The Maryland basketball team has endured a rugged Big Ten schedule so far this season.
However, the Terrapins will take a brief hiatus on Tuesday. Maryland will welcome Division II’s Bowie State to College Park for a 6 p.m. tilt.
The game time was moved up due to the impending weather.
Maryland have won their last four games and finished off a 2-0 week in which they beat Nebraska and No. 18 Purdue. The Terps were rewarded by being tabbed as the No. 2 team in the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches polls on Monday afternoon.
Maryland’s most recent victory against Purdue didn’t come without perseverance.
The Terps trailed at halftime and at several points during the second half. The combination of forward Robert Carter and guard Rasheed Sulaimon proved to be lethal as the dynamic duo tallied 40 points between them.
Carter and Sulaimon scored 23 of those points in the second half when Maryland shot 45.8 percent (11-of-24) from the field. Both were extremely active and were able to create their own shots even when Purdue stepped up their defensive pressure.
It also didn’t hurt that the Terps nailed their final nine free throw attempts and shot 88.9 percent (24-of-27) at the charity stripe.
After a very hard-fought victory, Bowie State is definitely a welcome sight on the schedule. It will allow Maryland to work on basic fundamentals and get from playing time from some of its bench pieces.
After an 11-point effort against the Cornhuskers, forward Jared Nickens struggled against the Boilermakers as he only scored two points on 1-of-5 shooting from the floor. It’ll be a great chance to boost his confidence and find his three-point shot.
It’ll also provide additional playing time for guard Jaylen Brantley, who has seen his minutes fluctuate at times during the 2015-16 season. Brantley has only played three minutes over the last five games.
Varun Ram has seen significantly more minutes over that span.
While Tuesday’s game shouldn’t be a very close one, Bowie State does have a few players that are consistent contributors.
Senior guard Justin Beck is the Bulldogs’ leading scorer (14.8 points-per-game) as well as their leading rebounder (6.1 rebounds-per-game). Beck is a very efficient guard, who is shooting 45.8 percent from the floor.
Senior forward Jordan Goodman is an undersized low post threat and is somewhat of a mismatch for most bigs, much like Carter. Goodman is about 20 pounds lighter, but provides a scoring punch (13.7 ppg/5.3 rpg).
With four players averaging in double figures, Bowie State certainly has a vaunted offensive attack. The Bulldogs do pretty well in the Division II ranks as they currently have a 13-9 record
This gives Maryland a nice little break before the final six games of the season, which features trips to Indiana, Minnesota, and Purdue. If the Terps want to win the Big Ten, this is the time that they need to be playing their best basketball.
A tuneup game against a team like Bowie State may be just what the doctor ordered for Maryland.