Terps Trounce St. Mary's

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- The Terrapins took Wednesday off, a rarity during the college basketball season. Damonte Dodd said he went to class and then went home, and laid in bed for the rest of the day.

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- The Terrapins took Wednesday off, a rarity during the college basketball season. Damonte Dodd said he went to class and then went home, and laid in bed for the rest of the day.

Maryland’s senior center may have had reason to believe he was dreaming the way Thursday’s game with over-matched St. Mary’s College played out. Dodd posted his first career double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds and the Terrapins (3-0) coasted to a 93-45 win at Xfinity Center.

“It definitely helped us,” said Dodd of the day off after the big Georgetown win Tuesday. “We were going to class and a lot of people were congratulating us and things like that. We knew that we had another game coming up and we had to prepare for it.”

Or not prepare for it as the case may be. Without a full practice before Thursday’s game, the Terps got by with an afternoon shootaround, some film study and well, simply being much better than the Seahawks. Dodd had to face just one player as tall as 6-8, and that made the going a little easier around the basket where Maryland had a 51-28 rebounding advantage and a 38-20 edge in points in the paint.

“It’s easier to rebound and get shots but it’s also hard because some guys like to flop because you’re bigger,” said Dodd, a native of Centreville, Md. He was 4-of-6 from the field and 5-of-7 at the line, scoring in double figures for the first time since Nov. 24 last year against Illinois State when he also had 13 points. He also had three blocks in his 17 minutes.

Dodd worked hard on his offensive game this offseason, developing better footwork and a few more moves around the basket, but hadn’t had much opportunity to showcase that improvement in the first two games. The big thing the big man did Thursday was to bring the right attitude.

“We want to come out and treat every game like we’re playing Georgetown or whoever,” he said. “We just put that behind us and came out and played hard.”

Coach Mark Turgeon talked about coming off the big early-season win and he was happy with his young team’s approach. “I thought we were ready to play, we jumped out 15-2, a game that you knew we were going to win. It was good for our guys to come back, get the other game behind us, get on with this one so we can get on with the rest of the season.”

And the Terrapins, who face Towson at home Sunday at 2 p.m., made it apparent very early they were indeed going to win this one before a crowd of 15,779 at Xfinity.

Just over six minutes in, the Terrapins were up with three touchdowns – 21-3 at 13:58 --  when Jared Nickens, fresh off the bench, hit a 3-pointer. Anthony Cowan and Justin Jackson got the Terrapins off to the quick start, scoring 10 of Maryland’s first 11 points. Maryland scored 13 of the game’s first 15 points and really weren’t challenged, as you might expect with a Division III opponent, albeit a good Division III opponent, in town.

Cowan had a steal and layup after Melo Trimble hit a free throw on Maryland’s first possession. Next time down, Cowan – all-generously-listed 6-foot of him – got an offensive rebound and scored on a drive. Less than a minute later, he got a steal and fed Jackson for a dunk. Jackson hit a 3-pointer to make it 11-2 at 17:23.

After the fast start, both freshmen and all the starters gave way to teammates. Jackson would finish with six points, a career-high 10 rebounds and three assists, continuing to make it all look so easy, and Cowan had eight points, and career highs of seven assists and four steals. Dodd got 10 points and seven rebounds in the first half as the Terrapins took charge.

Turgeon said of Jackson’s first start, that such an opportunity almost came Tuesday. “I wanted to start Justin in the Georgetown game but I just thought the moment might be a little too big. We decided to wait. I almost started a bunch of the guys that hadn’t started just so they’d get a feel for it. I think our lineup will change as the year goes on. Melo will be the constant. Anthony really played well tonight. He’s cementing himself in that lineup. It gave me an opportunity to reward (Jackson). He has been really good our first two games.”

By the under-16-minute timeout, though, Turgeon sent in a whole new platoon – Nickens, Dion Wiley, Jaylen Brantley, L.J. Gill and Ivan Bender – and the onslaught continued. Maryland led by as many as 36 points at 1:05, when Gill hit two free throws to make it 52-16. All those subs played eight minutes in the first half, while the starters went 12 in Turgeon’s two-platoon system.

