The Terrapins lollygagged for the first five fifteen minutes of the game. Fortunately for them their final five minutes of the first half were all they needed to pull away from Delaware State for good, as they finished on a 21-6 run that initiated the inevitable rout that transpired. The final score? 79-50, Terps.
On a Saturday afternoon that had the Delaware State team show up to Comcast Center less than an hour before tip-off, the Terrapins were the one to get off to a slow start. Delaware State took the lead early on thanks to the sharp shooting of Tajh Tate and Casey Walker, who had 9 and 7 points respectably in the first half. Tate finished the game with 20 points in total, but that simply wasn’t enough for them to maintain their pace. The Hornets were within five with only six minutes left in the half, but that was about as close as they got.
Led by a combination of Charles Mitchell’s brute force down low and Dez Wells playmaking, the Terrapins pulled away in the last five minutes of the first half and never looked back. Mitchell was virtually unstoppable on putbacks and low post scoring all afternoon, and in doing so he tied his career high of 13 points with around 12 minutes remaining in the second half. He finished up with 19 points on 8-of-12 shooting, and a fantastic 14 rebounds in easily his best game as a Terrapin.
Meanwhile Dez Wells was doing anything and everything to the Hornets, completing passes everywhere and finishing with an incredibly impressive all-around stat line: 10 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, and a block to boot. These types of performances Maryland fans have come to expect night in and night out (or in this instance, afternoon) from Wells. When he wasn’t making smooth passes to open guys in transition, Wells was taking the ball to the rack and pulling off a highlight reel dunk.
What was perhaps most impressive was the team effort that the Terrapins put together when they held the Hornets to 32% shooting on the afternoon. Of course, the Terrapins rank third in the NCAA in opponent FG%, so this was par for the course for the Terrapins. Collectively in their 1-3-1 zone, the Hornets were incapable of knocking down any jump shots, and were atrocious from long range as well, going 3-of-15 from three. The Hornets were also outrebounded 35-28 on the day.
All in all, a fantastic effort for a Maryland team that recovered just fine from a gritty win a few days ago against Stony Brook. With one game left until ACC play begins, it’s hard to be upset with their performance to this point. Next on the docket is IUPUI on New Year’s day, a game that the Terrapins are considered heavy, heavy favorites in. After that, the meat and potatoes of the schedule begins and the Terps take on Virginia Tech on January 5th.