Terps Face Good Test at Home

Maryland is back in action on Saturday afternoon for their second to last tune-up before the ACC schedule begins. With the Terps tough non-conference schedule, the Charlotte 49ers aren't the most difficult team on the schedule, but a win over a mid-major conference team with an RPI that will be close to 100 will be nice to have on their resume come tournament time.

The Terps (10-2) only two losses this season come to teams ranked in the RPI's top 10, and with wins over Vermont, Michigan State and Michigan already, Charlotte won't be a win that stands out, but it still has the potential to be a quality win. The two teams have met twice, including last January when Maryland scratched out a four-point win in Charlotte. Their only other meeting was a 10-point win back in 1975 in College Park.

The 49ers (5-6) are coming off four straight wins after losing 6-of-7 to start the season. The two teams have had one common opponent in Youngstown State. Charlotte cruised by 20 at home, while the Terps posted a 24-point home win against the Penguins back in November.

During Charlotte's current winning streak, the 49ers are averaging 78.8 points per game and the defense has been spectacular holding opponents to just 38 percent shooting from the floor. Only Youngstown State has shot better than 40 percent against the 49ers over the last four games, which includes a six-point win at Mississippi State.

Also during the streak, six 49ers are averaging double figures in scoring, including Lamont Mack. Mack led Charlotte with 18 in last year's loss to the Terps, and the 6-7, 230-pound senior forward is averaging 12.2 points with five rebounds a game this season. Mack is a versatile player that can score inside, but is also a threat from the outside. His 17 made 3-pointers is second best on the team and he hit 5-of-7 in their recent win over Long Island.

Their other outside threat is 6-4, 200-pound shooting guard Ian Anderson who's hitting better than 40 percent from behind the arc. Anderson is averaging 10.6 points a game.

Rashad Coleman is a 6-5 junior swingman that is also averaging double figures this season (10.6). But the player to watch is DiJuan Harris. The junior point guard is averaging 12 points a game over the last four and has an impressive assist-to-turnover ratio (4.7). He's an athletic defender who creates havoc, forcing 20 steals this season. The Charlotte defense does a good job pressuring the ball and has forced opponents to turn the ball over 18 times a game.

With Charlotte's high-scoring offense, the game could come down to how well Maryland defends. The Terps two losses are the only two times they've allowed 75 points or more. The 49ers have scored 70 or more points in seven of their 11 games.

Tip-off is set for 4:00 p.m. at the Comcast Center and will air on Comcast Sports Network.


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