“I did it because we jumped out 13-2, and we wanted to play everybody equally,” said Turgeon, who said the platoons would not be a regular part of the plan. “Players hate that. I hated it as a player. It’s just what we did tonight. It’s not going to be what we do in the future. The great thing is we have really good depth and it showed Tuesday night and it showed tonight.”

A big part of that depth is Gill, who scored a Maryland-high 15 points, going 9-of-13 at the line (It was his Terp-career high, too, though he had 22 in a Duquesne game last year against UMBC). 

“I was frustrated from the Georgetown game, just the fouls I had personally,” he said. “I was happy we won but I felt like I got a lot of petty fouls so I came in and worked for about an hour and a half and got some shots up yesterday.”

The extra work paid off, Gill hitting 3-of-4 shots and going to the line to hit 9-of-13, a mini-payback he said for all those free throws he and Maryland allowed against the Hoyas. “That’s one of the things Coach Turgeon told me I had to get better at,” he said. “I spent a lot of time on the perimeter last year but now with (Michal Cekovsky’s) injury they need me at center and I’ve been working hard to improve my inside presence. I’m posting up a lot more. Last year I didn’t play much in the post. I sat on the 3-point line and shot a lot of threes.”

The Terrapins again shot a lot of threes – 27 – but again only hit seven, just like against the Hoyas. “I think a lot of guys are struggling shooting, including me,” said Kevin Huerter, the hero against the Hoyas. “I think once we hit outside shots to go with the way we’re finishing inside with Melo and Anthony getting to the basket, it’s going to complete the puzzle.

Huerter had a quiet 11 points on 5-of-10 shooting, and Brantley also had 11, season highs for both. Nickens chipped in eight, but was just 2-9 from the field, now only 3-of-21 on the season. Wiley and Bender had six, and Trimble had 7 in his 15 minutes.

The Terrapins did register 18 assists on 27 baskets. “I thought we really shared the ball early and I thought we really shared it late,” said Turgeon. “In between I thought we got a little caught up in what was going on. The best part was I think we had 11 turnovers with 12 (minutes) to go and we ended up with 12 turnovers so we took care of the ball better.”

A highlight – and this says a lot – of the first half was Wiley losing his shoe in a transition situation, trying to get anyone’s attention but ultimately taking a jumper that missed (by less than a foot) and then hustling back on defense before there was finally a stop where he could get reshod. 

The Seahawks closed with a 6-2 run powered by Tre Mouton – you know who’s nephew – and made it 54-22 at the half. Mouton had a three-point play in transition and canned a baseline three at the first half buzzer on his way to a Seahawk-high 16 points in the game and 10 in the first half, as he seemed to be channeling Uncle Byron’s hustling game in this particular building.

For the game, St. Mary’s shot just 16-of-50 from the field, 32 percent, the second straight opponent the Terrapins have held to that percentage. No one else scored in double figures for St. Mary’s.

The Seahawks didn’t help themselves with 13 turnovers leading to 21 Maryland points in the first 20 minutes.  Those numbers would grow to 24 turnovers and 33 Maryland points off of them. Then sending the Terrapins to the free throw line 48 times didn’t work out well either.

After Huerter hit a 3-pointer to start the second half, the Terrapins missed their next seven shots, but the Seahawks couldn’t make up a lot of ground. When Bender ended the drought on a dunk from Cowan, Maryland led 62-28 with 14:51to play. 

The Terrapins would lead by as many as 50 points at 51.9 seconds when Brantley hit a three off a drive and dish from Andrew Terrell, who came in with fellow walk-on Travis Valmon to mop up in the final minutes. Terrell’s assist and two free throws by Valmon delighted the Maryland bench and the crowd.

“It’s nice to play everybody,” added Turgeon. “I was really happy for Travis Valmon and Andrew. Travis made two hustle plays and got to the foul line and Andrew makes the nice pass.”

Well, not everyone played. Freshman Micah Thomas and Joshua Tomaic never left the bench, and both were on the floor after the game taking shots. Turgeon said he was “contemplating” redshirting the duo. “We don’t know yet, too early to tell.”

