Maryland-Northern Iowa recap: Terps ride second-half Smotrycz burst to big victory, 80-66

Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

Maryland will be playing in the Paradise Jam finals.

Maryland played their most complete game of the season, convincingly beating a very solid Northern Iowa team in the semifinals of the Paradise Jam tournament. Nick Faust led the way in the first half, but Evan Smotrycz put the game away in the second half with a very strong showing. Maryland won the game 80-66.

The Terps lead 33-30 at halftime, on the strength of ten points from Dez Wells and nine points from Faust. Faust, in particular, impressed -- he struggled early, but had an efficient rest of the half and turned the ball over just once -- while converting two steals into dunks.

Maryland hit their first three-pointer of the game just under two minutes into the second half, when Faust hit one to up his point total to 12 (and the Maryland lead to 38-32). NIU responded with a three of their own, but Jake Layman hit one to push Maryland's lead back to six.

It was the first game of the year that Maryland really utilized their athletic advantage -- at least against an opponent of quality. Both teams struggled to hit their shots in the first half, but Maryland was able to force turnovers and run the floor in transition, or slow it down and outmuscle the Panthers inside. Once the three-pointers started falling in the second half, it was a completely different game.

The Terps missed all eight three point attempts in the first half, and then hit five of their first six deep attempts in the second half. Northern Iowa was able to answer on a few of them, but Maryland was slowly able to pull away on the strength of their shooting -- especially Evan Smotrycz, who hit three of those attempts.

Northern Iowa got on a hot streak, pulling the lead to within two with less than six minutes to play, but an alley oop (plus a foul) from Faust to Layman swung the momentum right back to the Terps. Smotrycz scored on the next possession, tying a career high with 20 points.

Up 71-64 with just over a minute left, Jake Layman hit a three-pointer from the corner to seal it.

The Terps utilized a four-headed attack, as Roddy Peters and Charles Mitchell combined to provide just eight points.  Smotrycz had his 20 (with nine rebounds), Layman had 19, Wells had 16 and Faust had 17.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Testudo Times

You must be a member of Testudo Times to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Testudo Times. You should read them.

Join Testudo Times

You must be a member of Testudo Times to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Testudo Times. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker