By: Eddie Hobbs
Coming off a draining game against Purdue on Thursday night, Maryland traveled back to Baltimore to face off against Loyola-Chicago, the 2017 NCAA cinderella team that made it to the final four.
A slow start paired with early foul trouble led to an unimpressive start for the Terrapins, but the drought would soon end, and Maryland would eventually pull away from the Ramblers and win 55-41 at Royal Farms Arena.
It took about eight minutes for each team to get to double-digit scoring to start the game. Maryland started just 3-of-11 from the field, and 1-of-6 from 3-point range at the under-12 timeout.
Head coach Mark Turgeon was forced to extend his bench and bring in Joshua Tomaic, Ricky Lindo Jr. and Ivan Bender because of the early fouls to Bruno Fernando and Jalen Smith. This shifted play for both teams as Loyola-Chicago focused on playing more inside ball with Cameron Krutwig.
Maryland, on the other hand, played a little bit smaller with a mixture of Anthony Cowan, Serrel Smith, Eric Ayala, Aaron Wiggins, Darryl Morsell and Bender. There weren’t many other options for Turgeon, but the lineups he deployed gave the Terps an upper hand. Maryland quickly found its rhythm and went on a 17-4 run to turn the tables on Loyola-Chicago.
The best offense for Maryland has been when they are on the run and the game gets into a fast pace. The Ramblers 10 turnovers in the first half gave Maryland opportunities to run the court, and the Terps cashed in 10 points off the turnovers in the half, and entered into the break up 24-20. The 24 points was the lowest first half score for the Terps this season.
The second half was a totally different story for Maryland as they defended with passion and had 12 total blocks, a season-high, with seven of those blocks coming in the second half.
The Ramblers scored just five points in over eight minutes to come out of the half, and a lot of it had to do with the pressure the Maryland put on them through defensive intensity.
Maryland is normally used to controlling the glass, but Loyola-Chicago took advantage of the Terps’ foul trouble and were able to grab 33 rebounds total.
Smith, a Baltimore native, played just 12 minutes in the whole game, never truly finding a groove in his homecoming because of the four fouls he picked up throughout the game. With Smith’s foul trouble, Lindo and Serrel Smith stepped up and provided some much needed bench help for Turgeon’s team.
Lindo was a positive for Maryland as he didn’t flash a ton on the offensive side of the ball, 2 points, but defended well and totalled five rebounds and one block. Serrel Smith, shined in the second half, putting up eight points on 2-of-4 shooting from beyond the arc.
With the tough two-game stretch Maryland just went through, the team will take three days off before playing three straight non-conference opponents, starting with Loyola-Maryland, before hosting a tough Nebraska team in College Park.