Maryland holds a slim lead at halftime over the Northern Iowa Panthers, thanks to 10 points from Dez Wells and nine from Nick Faust. The Terps lead 33-30 in what has been a back and forth game.
Maryland was unable to get anything going on their first six possessions -- Evan Smotrycz missed a shot and turned the ball over, Jake Layman missed a three, and Nick Faust missed two shots (including a dunk) and turned the ball over on an inbound pass. Northern Iowa was able to take a 7-0 lead in the period, and Faust responded by driving to the hoop and hitting the shot, with the foul, making it 7-3.
Faust got a steal on Northern Iowa's next possession, driving again to the hoop and converting on the dunk, showing a nice turnaround from his early game struggles. After Charles Mitchell hit one free throw, Faust found Dez Wells on an excellent pass in transition, and the guard converted on the layup to give the Terps their first lead of the game.
Maryland led 12-8 on the under-8, thanks to a steal and jam from Roddy Peters. Coming out of the break, Faust got on the board again with an impressive offensive rebound and putback.
Northern Iowa was able to tie it up at 16-16 at the under-8 thanks to a little run, and took the lead on a pair of free throws out of the break. On Maryland's next possession, Varun Ram took a three pointer (with time on the shot clock and everything), and Mitchell was able to get the offensive rebound, work a nice spin move, and score. Layman hit another long two on the Terps' next possession, making it 20-18.
With Maryland trailing 25-22 just before the under-four, Layman made the move we've all been waiting for him to make. He split two defenders, drove to the hoop, and drew a foul near the rim, with the shot almost falling in. Layman's shooting prowess has been outstanding this season, but if he can add a consistent driving threat to his game he could be nearly unstoppable.
Down 28-24, Dez Wells hit a runner in the lane, and Faust stole the ensuing inbound pass, putting it in to tie it up. The Terps drew an offensive foul on the next possession, but were unable to capitalize, turning the ball over and allowing the Panthers to take the lead. Evan Smotrycz missed a three-pointer on the next possession, but after an offensive rebound he drove to the lane, drew a foul, and made the shot (and the free throw) to make it 31-30 Terps.