The Maryland basketball team definitely didn’t make things easy in their 67-55 win over Rutgers on Tuesday.
The Scarlet Knights proved that they are a scrappy bunch, but the Terrapins were able to outscore them 33-26 in the second half. Rutgers is still searching for their first road win as member of the Big Ten.
Despite a slow start, there were plenty of positives from a Maryland perspective. Here are a few notes from the contest.
1. Mark Turgeon rolls 11 deep; Cekovsky and Wiley return
One positive to come from this game was to see Michal Cekovsky and Dion Wiley both back in action, even for a brief period. The two Terps have been sidelined for several games due to injury as of late.
Cekovsky tallied four minutes and Wiley played just two. The low minutes are still a good sign for Terps fans because that means that these two are closer to being fully available for Turgeon to use in games moving forward.
The bench has stepped up nicely recently. It seems like a different player from the bench provides a spark on offense for the Terps in each game.
Ivan Bender, Jaylen Brantley, and L.G. Gill all made two field goals off the bench. Gill was able to hit a corner three right before the half to put the Terps ahead 34-29 going into the break, which proved to be a key bucket.
2. Huerter finishes with all-around outing
Kevin Huerter tied Melo Trimble with a team-high 34 minutes and made the most of them even with his shot not falling as consistently as he would have liked.
Huerter finished with 11 points, eight rebounds, and six assists. On multiple occasions, Huerter was able to dribble penetrate the Rutgers defense and dish it to the open man or finish himself around the rim.
Huerter consistently has shown each game his ability to be a solid contributor in all facets of the game. He is arguably one of the highest IQ basketball players on Maryland’s roster.
3. Terps finding the touch from deep
Maryland leads the Big Ten in conference play in three-point field goal percentage with a 41 percent clip.
On Tuesday, Maryland connected on 8-of-20 attempts, which was good for just a hair under their average at 40 percent. When Maryland is hitting their shots from deep, they can be a dangerous and tough team to guard.
The key is that the Terps are not settling for the threes early in the shot clock. That was huge against a team like the Scarlet Knights that defends very well.
Maryland is the most effective hitting from deep when they work the shot in their normal offense. When the right look comes, take it in the flow of the offense and try not to force it.
Maryland will look to notch their sixth straight win on Saturday when they travel to play a much-improved Minnesota team on the road.