COLLEGE PARK – The Maryland Terrapins continued their shaky start to the 2016 basketball season as they faced off against the Towson Tigers at the Xfinity Center. It was the first time Maryland and Towson faced one another in two decades, and it ended up being a good one, as the Terps narrowly escaped another […]
COLLEGE PARK – The Maryland Terrapins continued their shaky start to the 2016 basketball season as they faced off against the Towson Tigers at the Xfinity Center.
It was the first time Maryland and Towson faced one another in two decades, and it ended up being a good one, as the Terps narrowly escaped another close call, 71-66.
The Terps began with another slow start and Towson held an 11-9 lead midway through the first half before the teams traded the lead back and forth. Unable to create much separation with their dismal three point shooting, the Terrapins let the Tigers hang around as senior John Davis led the way with eight first-half points. Towson led by as many as five and went into the half with a 36-34 lead.
“We had nothing going and we were able to win that game,” Maryland Coach Mark Turgeon said. “I wasn’t sure we could do it. We figured out how to win three close games now, which is a sign when you’re playing so many young kids like we are. To able to do that is really good.”
Melo Trimble led the way with 15 first-half points, going 9-for-10 from the free throw line for the Terrapins. Meanwhile, freshman Justin Jackson contributed 10 of his own, making them the only two players in double figures for the half.
Towson came out with tons of energy to start the second half and extended its lead to 10 in a matter of moments.
“We’re an unbelievable work in progress when it comes to our offense right now,” Turgeon said. “With 12 minutes to go in the game I finally figured out what was going to work and we were able to do some good things against them. I wasn’t sure if we could do it. When we were down 13 it didn’t look good. We figured out how to win. It’s what we do.”
Towson kept the momentum for most of the half and forced Maryland into sloppy turnovers and made them earn every basket. The Terps finally settled down a bit and started to chip away at the Towson lead, going on a 12-1 run over the next five minutes. Jackson was vital in the comeback, as the freshman knocked down some huge shots, including one of his five three-pointers and a mid-range jumper that tied the game at 58.
“They just wanted this game more than we wanted it in the first half, but we came out in the second half and came back,” Jackson said. “Coach told us in the locker room, ‘they’re outrebounding us, they’re out-toughing us,’ so we just had to go get it.”
Jackson was the Terrapins’ only bright spot from the field as he finished the game 8-for-13 from the floor with 21 points. Trimble led all scorers with 27, but was dismal from the field, going 4-for-15. However, he did manage to go 16-of-17 from the charity stripe.
“It’s not even March yet and we’re already having games go down to the wire and almost overtime. We know we’re going to get better,” Trimble said.
Maryland held a 68-66 lead in the final minutes when Trimble made his two biggest free throws of the afternoon to give the Terrapins a four point lead. Towson needed a quick basket, but couldn’t connect or come up with a crucial rebound after dominating the Terps on the glass the entire game.
“It looked like varsity versus JV at some times out there,” Turgeon said. “They were so big compared to what we are right now.”
A record of 4-0 is a good place to be, but Maryland knows it has a lot of work to do this season to compete in the Big 10 and the NCAA Tournament.