The new year has not exactly gone as the Maryland Terrapins have planned. After going on a 13 game winning streak extending from November 12th to January 5th, the Terrapins have now lost two straight after being manhandled by the Miami Hurricanes Sunday night, 54-47. The point total was Maryland’s lowest of the season, which was mostly due to their 14-point first half (also a new low).
The Terrapins only made six shots in the first half, missing 22 for a grand total of 21% from the field. Fortunately for the Terps, Miami didn’t fare much better than that, hitting only 8-of-29 shots from the floor in the first half. That, essentially, was the only reason the Terrapins were even in the game. Put simply, it took until the 12 minute mark in the second half for Miami to hit the 30 point mark thanks to a Rion Brown jumper that brought the Hurricanes their biggest lead of the game — of six. The game was sloppy, and no one was doing very well.
The Terrapins, meanwhile, finally scratched the 30 point mark after Dez Wells did his best Supeman impersonation by scoring seven consecutive points over a six minute period in the second half. A Logan Aronhalt three pointer and two more Wells free throws (and these were the only points scored over eight minutes) cut the Hurricanes lead to 41-36 with just under three minutes to play. Sadly, there just wasn’t enough gas in the tank for the Terrapins to complete the comeback.
No matter what the Terrapins did, Kenny Kadji and Trey McKinney Jones did whatever was necessary to lead their team to victory. Kadji finished with 14 points, and hit back-to-back three pointers to start the game and put Maryland in a hole straight away. His stingy defense also helped the Terrapins to commit seven turnovers in the first ten minutes of the game.
McKinney Jones, meanwhile, had 12 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists (on no turnovers) and definitively dominated Maryland. He had some scores over Alex Len, he had some scores over Dez Wells, and the Terrapins really struggled to contain his playmaking ability.
On the Maryland side of things, Dez Wells was realistically the only player doing much of anything against Miami, finishing with 18 points and 5 rebounds. Were it not for him, the Terrapins would not have been in this game at all. Still he had some bad turnovers that killed momentum as well. Len, meanwhile, was invisible except for the final two minutes of the game when the outcome was close to being decided. He finished with 16 points and 9 rebounds, but also had four turnovers and failed to make much of an impact on the game.
Len and Wells had 13 made shots. The rest of the team? Five.
Up next, the Terrapins don’t have it any easier as they take on a North Carolina State team that just beat the #1 team in the nation. The two teams face on Wednesday, January 16th at Comcast Center on ESPN2 (7 PM tip-off). With any hope, they can right the ship.