6 (41-35). MD was up 7 (57-50) when Layman missed the front-end of a 1&1. Layman had a shot blocked with 7 minutes left, leading to a basket for UNI (61-56). With MD up just 2, Layman finished an alley-oop while being fouled. Layman didn’t have a great shooting night from the floor, but he did a good job of getting to the line. Layman pushed the lead to 10 with 57 seconds left with a 3. 19 points, 6 boards, 7 of 8 from the foul line.
14) UNI was having success in transition late in the first half, moving the ball well.
15) Smotrycz was back in the starting line-up tonight. The primary reason Knoche was suggesting more time for Layman at the 4, was Smotrycz’s defensive issues. It is hard to really limit his minutes though, because he has offensive skills, and Maryland overall has offensive limitations. Smotrycz had his first points with a jumper (while being fouled) with a 1 minute left in the 1st half. He also had MD’s first basket of the 2nd half. A 3 pointer from Smotrycz put MD up 9 (44-35). A drive with a spin at the basket gave him another basket, he followed that immediately with another 3. Smotrycz’s 5 point run pushed MD’s lead to 9 (52-43), but then he was caught on the defensive end – helping to give up a 3 by not getting back quick enough. On fire offensively, he came right back and hit another 3. Smotrycz finished with 20 points, 9 boards, and 2 steals.
16) Maryland was 0 for 8 from 3 point land in the first half. They hit their first 2 attempts in the 2nd half. For the game, MD was 6 of 18 from 3.
17) Cleare had a solid game Friday night vs. Marist, but was not able to follow that up tonight. While he had a couple of blocks, he was struggling to defend UNI’s Seth Tuttle, and Nate Buss. He also was a non-factor on the boards.
18) I had expected MD to win decisively on the boards tonight, so I am disappointed that it was basically even. Terps with the 36-33 edge.
19) Maryland finished with 9 steals tonight, Faust leading the way with 3.
20) Just 8 turnovers (Faust had 3) for the Terps tonight, that was a real positive.
21) The Terps were only 16 of 25 from the foul line.