SPOKANE, Wash. – It has been quite a while, but the Maryland men’s basketball team is back in the Sweet 16. The Terps used a 12-0 run midway through the second half Sunday night to pull away from No. 13 Hawaii, winning 73-60 to advance to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2003. […]
SPOKANE, Wash. – It has been quite a while, but the Maryland men’s basketball team is back in the Sweet 16.
The Terps used a 12-0 run midway through the second half Sunday night to pull away from No. 13 Hawaii, winning 73-60 to advance to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2003.
With Maryland shooting 0-for-15 from three-point land at the time, Melo Trimble remained confident and let one fly from the top of the key at the 9:33 mark of the second half. The triple fell and capped off a frantic 60-second, 9-0 run to finally give the Terps a sizeable lead at 48-41. Maryland continued the run and pushed its lead to 53-41 and never looked back.
“When I made that three, I felt great,” said Trimble, who finished with 24 points, eight rebounds and converted on 13-of-14 free throws.
Rasheed Sulaimon, who came up big in moments when Maryland needed him the most and was the one who sparked the 14-0 run, also felt good after Trimble’s three-pointer went down.
“When that shot went down, it made everybody loose,” he said. “We told each other we had to relax.”
Hawaii did a great job of not letting the game get away from it entirely, but could not muster enough offense to get any closer than 10 points the rest of the way.
“That stretch in the second half was a big hammer,” said Hawaii Head Coach Eran Ganot. “I am very proud of our program though. They galvanized the state.”
Sulaimon and Diamond Stone each added 14 points, while Jake Layman added 10.
One area of concern for the Terps may be their bench scoring. Maryland received a total of four points from its bench (two from Damonte Dodd and Jared Nickens), with Dodd scoring the team/s first bench points at the 11:33 mark of the second half.
Maryland will now play top-seeded Kansas on Thursday night at 9:40 p.m. in Louisville, Ky. Ironically, the last time Maryland and Kansas squared off in the NCAA tournament was in the national semifinal in 2002. The Terps won 97-88 and went on to beat Indiana to win the school’s only national championship.
In Maryland’s opening round game, the Terps survived a late scare from No. 12 South Dakota State but held on to win 79-74.
Thanks in large part to a great performance from Layman, Maryland built itself a 18-point lead with less than nine minutes to go. However, in what seemed like a blink of an eye, South Dakota State’s George Marshall was capping off a three-point play to get the Jackrabbits within nine at the 5:51 mark.
“We had an 11-point lead,” Maryland Head Coach Mark Turgeon said. “And then they hit back-to-back threes and everything changed.”
Reed Tellinghuisen and Marshall each hit three-pointers before Marshall converted his three-point play to cut the deficit to nine. Trimble answered for the Terps with a layup while Nickens knocked down two free throws, but in the meantime South Dakota State got a jumper and a three from Deondre Parks and another three-pointer from Marshall to make it a five-point game with three minutes to go.
Maryland still seemed in control, but it officially became March Madness when Marshall knocked down two free throws with a minute left to make it a two-point game.
“We knew about (Thursday’s) upsets,” Turgeon said. “We obviously knew Hawaii beat Cal. But besides (the last few minutes) we were really locked in. Down the stretch we were just good enough defensively.”
Layman, who tied his career-high with 27 points, went 4-for-4 from the line over the next 45 seconds, but saw the Jackrabbits get back within two after Parks knocked down all three free throws after being fouled by Sulaimon.
Jaylen Brantley was then fouled with 12 ticks left and made 1-of-2 to make it a three-point game.
Fortunately for the Terps, Parks fumbled the ball on the ensuing possession and had Sulaimon race it down the court for a dunk as time expired.
“If I had the final play over, I would have called timeout,” said South Dakota State Head Coach Scott Nagy. “We knew what to do, but we just had personnel in there that we don’t normally have in those situations.
“We were so bad offensively in the first half. We scored 52 points in the second half. We clearly played better offensively.”
Trimble scored 19 points and looked a little like his earlier-season self despite going 0-for-4 from three. Nickens added 14, while Robert Carter, Jr. had seven points and 11 rebounds.