Cekovsky suited up for the first time, went through warm-ups but also didn’t play. Behind Dodd’s best game and another solid effort from Bender (2-of-3 field goals, seven rebounds), the Terrapins didn’t need him. Yet.

Maryland’s senior center may have had reason to believe he was dreaming the way Thursday’s game with over-matched St. Mary’s College played out. Dodd posted his first career double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds and the Terrapins (3-0) coasted to a 93-45 win at Xfinity Center.

“It definitely helped us,” said Dodd of the day off after the big Georgetown win Tuesday. “We were going to class and a lot of people were congratulating us and things like that. We knew that we had another game coming up and we had to prepare for it.”

Or not prepare for it as the case may be. Without a full practice before Thursday’s game, the Terps got by with an afternoon shootaround, some film study and well, simply being much better than the Seahawks. Dodd had to face just one player as tall as 6-8, and that made the going a little easier around the basket where Maryland had a 51-28 rebounding advantage and a 38-20 edge in points in the paint.

“It’s easier to rebound and get shots but it’s also hard because some guys like to flop because you’re bigger,” said Dodd, a native of Centreville, Md. He was 4-of-6 from the field and 5-of-7 at the line, scoring in double figures for the first time since Nov. 24 last year against Illinois State when he also had 13 points. He also had three blocks in his 17 minutes.

Dodd worked hard on his offensive game this offseason, developing better footwork and a few more moves around the basket, but hadn’t had much opportunity to showcase that improvement in the first two games. The big thing the big man did Thursday was to bring the right attitude.

“We want to come out and treat every game like we’re playing Georgetown or whoever,” he said. “We just put that behind us and came out and played hard.”

Coach Mark Turgeon talked about coming off the big early-season win and he was happy with his young team’s approach. “I thought we were ready to play, we jumped out 15-2, a game that you knew we were going to win. It was good for our guys to come back, get the other game behind us, get on with this one so we can get on with the rest of the season.”

And the Terrapins, who face Towson at home Sunday at 2 p.m., made it apparent very early they were indeed going to win this one before a crowd of 15,779 at Xfinity.

Just over six minutes in, the Terrapins were up with three touchdowns – 21-3 at 13:58 --  when Jared Nickens, fresh off the bench, hit a 3-pointer. Anthony Cowan and Justin Jackson got the Terrapins off to the quick start, scoring 10 of Maryland’s first 11 points. Maryland scored 13 of the game’s first 15 points and really weren’t challenged, as you might expect with a Division III opponent, albeit a good Division III opponent, in town.

Cowan had a steal and layup after Melo Trimble hit a free throw on Maryland’s first possession. Next time down, Cowan – all-generously-listed 6-foot of him – got an offensive rebound and scored on a drive. Less than a minute later, he got a steal and fed Jackson for a dunk. Jackson hit a 3-pointer to make it 11-2 at 17:23.

After the fast start, both freshmen and all the starters gave way to teammates. Jackson would finish with six points, a career-high 10 rebounds and three assists, continuing to make it all look so easy, and Cowan had eight points, and career highs of seven assists and four steals. Dodd got 10 points and seven rebounds in the first half as the Terrapins took charge.

Turgeon said of Jackson’s first start, that such an opportunity almost came Tuesday. “I wanted to start Justin in the Georgetown game but I just thought the moment might be a little too big. We decided to wait. I almost started a bunch of the guys that hadn’t started just so they’d get a feel for it. I think our lineup will change as the year goes on. Melo will be the constant. Anthony really played well tonight. He’s cementing himself in that lineup. It gave me an opportunity to reward (Jackson). He has been really good our first two games.”

By the under-16-minute timeout, though, Turgeon sent in a whole new platoon – Nickens, Dion Wiley, Jaylen Brantley, L.J. Gill and Ivan Bender – and the onslaught continued. Maryland led by as many as 36 points at 1:05, when Gill hit two free throws to make it 52-16. All those subs played eight minutes in the first half, while the starters went 12 in Turgeon’s two-platoon system.

“I did it because we jumped out 13-2, and we wanted to play everybody equally,” said Turgeon, who said the platoons would not be a regular part of the plan. “Players hate that. I hated it as a player. It’s just what we did tonight. It’s not going to be what we do in the future. The great thing is we have really good depth and it showed Tuesday night and it showed tonight.”

