By Krista Bliumentalis
It took four and a half minutes of slow play for the Terps to finally score their first points of the match against Winthrop on Saturday afternoon, but their energy in the remaining 35 minutes helped them secure a victory over the Winthrop Eagles, 82-62.
The slow start may have been attributed to the Terps (8-1) loss on Wednesday evening against Virginia, but the lessons learned after that loss were executed well against Winthrop (3-4).
“I thought we got better defensively; our ball screen defense got better, our team defense got better, our recognition of plays got better, how to guard screens got better, and then in the second half I really thought we executed,” said Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon.
Combined efforts from senior Richaud Pack and freshman Melo Trimble added 16 points each, with Trimble adding a career-high of seven assists to the Terps win, while junior Jake Layman led the team with 21 points.
Trailing Winthrop 4-13, a dunk by Damonte Dodd seemed to spark the Terps energy in the first half after their rough start. The 6-foot-11 sophomore also finished the game with a career high nine points, 10 rebounds, and two assists.
“I think he probably played 25 out of the last 30 minutes. His defense was good, his recognition was good, his awareness was good and then he got some things going offensively,” said coach Turgeon when discussing Dodd’s play, “He blocked shots but probably altered about four to five more. He gave us a great presence at the rim when we did break down. It was the best game of his career so far, all around game.”
Winthrop’s efforts were led by guards Keon Moore and Keon Johnson with 20 points and 18 points respectively. The Eagles had a 36 percent shooting average, meanwhile the Terp’s defense blocked seven shots.
Going into the last minute of the game, Pack sunk two free throws which sealed a 15 point lead for the Terps, 77-62. One key advantage the Terps had in Saturday’s win was their ability to get to the foul line. At the end of the game, the Terps had shot 19 more free throws than the Eagles, going 82 percent from the free throw line.
Coach Turgeon noted in his opening statement after the game that, “We continued to get to the foul line which we’re becoming very good at that and we stepped up and made free throws.”
Freshman Jared Nickens also provided crucial minutes for Maryland, adding 12 points to their score along with making crucial three pointers to give the Terps the lead at the end of the first half.
“We got a lot better today,” said coach Turgeon.