'Your papers, please' must never be heard in America
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Tied at halftime, the Terrapins (23-12) used a 21-2 run to take a 56-38 lead before coasting to the finish. Second-seed Maryland next hosts the winner of the Ohio-Denver game, held late Tuesday.
Wells was 9 of 13 from the field and 10 of 10 from the free throw line to lead the seventh-seeded Terrapins (22-11), who delivered the first big shocker of the week in Greensboro and advanced to the semifinals for the first time since 2009.
Wells scored 14 of his 21 points in the second half and Maryland beat pesky Wake Forest 75-62 on Thursday night in the first round of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament.
It was with much acclaim that Nick Faust arrived at Maryland, giving the Terrapins a homegrown swingman with length, range and a smooth handle — but not necessarily a floor general's vision.
Freshman guard Seth Allen overcame eight turnovers to finish with 16 points, including the winning free throws with two seconds remaining, and Maryland upset No. 2 Duke 83-81 on Saturday.
Joe Harris scored 22 points, and Virginia showed its flexibility with an uncharacteristic lights-out shooting performance in an 80-69 victory over Maryland on Sunday.
Maryland spread the wealth, with six players — Logan Aronhalt, Alex Len, Jake Layman, James Padgett, Seth Allen and Dez Wells — scoring in double figures. Aronhalt led the way with 13 points, while Padgett poured in 12 on 6-for-6 shooting in his second start of ACC play.
The stream of early season cupcakes didn't leave Maryland soft and weak Saturday when the Terrapins faced Virginia Tech in the Atlantic Coast Conference opener. Although opponents hadn't offered much resistance as Mark Turgeon's squad reeled off 12 consecutive wins, regular practice sessions made his team hard, strong and hungry to devour a real foe.
Freshman guard Jake Layman scored 18 of his 20 points in the decisive first half, and Maryland rolled past Virginia Tech 94-71 Saturday for its 13th consecutive victory.
Pe'Shon Howard might spend as much time in the Comcast Center media room as anyone on Maryland's roster. Even on days when the point guard doesn't duck in, though, he has a pretty good idea what sort of questions coach Mark Turgeon is fielding from scribes.
Maryland closed out nonconference play Tuesday with a 81-63 defeat of IUPUI, its 12th straight victory coming against the latest random and overmatched opponent to enter Comcast Center.
Maryland's conditioning opportunities decreased in early December, and freshman Charles Mitchell slipped a bit. He added a few pounds, grew a little more sluggish and found his playing time diminish significantly.
Mark Turgeon wanted the breakthrough to come this week. Actually, he probably wanted it a month earlier, but at this stage the sooner the better would suffice.
Mark Turgeon's thoughts drifted to Shaquille Cleare specifically and his team's depth in general as he navigated his way home from Verizon Center after Sunday's defeat of George Mason.
Mark Turgeon hadn't slept much in the two nights since his Maryland basketball team outlasted George Mason in the BB&T Classic, a game featuring more than a few turnover issues.
"I think the difference in the second half is that we came out with a lot more energy and got a lot of stops defensively," Allen said. "We start running in transition, and that really helped us."
"A lot of teams aren't fortunate enough to play in the postseason, so we just look at this as a good experience," Allen said.