A big part of that depth is Gill, who scored a Maryland-high 15 points, going 9-of-13 at the line (It was his Terp-career high, too, though he had 22 in a Duquesne game last year against UMBC). 

“I was frustrated from the Georgetown game, just the fouls I had personally,” he said. “I was happy we won but I felt like I got a lot of petty fouls so I came in and worked for about an hour and a half and got some shots up yesterday.”

The extra work paid off, Gill hitting 3-of-4 shots and going to the line to hit 9-of-13, a mini-payback he said for all those free throws he and Maryland allowed against the Hoyas. “That’s one of the things Coach Turgeon told me I had to get better at,” he said. “I spent a lot of time on the perimeter last year but now with (Michal Cekovsky’s) injury they need me at center and I’ve been working hard to improve my inside presence. I’m posting up a lot more. Last year I didn’t play much in the post. I sat on the 3-point line and shot a lot of threes.”

The Terrapins again shot a lot of threes – 27 – but again only hit seven, just like against the Hoyas. “I think a lot of guys are struggling shooting, including me,” said Kevin Huerter, the hero against the Hoyas. “I think once we hit outside shots to go with the way we’re finishing inside with Melo and Anthony getting to the basket, it’s going to complete the puzzle.

Huerter had a quiet 11 points on 5-of-10 shooting, and Brantley also had 11, season highs for both. Nickens chipped in eight, but was just 2-9 from the field, now only 3-of-21 on the season. Wiley and Bender had six, and Trimble had 7 in his 15 minutes.

The Terrapins did register 18 assists on 27 baskets. “I thought we really shared the ball early and I thought we really shared it late,” said Turgeon. “In between I thought we got a little caught up in what was going on. The best part was I think we had 11 turnovers with 12 (minutes) to go and we ended up with 12 turnovers so we took care of the ball better.”

A highlight – and this says a lot – of the first half was Wiley losing his shoe in a transition situation, trying to get anyone’s attention but ultimately taking a jumper that missed (by less than a foot) and then hustling back on defense before there was finally a stop where he could get reshod. 

The Seahawks closed with a 6-2 run powered by Tre Mouton – you know who’s nephew – and made it 54-22 at the half. Mouton had a three-point play in transition and canned a baseline three at the first half buzzer on his way to a Seahawk-high 16 points in the game and 10 in the first half, as he seemed to be channeling Uncle Byron’s hustling game in this particular building.

For the game, St. Mary’s shot just 16-of-50 from the field, 32 percent, the second straight opponent the Terrapins have held to that percentage. No one else scored in double figures for St. Mary’s.

The Seahawks didn’t help themselves with 13 turnovers leading to 21 Maryland points in the first 20 minutes.  Those numbers would grow to 24 turnovers and 33 Maryland points off of them. Then sending the Terrapins to the free throw line 48 times didn’t work out well either.

After Huerter hit a 3-pointer to start the second half, the Terrapins missed their next seven shots, but the Seahawks couldn’t make up a lot of ground. When Bender ended the drought on a dunk from Cowan, Maryland led 62-28 with 14:51to play. 

The Terrapins would lead by as many as 50 points at 51.9 seconds when Brantley hit a three off a drive and dish from Andrew Terrell, who came in with fellow walk-on Travis Valmon to mop up in the final minutes. Terrell’s assist and two free throws by Valmon delighted the Maryland bench and the crowd.

“It’s nice to play everybody,” added Turgeon. “I was really happy for Travis Valmon and Andrew. Travis made two hustle plays and got to the foul line and Andrew makes the nice pass.”

Well, not everyone played. Freshman Micah Thomas and Joshua Tomaic never left the bench, and both were on the floor after the game taking shots. Turgeon said he was “contemplating” redshirting the duo. “We don’t know yet, too early to tell.”

Cekovsky suited up for the first time, went through warm-ups but also didn’t play. Behind Dodd’s best game and another solid effort from Bender (2-of-3 field goals, seven rebounds), the Terrapins didn’t need him. Yet.


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