Maryland came out of the gate hitting on all cylinders in the first half Wednesday. Even with Stoglin, the ACC's leading scorer, coming off of the bench, the Terps managed to distance themselves from the Demon Deacons by ripping off a 16-3 run midway through the half.
Instrumental in the Terps' first half explosion was redshirt freshman forward Ashton Pankey. Pankey, who finished the game with nine points and nine rebounds, was all over the paint early on, grabbing tough boards over bigger opponents and earning multiple trips to the charity stripe.
The Terps' play on the defensive side of the ball in the first half was just as outstanding as their offensive performance. C.J. Harris, the ACC's second leading scorer, was held to only two points in the first 20 minutes by the stifling Terrapin defense. Harris, who came into the game averaging a tad under 20 points per game, managed a mere 10 points on the evening.
Facing a 40-24 deficit at the half, Wake responded in a big way in the game's final 20 minutes. Travis McKie, a sophomore forward, began to knock down shots from all over the court, ending up with a team-high 25 points and seven rebounds. Perhaps more importantly, Wake's 7-foot center, Ty Walker, established himself as a defensive presence in the paint, ending the night with eight block shots.
Wake crawled back slowly but surely, cutting the 16-point deficit to eight, then seven, then five, getting as close as 55-51 with just under two minutes remaining. Yet, in the end their efforts proved to be too little too late.
Maryland's less than superb shooting on the night aided the Wake comeback, but the Terps' first half run proved the difference maker in their first conference win of the season.
The Terps shot 21-of-60 (35.0%) from the floor on Wednesday and 4-of-15 from beyond the arc. Free throw shooting again left much to be desired as Maryland shot 24-for-37 (64.9%) from the line. Despite another 20-point performance Wednesday, Terrell Stoglin was a shaky 6-for-18 from the field.
ACC rookie of the week Alex Len had a quiet night, going for five points, two rebounds and three blocks.
Maryland will now prepare for a showdown on Sunday at 4 p.m. with Georgia Tech (7-8, 0-1 ACC).