- Beretta moving to Tennessee over Maryland gun laws
- Neal Boortz defends Hillary Clinton for representing child rapist
- House task force to recommend National Guard on border, faster deportations
- Top federal judge uses pizza to explain complex Obamacare situation
- Obama, Biden overhaul job training programs
- Drought-plagued Californians turn to paint to keep lawns green
- ISIL now forcing Iraqi shopkeepers to veil mannequins in Mosul
- 11 parents of Nigeria’s abducted girls die
- Genetic mapping triggers new hope on schizophrenia
- Turkish P.M. Erdogan won’t speak to Obama, but he’ll take calls from Biden
Maryland basketball: Terrapins hold off Stony Brook 76-69
Question of the Day
This was a change of pace, a stark contrast to the de facto scrimmages Maryland partook in over the previous three games.
It didn’t look like it for a while Friday night at Comcast Center, yet Stony Brook came and came and came some more, serving as a nuisance in Maryland’s first game after final exams and last contest before a week-long Christmas break.
As the season unfolds, the final score (a 76-69 Terrapins victory) or any of the other numbers associated with Maryland’s 10th consecutive victory (including 19 points from both Alex Len and Dez Wells) won’t matter much.
This was a test, one Maryland didn’t entirely ace but surely didn’t flub, either.
“I think we needed a close game to see how we handled it,” coach Mark Turgeon said. “We missed some free throws and made some free throws. What I really liked was the last four possessions, the kid hit the 3 on the one but we were right there shaking hands with him. I think the other ones we really locked them up and really rebounded the ball. That was good to see. We haven’t been in that situation.”
Not since a season-opening loss to Kentucky had the Terps (10-1) found themselves in a one-possession game in the final minute. This turned out to be both expected and surprising, considering the caliber of the opponent and the tenor of the game.
The Seawolves (8-3) looked every bit like a contender for an NCAA tournament bid on paper, a well-coached bunch with a notable veteran (Tommy Brenton) and an imposing interior force who will have many fine days in the America East (Jameel Warney).
Yet there was Maryland, shredding Stony Brook for much of the first half. Outside shooting, a sore point for swaths of non-conference play, was sizzling as the Terps were 7 of 12 from 3-point range. Turnovers, a puzzling bugaboo to Turgeon even as assists piled up, were not a concern.
When the Terps established a 56-36 lead with 17:54 to go, a full-fledged rout was unfolding. Considering it was against a quality team, it was arguably Maryland’s most impressive stretch of the season.
But things did not go smoothly. The Seawolves made it difficult for Maryland to feed Len in the post. The shooting cooled to some extent. And Stony Brook exploited vulnerability in the Terps’ post defense to narrow the lead more and more and more.
“We haven’t been as challenged as we would have liked to have been challenged these last couple games. … ,” Wells said. “Stony Brook is probably one of the best teams we’ve played this year. They made some tough shots. They executed down the stretch. Luckily for us, we locked down a little bit at the end.”
Just in time, it turned out. Stony Brook closed within 71-69 with 33.1 seconds left, only for Maryland to make five of six foul shots down the stretch while the Seawolves missed their final three 3-pointers.
“Sometimes, when it starts to go the other way, it’s hard to stop it and we couldn’t stop it,” Turgeon said. “But give them credit. They’re good. They’re going to win a lot of games.”
It could, perhaps, be the best team Maryland upends in its non-conference schedule (George Mason will also be in the running for that honor). At the very least, it was the final serious hurdle for the Terps before conference play begins.
Maryland has won 10 straight for the first time in more than a decade, and it is still sorting out just who it will be when ACC play commences. It needs steadier play at power forward from the likes of James Padgett and Charles Mitchell, and there was a hint of a narrowing of the Terps’ 10-man rotation when forward Jake Layman didn’t play in the second half.
For Turgeon’s purposes, there was little to seriously complain about Friday – either dealing with surviving Stony Brook or thriving over the first third of the season.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Patrick Stevens has covered Maryland and other Mid-Atlantic college sports for more than a decade. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- George Mason's defense dissipates in 84-74 loss to Northeastern
- Maryland's Pe'Shon Howard willing to let others put ball in the basket
- At 7-5, George Mason looks on the bright side entering CAA play
- Terps beat IUPUI, set for ACC after final tuneup
- Maryland's Jake Layman shows signs of progress in freshman season
Latest Blog Entries
U.S. appetite for drugs begets violence migrants are fleeing
- IRS seeks help destroying another 3,200 computer hard drives
- D.C. appeals panel deals big blow to Obamacare subsidies
- 'Straight White Guy Festival' supposedly set for Ohio park
- Hamas terrorists wear Israeli army uniforms to ambush soldiers in Gaza
- Tony Dungy doubles down on Michael Sam remarks: 'Drafting him would bring much distraction'
- Beretta moving to Tennessee over Maryland gun laws
- DEACE: How to go from civil rights icon to bigot in one quote
- YOUNG: A sinking presidency, deeper after November?
- LYONS: Small-arms treaty, big Second Amendment threat
- Rep. Jared Polis' anti-fracking crusade riles Colorado
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq