It wasn’t pretty and it certainly was not encouraging, but Maryland took down the Florida Atlantic Owls 66-62 Saturday afternoon at Comcast Center. Jake Layman finished with 22 points on the day and sealed the Maryland win with a last minute 3 pointer to put the Terps up for good.
Layman, who had previously been on a bit of a cold streak shooting, connected on four of his seven three point attempts and was 8-of-14 for the game. Layman was all over the court though, and was easily this game’s MVP. His six rebounds, two blocks, and two steals gave him an all-around game that Maryland needed most when the shots weren’t falling down.
The Terps shot a brutal 39.7% from the field, and while Dez Wells, Charles Mitchell, and Shaquille Cleare each had ten points apiece, no one player performed up to adequate standards on the offensive end. Evan Smotrycz, who came into the game averaging 13.1 points per game and hitting 45% of his shots, was only 1-for-12 on the night, missing on all six of his three point attempts. His disappearance offensively was almost a damning fact for the Terps.
Florida Atlantic had their own offensive struggles, however. As a team, they only shot 39% from the floor despite getting another solid effort by Pablo Bertone (21 points) and Marquan Botley (18 points). The Owls made a push in the second half by getting hot from three point range, finishing 9-of-22 as a team.
In the end, it may well have been Maryland’s lack of turnovers that ensured this victory for them. The Terps only turned it over nine times in Roddy Peters second consecutive start at point guard, and managed to marginalize the mental mistakes that so often plague this team. Only Peters, Layman, and Faust and more than two turnovers. As a result, Maryland took seven more shots than Florida Atlantic.
The Terps were also very active on the offensive boards, grabbing 16 offensive rebounds (though they failed to finish plenty of their second chance points). Smotrycz had seven rebounds, Layman with six, and Wells had another six for the Terps.
The win was ugly, but a win is a win. The Terps get a nice week long break before they take on Boston University next Saturday. Hopefully they’ll be able to fix some errors in that time span.