Sunday, November 29, 2015

More Players Star and Step Up in Another game last night as Carter & Nickens Lead the #2 Terps Past Cleveland State

I must say that in every game so far this year, someone else has stepped up to help lead the team to victory. Jake 'the man' Laymen had 16 total points in the opening night game vs Mount St. Mary's. (Melo) Tremble of course scored 24 points vs the Hoyas in that great Georgetown game and win in College Park two weeks ago. Diamond Stone looked like a seasoned veteran in the rider game while Robert Carter Jr. also had a great game that night. Rasheed Sulaimon led the team with 18 points and 17 points accordingly in the Illinois State game and in that Rhode Island game down in Cancun (everyone did well in the Rhode Island game) while Jared Nickens could not hit a three pointer in Cancun but he did amazing last night shooting with great confidence every time he had the ball in that position to do it. (Robert) Carter (Jr.) has been playing great all year but he starred last night leading the team with 17 total points with Nickens scoring 16 points. 

It has been a collective team effort that Mark Turgeon is coaching this year and honestly, this team is 8 to 9 players deep. There are 8 yo 10 players that would be starting on any other team and that will start in the next few years here at Maryland and for that hoop team.

It is great to be able watch them play every game, however, we have a huge one on Tuesday vs. the Tarheels in that Big Ten / ACC Challenge.

This is the best Maryland basketball team I have ever seen so far in my college and adult life time. Even over that championship team when we were really a top 15 team that surged in that tournament after being coached so well by Gary Williams. They were not losing that year in that tournament but they were beatable all year leading up to it. And, I saw Lenny Bias play a hundred times back in the 80's when  went to school in College Park.  This is the best overall team I have ever seen so far in or at Maryland.

There is a new player of the game in every game so far this year.

Courtesy Maryland Athletics

Anyway, regarding last nights game in College Park, Robert Carter had 17 points and eight rebounds to help the No. 2 Maryland men's basketball team beat Cleveland State 80-63 on Saturday night.

Jared Nickens added 16 points, and freshman Diamond Stone had a season-high 15 points for Maryland (6-0), set for a showdown with No. 9 North Carolina in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge on Tuesday night.

Demonte Flannigan scored 11 of his 20 points in the first half, and Rob Edwards added 14 points for Cleveland State (2-4), which was 3 of 12 (25 percent) from 3-point range. Vinny Zollo went 5 of 7 from the field and had 11 points for the Vikings.

Maryland led by just four at the break and took control by increasing the pressure to open the second half. A dunk by Stone capped an 8-0 run and the Terrapins led 45-33 with 17:06 left.

From there, the Terps used their size and depth to wear down the Vikings, who could not get closer than nine points the rest of the way. Nickens and Jake Layman hit 3-pointers and Maryland opened a 64-49 lead with 7:43 remaining.

The 6-foot-7 Flannagan picked up his fourth foul with just under 10 minutes left, hampering the Vikings at both ends of the court. A putback by Nickens and a pair of free throws boosted Terrapins' margin to 70-53 with 5:18 left and they were never threatened the rest of the way.

Maryland was 15 of 18 from the free-throw line and had a 27-22 rebounding edge.

Maryland had a tough time shaking a scrappy Cleveland State squad in the opening half and a jumper by Kenny Carpenter gave the Vikings their first lead, 25-24, with 8:03 left in the period. Nickens responded with three straight 3-pointers that helped the Terps take a 37-33 lead at halftime.

Maryland shot 14 of 23 (60.9 percent) in the opening half.

“Offensively I was really pleased tonight. We took care of the ball a little bit better and we only had 10 turnovers," head coach Mark Turgeon said. "We’re getting a lot of open shots. We grade contested shots and open shots and in the last couple games we’ve gotten 29 and 26 open shots. That’s hard to do. And we got a lot of open looks again today.

"Give Cleveland State credit. They made a lot of shots tonight and they just kept coming at us and shot a high percentage. I thought second half we were better defensively.”

The Terrapins won their 29th consecutive game at home against an unranked team and Maryland extended its winning streak in November to 16 games, having not lost since Nov. 17, 2013, against Oregon State (90-83).