Everything was clicking for the Maryland men’s basketball team early on.
However, the Terrapins needed a late defensive effort to beat Connecticut 76-66 in the Jimmy V Classic. Guard Melo Trimble led the way for Maryland with a game-high 25 points to go along with three assists and three rebounds.
Maryland forced UConn to miss their final four shots over the last 1:51 to fend off the late rally.
One of the most intriguing aspects of the game was the fact that the Terps out-rebounded the Huskies 45-22. Maryland also pulled down 14 offensive boards to that of five from UConn.
Maryland really came to play in the first half due in large part to the offensive success of Trimble and center Diamond Stone. The duo combined to score 22 of the team’s first 27 points, including the first nine points of the game.
The Terps also had a great deal of success on the glass as they out-rebounded the Huskies 24-12. Stone led the team in points (12) and rebounds (6) in the opening half, which helped to give Maryland a 38-22 lead at halftime.
It also didn’t hurt that Connecticut shot just 30.4 percent (7-of-23) from the field in the first half, including just one make from beyond the arc. Huskie guards really couldn’t get anything going as they only connected on five of their 17 field goal attempts. Guard Rodney Purvis didn’t make a single shot.
Maryland also didn’t have to rely on their outside shooting too much as they only attempted nine shots from beyond the arc. Forward Jared Nickens splashed home two of his three attempts from beyond the three-point line.
Despite not being able to establish any offensive consistency in the first half, UConn drilled six of their first nine shots in the second half. Guard Daniel Hamilton and forward Shonn Miller combined to score 10 of the Huskies’ first 12 points of the half.
UConn went on a 9-2 run to cut Maryland’s lead to 48-39 after a Sterling Gibbs layup that came off a bad pass.
With 11:21 remaining in the game, the Terps responded with a 7-2 run of their own. The outburst was highlighted by four points from Trimble.
The Huskies were able to get the game as close as 67-64 with just 2:44 to go. The Terps responded by rattling off five consecutive points, courtesy of a trio of free throws from Trimble and a layup from Rasheed Sulaimon.
Miller did counter with a dunk with 1:51 left, but that would be the final points of the game for the Huskies.
Maryland returns home on Saturday for an evening matchup with Maryland Eastern-Shore.