Maryland survives a barrage of three pointers from Lafayette to hold off the upset-minded Leopards en route to a 83-74 victory.
Maryland has been in the news because of their move to the Big Ten, but they had to play an actual basketball game on Tuesday night and put the conference realignment discussion on hold, if only for a few hours around campus. The Terrapins struggled on the night, but not enough to make it a close game. The final score shows Maryland winning by nine points, but they led by as many as 19 in the middle of the second half.
Lafayette was on fire from downtown Tuesday night and the Terps could do little about it.
"We didn't make a jump shot and didn't make many free throws, but we still managed 83 points so we did something right." Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said after the game. He also added "They were good, I don't know if last year we come out of this game with a win."
Maryland's big men again dominated the boards against a smaller Lafayette front court. Maryland won the rebounding battle by double digits -- outrebounding Lafayette 44-28. Maryland grabbed 19 offensive rebounds, while Lafayette grabbed just 13 defensive rebounds, a tough statistic to pull off.
The Win For Maryland
As Turgeon pointed out in his press conference, he didn't think his team last year would have won this game. It shows the improvement that Maryland has made in such a short period of time. With last year's team, Terrell Stoglin would have tried to take this game over, but this year the team was balanced and found a way to win.
Lafayette Beyond The Arc
Lafayette shot a scintillating 47% from three on Tuesday, which kept them in the game. They actually made more three-point attempts than two-point attempts. Three players on Lafayette's roster made multiple three-pointers and six players total made shots beyond the arc.
Maryland's Shot Selection
If you're shooting 20% from three-point range, at some point you have to start driving to the basket. Maryland did in the second half and was able to put Lafayette away despite often trading three-for-two -- which never caught up with them after the lead they were able to build up.
"We have good shooters, it just wasn't our night." said Turgeon.
Maryland's Free Throw Shooting
This is going to continue to be a problem. Not really much can be said about it at this point except for the consistency with which Maryland shoots free throws, around 67%.
Allowing an opponent to shoot 15-of-32 from downtown is unacceptable and Turgeon said as much. Things were exacerbated by the Terps lack of shooting on the other end. Meanwhile, the Terps gave up an above average amount of offensive rebounds and second chances to the Leopards.
The Game in General
Maybe it was the lack of a true crowd because of Thanksgiving. Maybe it was the Big Ten news being a distraction. Neither team played their best game out on the floor on Tuesday. The game was by no means sloppy or unwatchable -- 83-74 is a high scoring game if you aren't named Grinnell -- but neither team looked like they cared for the full forty minutes.
Dez Wells joked that he was throwing passes too hard into the post, it was just that kind of night. Nick Faust said he played a poor game, but tried to improve things in the second half -- which, admittedly, Turgeon gave him credit for doing.