Maryland defeated Penn State 76-73 Feb. 13. After the game, head coach Mark Turgeon addressed the media:
We played two games this week that have both been terrific basketball games. It was just a high level game, I thought Penn State was terrific. From beginning to end, maybe they had a stretch they didn’t feel good about to start the second half, but they came right back at us. My guys were great. We hung around the first half, finished the half the right way and started the second half off tremendously.
We had a lot of guys play well. Melo [Trimble] was terrific. Dez [Wells] was Dez. He’s starting to play, shared the ball. Jared [Nickens] gave us two big 3s. And our defense was good enough. I have to do a better job of adjusting our defense quicker, let them get back in it, our foul trouble hurt us a little bit because of it. But in the end it was a great win for us. Penn State had won three in a row at home, so I’m really proud of my group.
On defense at end of game
I did not consider fouling. There was so many plays in this game I can’t remember them all. Where we messed up again is the same thing we messed up the other night [against Indiana] where we’re up 4 and let Yogi [Ferrell] come down and hit a 3.
We were supposed to show hard on that ball screen, and my guy’s standing right in the paint, and I don’t know what he’s doing. Cuts it to 1, Melo gets it back and makes [a shot]. I felt comfortable at the end switching 1 through 5, and it was going to have to be a tough shot to beat us. If he made it, he made it, so … we’re getting better defensively.
Who was the big guy Turgeon was referring to in the question prior?
I don’t want to say (laughs).
On Dez Wells
Yeah, he was terrific. Getting to the rim, that’s Dez. We got to the rim a few times and they [PSU] made some big-time blocks on us. … but Dez was great, Melo was great, our spacing was great. It’s good to see our offense coming. I think we shot 50 percent [against IU] and 49 percent [against PSU]. Penn State is a really good defensive team, especially in this building, so for us to score 76 points means our offense is good. It had to be good, because [PSU] was making shots.
On Trimble, Wells becoming go-to scoring options
Well, you can add a Jake Layman too. It’s really a good feeling to have three guys I can do to. Some guys have one, some guys have zero. I have three guys I can go to. I have a card with eight plays I can call for any one of them … So it’s good. They’re the three guys carrying us right now offensively.
On winning a road game for first time in a month
It was good, we put a lot into this. We had a meeting [Feb. 13] about where we started at Oklahoma State, how well we played, why we played well. We had some really good road wins – Oklahoma State, Michigan State, Purdue. I think I’m forgetting one. You know, we’re 3-4 on the road – that’s not bad in the league for a team that was picked 10th. So we have a chance to finish strong, and that’s really what’s important.
But it really was more mental. We took Thursday off because [IU] was such an emotional game, and we probably practiced 45 minutes [Feb. 13] because of the weather, the travel, the snow. And today at shoot-around we had a lot of fun, had a shooting contest. And the guys were pretty determined.
On getting on a roll with two emotional wins
Yeah. …We’re gaining traction, we’re getting better. We got better this week. We’ve been hard to watch offensively at times, but the last two games we’ve been pretty efficient, pretty good. We’ll continue to get better defensively.
And I told the team last night [Feb. 13], there’s a lot of basketball left and we can get a lot better basketball team than what we are. And I think the guys believe that.
Turgeon Breaks Down Penn State Victory
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