MGREENSBORO, N.C. —- Maryland freshman Hauk Palsson knew two days before the Terrapins’ ACC tournament opener against N.C. State he would get the chance to make a rare start.
He wasn’t about to squander his opportunity.
Palsson scored five points while matching a career high in minutes (20) to help Maryland secure a 75-67 victory and advance to the ACC quarterfinals.
“I was really excited,” Palsson said. “I just wanted to bring it.”
That he did. Palsson scored five points in the first 70 seconds as the Terps seized a lead they would never relinquish. He also added three rebounds.
It was Palsson’s first start since getting the nod Jan. 22 against Clemson. He played at least 15 minutes for only the fourth time —- once early in the season against Maine, and then in the Terps’ matching blowout defeats of Wake Forest.
“He’s a streak player,” Williams said. “He brings some excitement, one way or the other, to the game. He was great early. That got us off to a good start. That was tremendous. Then the other guys behind him stepped up and Hauk made a couple really good inbounds passes for us down the stretch there. He played and it’s great to see him do that as a freshman to walk on the court in the ACC tournament and play that well.”
Palsson’s greatest contribution was arguably his defensive work on N.C. State’s Scott Wood. The Wolfpack forward scored 15 points —- all on 3-pointers —- in the teams’ meeting last month.
This time, he had only four points and shot 0-for-6 from 3-point territory. His vexation grew as the second half unwound, something that became apparent to Palsson as well.
“A little bit,” Palsson said. “I know if you’re a shooter and you don’t get your shot, you get a little frustrated. I’m like that, too. You just have to keep going.”
—- Patrick Stevens