The Maryland Terrapins improved to 5-1 on the season after an impressive 77-57 victory over the Northwestern Wildcats in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. The Terps, of course, were in somewhat of an odd predicament with last week's news that they would be joining the Big Ten. But on Tuesday night, they were just one of two teams to pick up wins for the ACC in the first six games of the Challenge.
Transfer Dez Wells should unquestionably make an impact on Mark Turgeon's team, but he got off to a bit of a sluggish start in the first week of the season. Since then, he's improved against several lesser opponents but on Tuesday, he had his best game as a Terp. Wells finished with a game-high 23 points, and was a key part of a Maryland run that pushed the lead to double digits in the first five minutes of the second half. From there, they would never look back, overwhelming the Wildcats with their superior athleticism and cruising to the 20-point win.
Wells was extremely efficient on the offensive end, hitting nine of 11 from the field and draining his only attempt from behind the arc. On the interior, it was Alex Len once again demonstrating his continued growth in his second season at Maryland. Len was simply too much to handle in the paint, and Northwestern could not match his size. The center tallied his second double-double of the season, pulling down 13 boards and scoring 13 points.
Northwestern relies on outside shooting to beat athletically superior teams and on this night, they were just six of 25 from three-point range. Their cold shooting ensured a convincing win for Turgeon and the Terps against the future conference foe.
Maryland will now face George Mason on Sunday in a DMV-area clash at the BB&T Classic.