Terps score on Valentines day, Gopher much needed win 72-59
Aaron Wiggins and Maryland went hunting for a victory last night as they brought home Gopher for Valentines day. It might not be considered a traditional gift, but it was exactly what every Maryland fan wanted from the evening. It had defensive intensity, it had more scoring that it was used to, and it even had some early action from the Terps bench.
Every game from here on out is considered a much-needed win for Maryland as they hope to keep their March Madness hopes alive late in the season. Maryland fans are left wondering which team will show up when the ball is tipped.
Despite the lack of depth at the forward and center position, Maryland has been one of the better defensive teams in the country. While some of the numbers may be confusing, anyone who watches Maryland play can recognize defense as their strength and the most consistent part of their game this season. The major question headed into any game this year has been about their offense.
Within only a matter of minutes, it did not take long to realize that Maryland had the potential to put together something special as Mark Turgeon put out a faster lineup that led to a quick double digit lead and an early Reese Mona sighting. Upon entering the game, Galin Smith palmed a attempted basket on the defensive side and was rewarded with a two handed jam on the other end.
Galin Smith played his best game as a Terp coming off the bench going 4-of-4 shooting and putting the pressure on Robinson the entire night. Smith has been the subject of some scrutiny this season as he seems to be out of his depth with the bigs of the Big 10, but if he continues to play as he did tonight, he could provide a spark that Maryland has lacked all season long.
Aaron Wiggins has made his claim as the Terps go to player on offense. Last years Big 10 sixth man of the year is the man for Maryland this year. Wiggins led Maryland with seventeen points overall, but most notably nailed a three in the second half the end any hope of Minnesota making a comeback. “We executed on offense. We had a lot of good looks and guys were playing with confidence.”
Darryl Morsell has appeared to cling to his role as a defensive stopper by locking down Marcus Carr and holding him to only nine points. Carr, who averaged almost twenty points per game was held to 26.7% shooting on the night and never seemed to get momentum with Morsell in his face the entire game. Morsell, a senior leader, is making his case for an All Big 10 defensive team award if he can continue to his play in these final few games.
After not playing for a week, Maryland looked as if they had legs to keep pace the entire game. Not only that, but Mark Turgeon had a clear plan to incorporate his bench early to help provide some sustainability throughout the matchup. This is important as Maryland plays back to back home games against Nebraska both tomorrow and Wednesday before battling Rutgers this Sunday at “The Rak”.
Maryland plays at home against Nebraska tomorrow at 7:00 pm.