By: Johnny Moseman
The Maryland men’s basketball team squeaked out a 71-66 victory over local rival Towson at XFINITY Center Sunday.
This was the 13th time Maryland and Towson have played and Towson has never won. They got very close to winning today.
Maryland was down by 13 at one point in today’s game and needed Melo Trimble and Justin Jackson to save them, just like against Georgetown last week.
Trimble was all the Terps had for most of the first half. He went back to his freshman year roots of making his living at the free throw line. He attempted ten free throws in the first half, making nine of them. He had 16 total free throws tonight on 17 attempts, which are both career highs for him. Trimble ended with 27 points and, six rebounds and four assists.
Jackson scored 21 points tonight, and his three point shooting was an important part of that. He was huge down the final stretch of the game, making three of his five threes in the final six minutes of the game. He was the spark plug that got the Terps and the whole arena energized towards the end of the game.
John Davis and Mike Morsell were the ones doing most of the scoring for Towson, as they both scored eight points each in the first half. Towson was leading 36-34 at half time.
Rebounding was also a huge reason the Tigers were so successful in the first half. Maryland was still without junior forward Michal Cekovsky and guard Dion Wiley was not playing either due to a stomach virus, according to the team.
In the first half, Towson out-rebounded Maryland 28-13 and Damonte Dodd dealing with two fouls did not help the Terrapins cause. Maryland got their rebounding together in the second half, out-rebounding Towson by two rebounds.
Down by 13 with 14 minutes left the Terrapins needed something to turn their fortune around. One way they did that was by their free throw shooting. The team shot 26-32 from the line today, which is 81.3%. Turgeon was very happy with his team’s free throw shooting, he said.
Maryland finally got things going in the second half when they went on a 12-1 run to cut Towson’s lead down to two when they were down by 13.
“We figured out how to win, it is what we do,” Turgeon said. “We figured out how to get to the line and we started making some hustle plays and doing great things.”
Even though Trimble was the game’s leading scorer he did struggle with his shooting today, only going 4 for 15 from the field today. He said he knows it is his team so it his job to set up his teammates and get things going when nothing is.
“It is not about me just going one on one and trying to do it by myself,” Trimble said. “We all just stepped up and we knew we could come back.”
Other than Jackson and Trimble, offensive struggles were the story of today’s game. Jared Nickens and L.G. Gill failed to make a shot today and others struggled heavily.
“We’re an unbelievable work in progress when it comes to our offense right now,” Turgeon said. “It took me until 12 minutes left in the game to figure out what was going to work and we were able to do some good things.”
Kevin Huerter also struggled throughout today’s game, shooting one of six from the field including zero made threes on four attempts. His one basket, however, was huge as it gave the Terps a two-point lead with two minutes left.
Maryland (4-0) is in action again Tuesday night when they take on Stony Brook (0-2) in XFINITY Center.