By Sebastian Obando
Guard Melo Trimble dribbled up the court with only a few seconds remaining in the first half. His right hand firmly in control of the ball, as he looked ahead to the positions of his teammates. He switched balance and attempted to get past Jon Severe, the Fordham guard. His move was cut out, as Severe dispossessed Trimble and shot out the opposite end on a fast break. The buzzer sounded as the Fordham sophomore laid the ball in the basket. The Terps headed to the locker room with the closest margin so far this year, as the score cut Maryland’s lead to five.
“I’m glad we had a close game,” head coach Mark Turgeon explained. “We needed to have a little nervousness or whatever going into halftime. I thought that was good for us because we haven’t had that, and I thought we responded pretty well.”
The Terps, indeed, responded in the second half, as every member enhanced their production and matched the intensity and would go on to a 66-50 victory. The defense held the Rams to a dreary night of shooting. The majority of shots were contested by a Terp defender, as easy looks to the basket were seldom allowed. Moreover, Maryland shot 52 percent from the field coming out of the locker room, improving a shooting percentage of 36.4 percent from the first half. Furthermore, the Terps scored 82.4 percent from the foul line in the second period, a vast improvement from the dismal 20 percent of the first.
“We have a lot of shooters on our team, so we just move the ball and someone is bound to get open,” Jared Nickens said after the game. “It’s how we run our offense. If anyone drives there will always be a shooter in the corner. Move the ball, let the bigs in the zone get touches, play inside out, and get open shots”.
Nickens led the Terps with 13 points on the night, while also adding 6 rebounds. Jake Layman contributed with 12 points, including two momentum swinging dunks in the second half. The junior forward also notched four boards. Richaud Pack posted nine points, along with a team-high eight rebounds.
“I thought we were terrific defensively tonight [and] in the second half we got to a much better flow offensively,” Turgeon said to the media. “We shot a better percentage, made some free-throws, and executed at a much higher level. Wasn’t as pretty as you’d like it every night, but it was a good win”
The victory improves Maryland’s record to 3-0, as the Terps get ready to take on their next challenge against Arizona State on Monday.