It wasn't pretty in the first half, but Maryland managed to pull away in the second half en route to a 91-74 victory over the LIU-Brooklyn Blackbirds. It was a balanced effort all-around from the Terrapins. All ten players that stepped on the court for Maryland scored Friday night, and the Terrapins had three guys score in double-figures.
Maryland coach Mark Turgeon did point out that he had to ride the hot hand of Seth Allen tonight. The freshman finished with a career-high 19 points to lead the team in scoring. Allen finished five-for-six from behind the arc on the evening and also finished with four assists.
A big reason Allen was able to hit so many threes was the deft passing from Pe'Shon Howard, who looks like he is fully recovered from a knee injury that ended his season last year. Howard filled up the stat sheet on Friday night, finishing with 7 points, 7 rebounds, 13 assists and 2 steals. His 13 assists are a team-high for the year, and the highest from a Maryland player since the Greivis Vasquez days.
"It was great to finally get in to double digits. I have great scorers all around me, so it makes my job so much easier when I am in control," Howard said of his 13 assists after the game.
Turgeon was pleased with the second half, especially the way the Terrapins shared the ball, but noted that the first half was sloppy and the defense needed to do a better job containing the Blackbirds in the second half. Overall, Turgeon seemed happy with his rotation tonight, and he really had no choice but to leave Allen in at the expense of Logan Aronhalt and Jake Layman.
Turgeon noted that the second-half lineup to close out the game was one the Terps didn't practice with much, but it worked to their advantage. The smaller lineup may be rare, but was great at closing out the game, especially with everyone playing at such a high level.
Maryland's Second Half Performance
As Turgeon pointed out, the second half was much better offensively from the Terps, even though they let the Blackbirds get as close as seven points in the second half. The offense had 19 assists to just three turnovers in the second half, a marked improvement from the 9 assists to 12 turnovers they had in the first half. Allen's big second half, in which he scored 16 of his 19 points, were a huge reason the Terps were able to pull away.
Julian Boyd For LIU-Brooklyn
Boyd had his best game of the season so far for the Blackbirds against a tough Maryland front court. The 6'7 230-pound bruiser was a lot for Maryland's big men to handle. He was able to play all the way out to the three-point line, which gave Maryland trouble all night. He finished with 22 points and 8 rebounds -- which is no small feat against this Maryland team.
Alex Len Continues To Dominate
Len is a physical force inside, and continued his stellar play to start the season. Len brushed off talk after the game about him being a lottery pick (To be fair to Len, it is just three games in to the season). He finished with 18 points, 7 rebounds and 4 blocks on the evening.
The Student Section
After Turgeon and Dez Wells called the fans out following the game against Morehead State, the student section responded, filling up the sideline sections and extending about three-quarters up the wall behind one of the baskets. An impressive showing, despite the lack of paying customers. At times, it felt like a bigger crowd than it was just because of the students.
Maryland's First Half
In all fairness, the only bad part of the first half was the turnovers, but they killed any momentum Maryland had and ruined any chance of the Terps really pulling away in the first half.
LIU-Brooklyn's Shot Selection
They shot 42% for the game, a solid number against this Maryland defense, but they finished a terrible 28% from behind the arc. A lot of this came in the first half, when they shot just 2-for-13 from three. The Blackbirds could have made this a much closer game if they had just attacked Maryland more.
Maryland's Paid Attendance
I feel like this is going to be a constant throughout the non-conference schedule. The students held up their end of the bargain, the paying customers did not. 12,785 were in attendance tonight, and a good portion of that number were students. It will take time to get the fans back at the Comcast Center, but when they come back, I doubt they will be disappointed.