Terps Beat Oakland, 72-56. Cupcake Schedule Over. Now It’s Meat and Potatoes Time.

Entertainment, Sports and Bets — December 27, 2014 at 10:36 pm by

Maryland cruised to its twelfth victory of the season Saturday with a 72-56 win over Oakland University at the Xfinity Center in College Park.  The Terps ran out to a 37-19 halftime lead and even added to that margin to start the second frame, leading by as much as 23.  But Oakland made their run, getting as close as seven with just 3:49 remaining in the ball game.  But then Dez Wells took over.  Wells finished a fast break alley-oop from Melo Trimble with a thunderous dunk. Then, after another Oakland turnover, Wells went one-on-one to put the Terps back up eleven.  They should have just stopped the game then, because it was dunzo for the mid-major from Michigan.  The Oakland run had been quickly answered and the Terps would hold the Golden Grizzlies scoreless for the remainder of the contest.  The final showed a 16 point Maryland win, and Oakland did show heart with their second half run, but this game was never in doubt and that 16 point margin felt bigger.

oak 2

Maybe that’s because, suddenly, Maryland is expected to win, whereas in previous years every Terp fan was simply waiting for the guys in red and white to blow it, no matter who the opponent.  Last year’s team may have imploded once the lead fell to seven; this year’s team shuts the door on the defensive side, gets some big buckets on offense and makes everything look easy.  Things have changed quickly- and that’s a credit to Coach Turgeon and his impact recruits.

Now it’s on to bigger things, conference things. Maryland had dessert before sitting down to dinner this year.  The cupcakes have been polished off by a hungry Terp squad and the crumbs have been brushed off of the table.  There won’t be anymore Oakland’s on the schedule from here on out. Now, it’s meat and potatoes time and the Terps inaugural march through the Big 10 begins. It should be interesting to see how conference play pans out. Maryland, despite an overall easy schedule, has been tested. Maryland did face two ranked teams in this early season slate of games and they went 1-1 against them.  The Terps also have a nice road win versus Oklahoma State under their belt.  Maryland deserves its #15 ranking.  But now comes the games that really matter.  The conference foes and the birth of new rivals. And with the way this team has played and responded to injury and adversity, I think they’ll do just fine.  With the shooting skills they possess, the defensive intensity that they’ve showed in the last month, the clutch nature of Melo Trimble, the leadership of Dez Wells, and with the emergence of Jake Layman, I think this Maryland team has a ton of potential.  They can score from anywhere and they can defend- and that is usually a simple recipe for success.  Time for the Terps to sit down at this Big 10 table and eat, babes.

Game Notes

Dez Wells was eased into action, coming off the bench to log 22 minutes.  But he came up big late, as mentioned above, to finish with 10 points.  He’ll be starting Tuesday at Michigan State, I can guarantee that.

Melo Trimble finished with a game-high 17 points after going 5 of 6 from three-point land.  Money, babes.

When the offense goes through Jake Layman, things look awfully smooth.  Layman had 15 points on 6 of 9 shooting.  He continues to show his full arsenal.  Three pointers, face-up jumpers, post-up moves, and aggressive drives to the bucket.  He also pulled down 12 rebounds to post back-to-back double-doubles.  Beast.

oak 1

The Terps shot 50% from the field, 40% from three, and 87.5% from the foul line.

Next up: At Michigan State.  Tuesday, 5 p.m.

 

cover: sun

stats: espn