COLLEGE PARK – The Maryland Terrapins men’s basketball team said farewell to their seniors in a great way Thursday night. The Terps put on a show for their fans, as they played their best game in weeks during their regular season finale, defeating the University of Illinois 81-55. Melo Trimble returned to form after hitting […]
COLLEGE PARK – The Maryland Terrapins men’s basketball team said farewell to their seniors in a great way Thursday night.
The Terps put on a show for their fans, as they played their best game in weeks during their regular season finale, defeating the University of Illinois 81-55.
Melo Trimble returned to form after hitting a slump in recent weeks, as the star guard finished with 18 points on 7-of-14 shooting. He also added eight rebounds and five assists.
Trimble is now two points shy of 1,000 for his career. He will look to get those two points at Indiana on Sunday, March 6 in Maryland’s season finale.
“I really needed that. I just needed to see a shot go down, feel myself so happy again,” Trimble said. “I haven’t been smiling the way I used to in a while. I just had to look in the mirror and see that I had an OK smile. I had to display it today on the court after I made a shot. I just felt good.”
Jake Layman also finished with 18 points on 7-of-11 shooting in what was an exciting night for the seniors celebrating Senior Night. Before the game, Maryland honored seniors Layman, Rasheed Sulaimon, Varun Ram and Trevor Anzmann. Sulaimon added nine assists and no turnovers, while Ram added a three-pointer on an assist from Anzmann in the game’s final moments.
“It was awesome. You live for those moments. I’m happy we played well tonight and got the win and I’m just so happy to be a Terp,” Layman said. “It was surreal at the beginning. I was so happy to have my parents, two grandmothers, little brother, and my cousin Brett there. They’ve all stuck with me over the past four years so I was happy to have them here.
“I definitely felt it when I got subbed out. I was a little emotional.”
The game was all Terrapins from the start as they never trailed in the contest. Illinois missed its first seven shots and fell behind 7-0. The Fighting Illini then cut the Terps’ lead to three before Maryland answered with a 12-3 run that included two baskets by Robert Carter, Jr., who finished with 14 points, and three-pointers from Jared Nickens and Sulaimon. The Terps took a 10 point lead into the half with a score of 31-21.
In the second half, the Terrapins exploded and put on a show for their fans.
The Terps made 18 of their 27 shots in the second half, including 10-of-13 from three-point land. Maryland led 33-25 at one point before Trimble, Layman and Nickens all hit three-pointers to stretch the lead to 17.
“Obviously what stands out is what they shot from the field in the second half,” Illinois Head Coach John Groce said. “Not only from two-point range, but obviously from three. That was as good of an offensive performance in a half that we’ve seen live and in person all year.”
The victory over the Illini earned the Terps a double-bye in the Big 10 Tournament, as well as a 16-1 home record over the course of the season.
“It’s huge. It helps a lot. It helps us mentally,” Maryland Head Coach Mark Turgeon said. “We don’t have tremendous depth, but we have good depth that’s getting better. It would’ve been hard to win four games in four days. That’s two years in a row with a double bye, that’s hard to do.
“I’m proud of the guys. I think it might be us and Michigan State that are the only teams that have done it in the last two years. It’s nice for our guys. It’s a good standard to set and hopefully we keep that going moving forward.”