Undefeated no more, Terps fall to No.9 North Carolina 89-81

By Megan Smedley

Well, that was a tough loss. If tonight was any implication of how this season is going to go, whenever Maryland loses, it is going to hurt. The next morning we won’t stand as tall. But hey, it is okay, because at the end of the day, we still have Melo Trimble. Trimble almost single handedly put Maryland back in the game, but it was not enough. The Terps drop their first game of the year 81-89 in Chapel Hill.

The first half was ugly. Really ugly. North Carolina jumped out to an early lead and kept it throughout the half. Maryland turned the ball over 13 times. That is more than they had in four of their games so far. Rasheed Sulaimon was booed any time he touched the ball because of his past with Duke. Luckily, he was able to tune the crowd out and sink multiple threes. He was about the only Terp who played well in the first half. Melo was almost invisible as North Carolina’s defense had him pinned the whole half. Diamond Stone continued adjusting to college ball as he struggled on defense. North Carolina was guarding every Maryland player anytime they had the ball. This meant the Terps spent a lot of time dribbling the ball and standing around. They were not able to execute any plays. Damonte Dodd entered late in the half and quickly made an impact. Dodd slammed a dunk with a Trimble assist and then sprinted down the court to block a Carolina shot out of bounds. At the half, Maryland trailed North Carolina 36-41. Melo Trimble led the team with six points and six assists.

Luckily for us, the second half was a completely different story. The first five minutes of the second half was some of the best college basketball played this year. Even Scott Van Pelt praised the performance on Sportscenter after the game. Maryland was in the zone and it was Melo Trimble leading the way. In typical Melo fashion, he opened up the half driving for a layup. He followed up with a three, an assist to Stone, and a steal resulting in an assist for Robert Carter Jr. Yeah, Melo pretty much dominated the court. Sulaimon tied the game up with a three early in the half. Trimble ran away with the ball, skating around the court, practically breaking ankles to set up Damonte Dodd to tie up the game again. Melo finished the game with 23 points and 12 assists, a career high. Those assists resulted in 29 points which means Trimble was responsible for 52 of Maryland’s points. To say Melo has star power would be an understatement.

Unfortunately, it would not be enough as the Terps failed to close out the game. Carolina remained in the lead and Maryland finished the game unable to sink the crucial baskets. Rasheed Sulaimon continued his success with Maryland scoring 18 points. The Terps had a season-high 22 turnovers resulting in 21 Carolina points. Maryland hopes to clean it up back at home when they take on St. Francis (PA) Friday at 7 p.m.