Damonte Dodd isn’t going to make flashy plays in most games.
Even with Melo Trimble going off for a career-high 32 points, Dodd may have been Maryland’s most important player down the stretch against Northwestern on Wednesday.
In 29 minutes, Dodd registered 12 points (5-of-6 shooting), six rebounds, and two blocks. The senior center also didn’t turn the ball over in Maryland’s 74-64 win.
There were a few plays that really stuck out in terms of the impact that Dodd had.
The Terps were able to jump out on the Wildcats early and raced out to a 9-2 lead. However, Northwestern hung around during the first half and made life difficult for Maryland at times.
With 2:54 left in the opening half, Northwestern’s Gavin Skelly launched a three that glanced off the side of the rim and into the arms of Kevin Huerter. Huerter sent the ball up to Anthony Cowan in transition, who took it right to the rim.
Cowan’s layup attempt went up off the backboard, but didn’t go down. However, Dodd raced to the basket and tipped it in to give Maryland a 27-16 lead.
After Justin Jackson intercepted an Isiah Brown pass, the ball eventually found its way into the hands of Trimble. Trimble drove right to the basket, but dropped the ball off at the last second.
Dodd emphatically slammed the ball through the cylinder to put the Terps back up by nine points in the final minute of the first half.
Maryland led by as many as 20 points with under eight minutes to go. However, that didn’t stop Northwestern from storming back to make it a game again.
Over the next five minutes, the Wildcats outscored the Terps 13-4 and cut the lead to single digits at 66-57. That’s when the Maryland big man took center stage once again.
Trimble dumped the ball down to Huerter, who was finally able to get position on Bryant McIntosh. Huerter drove into the paint and let a fadeaway jumper go.
Huerter’s shot hit the back of the rim and came down. Dodd was right under the basket and wouldn’t be denied on the glass.
As soon as Dodd grabbed the big rebound, he put it right back up off the backboard and it went down. Maryland held a 68-57 lead with 2:04 remaining and it was the Terps’ first bucket in over two minutes.
The Wildcats ended up making just one field goal the rest of the way.
Doddzillais making his presence felt down low for @TerrapinHoops.
— Maryland On BTN (@MarylandOnBTN) February 16, 2017
This was a game where Maryland ended Dodd late even with the phenomenal performance from Trimble. Forward Michal Cekovsky only played two minutes, but still managed to accrue four fouls in that short amount of time.
Dodd’s offensive rebound and putback almost proved to be symbolic of the game. His determination showed that Maryland wouldn’t be denied of this win.
Dodd affects the game in so many ways. On a night where Maryland didn’t get a lot of production inside aside from when Trimble drove to the basket, his performance was huge.
Having a senior presence in the middle like Dodd can only help this young Maryland team as March draws near.