This weekend proved to be a statement weekend for head coach Kevin Willard and the Terps after defeating Saint Louis then Miami to win the Basketball Hall of Fame Tipoff Tournament. After defeating Saint Louis by 28 points, Maryland handled Miami in a 88-70 win as the Terps moved to 5-0 on the season.
Big Men Shine In The Win
After setting a new career high thanks to 25 points against Saint Louis, senior forward Donta Scott picked up right where he left off as he finished with a game-high 24 points.
Scott would take a game-high 15 points into the locker room thanks to 5-of-6 shooting while tying Julian Reese for a team-high five rebounds at the break, but it was how he scored that was most impressive. Scott knocked down a pair of early three pointers, one in transition and one a spot-up jumper, while also reaffirming why he’s a matchup nightmare after backing down in the paint to score at the rim.
The senior also became the latest Terp to eclipse 1,000 career points after doing so in the closing minutes of the first half.
He wasn’t alone, though, as Julian Reese helped get the Terps going in both halves. The sophomore forward reeled in an offensive rebound and surrounded by three Miami defenders, fought through contact for an and-one opportunity to open the Terps’ scoring. After Nigel Packed knocked down the first bucket of the second half, Reese responded with another bucket in the paint to open the scoring once again. Reese was also able to take advantage of his matchups thanks to the guard-heavy lineups from the ‘Canes, allowing him to find success off ball screens and the pick-and-roll for easy buckets at the rim.
The Baltimore native was assertive inside and showed signs of becoming the rim protector that Maryland will need from him this season after recording one block and altering several more inside. That helped Maryland control the glass with a 39-20 advantage, including a 22-8 advantage in the first half.
Hot Shooting Leads Maryland
After shooting over 50% from the field and 40% from deep against Saint Louis, Maryland’s offense picked up right where it left off as the Terps shot 55% from the field and converted seven of its first 13 attempts from three. The buckets came a variety of ways, whether it was a triple from Donta Scott in transition, an open three from Don Carey or Jahmir Young spotting up. After seven lead changes through the opening eight minutes, Maryland’s hot shooting helped create the first bit of separation thanks to an 8-0 run sparked by Scott and Carey. In fact, three triples from Carey over a three-minute stretch midway through the first half helped Maryland establish its first double-digit lead and prompted Miami to call a timeout. Maryland would go on to shoot 62.5% from the floor, including 7-of-13 from deep, in the first half to take a 13-point lead into the locker room.
That carried into the second half as Maryland shot 60% from the field in the second half and led by as many as 20 points, helping create a comfortable cushion through the final 20 minutes.
Turnovers Prove Costly
The lone negative from Maryland’s performance were 18 turnovers, including 11 in the first half, as the Terps’ miscues allowed Miami to chip away at the lead with under ten minutes remaining. Maryland opened the second half taking better care of the ball with the first turnover coming off a Jahari Long pass just under the 12-minute mark, but seven turnovers over the final 7:10.
Still, Maryland never led by less than ten points since the 2:47 mark and a big reason for that was dominating on the glass with a 39-20 advantage, including 11 offensive rebounds. That helped the Terps edge the ‘Canes 40-32 in the paint and gave Maryland 18 second-chance points, which Miami head coach Jim Larranaga pointed to as a catalyst to the Terps’ win. Donta Scott finished with a game-high eight rebounds and was one of four players (Don Carey, Jahmir Young, Julian Reese) to amass at least five rebounds in the win.
Next: Maryland will host Coppin State on Friday, Nov. 25 for a 4 PM tipoff.
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