The Maryland basketball team hasn’t exactly excelled on the offensive end as of late.
In Tuesday’s win over Rutgers, it all seemed to click for the Terrapins.
Maryland made 54.4 percent (31-of-57) of their shots throughout the game. The group also shot 40 percent (8-of-20) from beyond the arc.
The Terps got off to a hot start early on. They connected on six of their first 11 shots and raced out to a 14-10 lead.
Anthony Cowan excelled in the early going as he scored five of the team’s first seven points. That also included a three-pointer from a guy that was only shooting 28.8 percent from long-range.
Cowan dished a beautiful pass to a cutting Justin Jackson right around the basket. Jackson missed the layup and proceeded to miss the put back as well.
The ball was tipped out to Cowan, who was standing behind the three-point line and he didn’t miss. Cowan also proved to be fearless when he drove to the basket.
Cowan and Melo Trimble really led the way as they were prime facilitators for the Terps. Trimble had a game-high seven assists while Cowan added three of his own.
Many of the recipients of the crisp passing were members of Maryland’s frontcourt.
Ivan Bender and LG Gill each had 10 points and only missed a single shot between the two of them. Both Bender and Gill were very active around the basket and always seemed to be in position for a high percentage look.
For example, with 15:27 left in the first half, Bender and Trimble executed the perfect pick-and-roll. Trimble hovered around the three-point line and Bender stepped up for a beautiful pick.
Trimble then drew the defense as he drove baseline and dished it off to a cutting Bender for the easy floater. Bender ended up making five of his six shots throughout the game.
While Maryland did play well in the first half, the second frame was really where the Terps pulled away.
Maryland outscored Rutgers 47-31 in the second half and shot 56.3 percent (18-of-32) from the floor. In addition, they converted 50 percent (6-of-12) of their shots from beyond the arc.
The Terps were successful on their first three field goal attempts in the second half. Just over a minute into the half, Kevin Huerter splashed home a three off a pass from Jackson and it was followed by one from Trimble.
Huerter ended up scoring eight points and grabbing four rebounds. He shot the ball much better from the perimeter than he has in a quite a few games.
The Clifton Park, NY native hit two of his four attempts from beyond the arc.
Maryland ended up jumping out to a 10-point lead and kept it there and beyond throughout the remainder of the contest. The Terps led by as many as 22 points in the final minutes.
The Terps had seven players that scored at least eight points in the game. With the way Cowan and Trimble were handing out assists, there wasn’t necessary for any one player to shoulder the scoring load.
This is the kind of team basketball that Maryland is going to need to play going forward.
Maryland closes out the regular season against a Michigan State team that is currently on the NCAA Tournament bubble. It’s almost a certainty that Tom Izzo will have the Spartans ready to go on Saturday afternoon.