The University of Maryland men’s basketball team picked up two more Big Ten wins last week, beating Rutgers handily at home before needing a last-second three-pointer from Melo Trimble to top Wisconsin on the road. Rutgers vs. Maryland COLLEGE PARK – The University of Maryland men’s basketball team is on a roll and is rounding […]
The University of Maryland men’s basketball team picked up two more Big Ten wins last week, beating Rutgers handily at home before needing a last-second three-pointer from Melo Trimble to top Wisconsin on the road.
Rutgers vs. Maryland
COLLEGE PARK – The University of Maryland men’s basketball team is on a roll and is rounding into National Championship form.
Maryland won its eighth straight game on Wednesday, beating Rutgers with ease 88-63. The Terps never trailed in the contest and used a great defensive performance to hold the Scarlet Knights to 24 percent shooting in the first half and 39 percent for the game.
“Obviously I was proud of my group tonight,” said Head Coach Mark Turgeon. “I thought defensively, after the first four or five minutes, we were really good. We guarded the ball well, we blocked shots, we rebounded, we were really good defensively.”
Earlier in the season, Maryland seemed to have trouble with inferior teams and played in a lot of tight games while the team tried to gain an identity. Now, two months into the season, the Terps have found their stride. Other than needing a second-half comeback to beat Penn State, Maryland has won four of its last six games by at least 20 points and another by 13.
Diamond Stone, whose great play as of late has coincided with Maryland’s run, took advantage of the Terps’ size advantage and double-doubled in just 21 minutes with 15 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks.
“He’s practicing better and he’s defending better,” Turgeon said. “Diamond gets it. He’s coming.”
Robert Carter and Jake Layman also used their size and length against a smaller Rutgers team. Carter recorded 12 points and seven rebounds, while Layman attacked the rim most of the night and finished with 18 points, four rebounds and two blocks.
Maryland shot 46 percent in the first half, including ten free throws and four three-pointers, on its way to opening up a 46-18 lead heading into the break. The Terps then duplicated all of those numbers in the second half en route to winning with ease.
Melo Trimble played just 14 minutes as he was battling a tight hamstring. He finished with four points on one shot attempt. Turgeon said Trimble would be “fine” after the game.
Rasheed Sulaimon stepped up in Trimble’s absence, scoring 15 points while grabbing five rebounds.
“I feel like for myself personally, and as a team, we are getting into a really good rhythm,” Sulaimon said. “We have a lot of trust we are starting to gain with one another. Each one of us is getting better. When we got out there I felt good. Melo hit me on the first three and it went in. I just wanted to stay aggressive and try to ride it out.
“We have the capability to score on quick bursts during any point in the game. When we are not making shots that happens. That is basketball. I feel like if we continue to trust our offense and execute we are going to shoot the ball at a high rate.”
All 14 Maryland players got on the court thanks to the blowout, with 11 of them scoring.
Maryland vs. Wisconsin
MADISON, Wis. – With the game tied at 60 with 20 seconds to go, there was really only one guy who was going to take Maryland’s last shot.
The play was rather simple. Give the ball to Melo Trimble and let him do his thing.
Following the Terps’ game with Rutgers on Wednesday, in which he scored just four points, Trimble rebounded in a big way on Saturday in a Big Ten contest with Wisconsin, pulling up from five feet behind the line and draining a three-pointer with just over a second remaining to give Maryland the 63-60 victory. The win is Maryland’s ninth in a row and has them sitting pretty at 15-1 (4-0).
“After practice and before practice, I always practice the rhythm of shots like that,” Trimble said.
Maryland Head Coach Mark Turgeon admitted he didn’t do much in the huddle before the play. There was no play-designing or strategy going on.
“Yeah, it is not a lot of coaching,” Turgeon said. “(Melo) is special. Just get out of his way.”
Trimble finished with a game-high 21 points which included three three-pointers and five assists.
Maryland was up by eight with seven minutes to go thanks to Trimble converting on two three-pointers and two layups during a 10-1 run. The Terps led 56-48 at the time.
But that was when Wisconsin started to chip away. Later, with the Terps up three with 40 seconds to go, Rasheed Sulaimon missed the front end of a one-and-one and gave Wisconsin a chance to tie the game.
And that they did, as Bronson Koenig buried a step-back three-pointer of his own with 22 seconds remaining to tie the score at 60. Koenig finished with 13 points on the night.
“Don’t forget how great Bronson’s shot was too,” Turgeon said. “It took a lot of guts to make that one too.”
However, the play was quickly forgotten roughly 20 seconds later as Trimble won the game with a dramatic triple from the top of the key.
Robert Carter (14 points) and Diamond Stone (11 points) were the only other Maryland players to score in double figures.