August 8, 2020

Maryland Basketball: Terps head into Big Ten play rolling after beating Marshall

Between final exams and the holiday break, the Maryland Terrapins played one game in a two week span. Mark Turgeon was frank that both practices held on Saturday were not the greatest, as he tries to work his players back into shape. On the two-year anniversary of losing to the Marshall Thundering Herd in the Military Bowl, Maryland welcomed them into Xfinity Center for their last tuneup before Big Ten action. Despite a messy start, Robert Carter Jr. and Diamond Stone did impressive work down low to fuel a 87-67 victory.

Terrapins start off fast thanks to efficiency

Four minutes into the game Marshall was up 9-5 and the Terps figured that they had enough of that. Maryland rattled off an 18-2 run, thanks to four straight paint buckets that collapsed the defense into getting open looks from beyond the arc. The inside-out game is what Mark Turgeon envisions his offense getting the majority of their points off of next calendar year, and it has already shown it can be lethal. Maryland scored on seven of nine possessions on their way to 18 points in just over a four-minute span. Although that pace did not continue for the entire game, the Terps did hit their season high in scoring in the first half with 46.

Marshall makes their run when Maryland got sloppy

College basketball is a game of runs, and even less talented teams like the Thundering Herd are going to at some point put together a stretch of made buckets. It certainly does not hurt when the opponent starts to have a few careless turnovers. The Terps turned the ball over three times in just over a minute of game time, which gave Marshall easy transition buckets before their shots from beyond the arc finally started to fall. In a three-minute span, Maryland saw its lead shrink to a single point after Marshall’s 12-0 run.

Maryland settled things down before the half with a 9-0 run that gave them a comfortable 46-36 lead at intermission.

(Photo by: Diamondback)

(Photo by: Diamondback)

Robert Carter Jr.’s continued dominance was well worth the wait

For the Georgia native, sitting out last season “sucked a lot.” But instead of pouting over NCAA eligibility, Carter put in the work in the gym to reshape his body with the help of Kyle Tarp. Now Carter is putting himself back on many NBA team’s radar while averaging 12.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, and even two assists per game. Sunday he even better, as the Georgia Tech transfer went for 19 points, 8 rebounds, and two 3-pointers in just 24 minutes of play.

Diamond Stone continues to thrive “off the bench”

It has now been common practice for the top freshman recruit to come off the bench, while junior big Damonte Dodd gets early minutes off the bench. Dodd is a good defensive player, but often picks up suspect foul calls. As a result, Stone sees early minutes off the bench (i.e. 16:17 and 18:44 mark of each of the two halves Sunday). The Wisconsin native finished with 18 points on 8 of 10 shooting from the floor including several dunks and impressive finishes through double teams.

This game could have been a lot closer than it eventually was

If you just look at the final box score, you would have thought Maryland handled their business against an inferior team and all is good. The fact is though, that the Terps should have won by an even wider margin. None of the Thundering Herd starters stand taller than 6-foot-5, yet somehow Maryland gave up 13 offensive rebounds. A Terrapins team that is still building up their chemistry allowed themselves to be sped up by the Marshall defense that forced them into 17 turnovers, 10 of which were committed by either Melo Trimble or Rasheed Sulaimon.

If Marshall had been hot from beyond the arc, instead of just 19.4 percent (6 of 31), things could have been a lot tighter for the No. 4 team in the country.

Maryland finished the bulk of their non-conference schedule, with Bowie State still left in February, with just one loss. Now they will open Big Ten play with a Wednesday afternoon matchup with the Penn State Nittany Lions at 5 pm from Xfinity Center.

About Neil Dalal

Neil Dalal is a Staff Writer for District Sports Page covering the Redskins, Wizards, and Maryland Terrapins. Neil grew up in Silver Spring, MD and attends the University of Maryland. Neil has loved everything related to the Redskins, Wizards, Capitals, and Terrapins since he was eight years old. However, he favors the Orioles, as he started watching baseball before the Expos moved to DC. You can follow Neil on Twitter @NeilDalal96.

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