Maryland extended their winning streak to four games after a 70-53 win over Georgia Southern. It took more effort than it probably should have, but the Terps were able to survive an ugly first half to pull away in the second half. It took some halftime adjustments from Terrapins Head Coach Mark Turgeon, including using two guys off the bench to start the second, but ultimately, it worked.
"That wasn't a lot of fun, especially in the first half. We obviously weren't ready to play, physically and mentally in the first half." Said Turgeon
That much was true, after an uninspiring start to the game -- Georgia Southern opened up a 9-1 lead forcing Turgeon to call timeout -- and a rather boring first half in front of a half-empty arena, Turgeon's team rallied in the second half.
Mitchell was the one constant throughout the evening. During both halves of play Mitchell was the best player on the court. He finished with 13 points and 11 rebounds (5 offensive) and added a block on the evening. Turgeon mentioned how Mitchell wasn't very good in the last game against Lafayette, and they had a rough film session.
"We watched film and it wasn't a very fun film session for Charles and he responded in the right way." Said Turgeon.
Mitchell said that he thought he had a good game, but when he went to look at the film, he said every mistake he saw was one of his. Mitchell responded well, and clearly looks to have the lead on the first big man off the bench over Shaq Cleare.
Maryland's Rebounding Margin
This seems like it will be a staple of the "Good" category all season long, as Maryland has yet to lose the rebounding battle in a contest this season. Maryland finished with a 49 to 25 rebounding margin over Georgia Southern in the game on Saturday evening. Yet Coach Turgeon still didn't seem pleased.
"It's funny, it doesn't feel like we are out-rebounding them that much in the game. They had two offensive rebounds in a possession and I was ready to blow a gasket because I expect us to get every rebound." joked Turgeon.
While Turgeon knows the team cannot possibly get every rebound, the Terrapins have gotten to more offensive rebounds than the other team has had defensive rebounds for the second game in a row.
Maryland Found Its Designated Shooter
Maryland Terrapins fans, meet Logan Aronhalt. Logan, meet Terrapins fans. This is who you will be counting on to hit big shots. The senior transfer from Albany admits that the transition from being "THE guy" at Albany to being a guy getting spot minutes hasn't been easy, but he's getting accustomed to his role. Coach Turgeon mentioned that Aronhalt was in the gym at 8:00 a.m. Saturday morning working on his jump shot.
"[Laughs] I was actually at the gym at 10:00 am, I can't lie. I'm old, it takes my body longer to get loose." joked Aronhalt.
Maryland's Second Unit In The Second Half
After Maryland started the second half with Seth Allen, Logan Aronhalt, Nick Faust, Charles Mitchell and Alex Len, Turgeon sent a message to his team. Maryland's lead expanded from three at the half, to 16 by the time the second unit came in.
That second unit consisted of Pe'Shon Howard, Dez Wells, Jake Layman, James Padgett and Shaq Cleare. They couldn't keep that momentum up and eventually that 16-point lead was whittled away to seven. Howard, Wells and Layman all struggled from behind the arc.
The worst part about this second unit was the lack of anything creative offensively. Often, players would pass up wide-open shots around the perimeter in an attempt to be unselfish, but that would lead to a more contested shot.
Georgia Southern's Second Half Performance
Simply put, they got behind big out of the gate, and managed to claw their way back only to have the game get put out of reach as they missed shots from the perimeter. During their comeback they managed to close the gap by working the shot clock and finding the best shot possible.
Once the lead got back to double-digits late in the game they relied to heavily on their long-range shooting, but finished just 4-for-13 from three-point land.
The Thanksgiving Crowd
That's really the only negative, and it really isn't much of one. Crowds are always smaller around holidays because class isn't in session. The announced crowd was just slightly over 10,000 but it was silent at times -- and not just during free throws.
Maryland's first half was pretty ugly offensively, too, as they had eight assists to ten turnovers. Maryland's free throw shooting was also pretty poor on the evening at 64.7%.