The Maryland basketball team is coming off yet another nail-biting win.
Fortunately for the Terrapins, the road to Big Ten play gets a little easier beginning on Wednesday evening with a struggling Howard team.
Maryland topped Oklahoma State in another one-point by a 71-70 result. The Terps received key performances from some unexpected individuals as Jaylen Brantley and Damonte Dodd both finished in double figures.
Dodd may have been the most impressive player on the floor, especially in the second half. He scored 12 points and grabbed eight rebounds to go along with three blocks.
He was extremely aggressive around the rim and defended it just as well.
Brantley also chipped in 12 points and was the true definition of a wild card. He did a little bit of everything for the Terps in a game where Melo Trimble struggled shooting the basketball.
Maryland did struggle to connect from beyond the arc as they hit just 18.2 percent (4-of-22) of their long-range shots. They also had a down game from the free-throw line (65.5 percent).
Keys to the game
1.) Build an early lead – The biggest issue for Maryland has been having to play from behind early this season. They trailed by double digits in the second half against Oklahoma State and had to win the game in the final seconds. The Terps have to establish a sizable advantage early and cruise to an easy win. With a team like Howard that’s only won one game, it may not be the most difficult task.
2.) Dominate the glass – Maryland has struggled to take command in the rebounding department in several games this season. This is a group that is currently eighth in the Big Ten with 39.0 rebounds per contest. Forward Justin Jackson leads the team with 6.4 rebounds and has been one of the more effective Terps around the rim. Consistent rebounding production from Michal Cekovsky and Dodd are going to be needed down the stretch if this team wants to make a run in the NCAA Tournament in March.
3.) Make free throws – This is a fairly simple concept, but Maryland struggled to consistently make free throws against the Cowboys. The Terps missed 10 free throws, which is alarming for a group that is one of the better teams in the conference in that department. The most surprising was Anthony Cowan missing two of his eight attempts at the charity stripe. Cowan’s 69.2percent clip is going to have improve going forward due to his ability to get to the basket and get fouled.
Howard couldn’t have come at a better time for Maryland. After a taxing win over Oklahoma State, it’s an opportunity to impose their will and get some rest for their big guns. Howard has only won one game so far this season, but does possess a very talented guard in James Miller who averages 18.8 points a night.
The Terps definitely need to take control of this game early. Maryland is going to have to get into the passing lane and disrupt the Bison offense. After all, Howard averages 16 turnovers-per-game. If Maryland can get a double-digit lead in the first half, it’ll go a long way towards a victory. The Terps win this one 82-64.