Maryland comfortably defeated the VMI Keydets 95-77, despite holding only a four point lead at the half. The Terps improve to 7-0, outlasting a fearless shooting Keydets team who put up an unprecedented 42 three pointers.
In the second game without senior leader Dez Wells, Maryland went with a smaller lineup, starting Melo Trimble, Richaud Pack, Dion Wiley, Jake Layman and Damonte Dodd. Wiley received his first collegiate start and capitalized despite a sloppy start for the freshman, finishing with 19 points, including a few flashy finishes at the basket.
Melo Trimble continued his impressive freshman campaign, scoring 19 and adding four assists while handling VMI's lasting pressure with great poise. Richaud Pack turned in an exceptional performance, leading the Terps in scoring with 22 in the absence of Dez Wells. Despite Jake Layman's rocky start in the first half, the junior finished with a great all-around game with 19 points and nine rebounds.
The Keydets game plan was shoot, shoot and shoot some more but VMI was no match for Maryland down-low. VMI leads the nation in three point shots made per game, but suffered a huge mismatch in the lane as VMI’s tallest player stands in at 6’7’’ while Maryland has seven players 6'7'' or taller. Maryland outmanned the Keydets in the paint, outscoring them 66 to 30.
Full box score:
Three things we learned
Richaud Pack and Dion Wiley could fill the void of Dez Wells. Pack and Wiley both took turns providing the spark for the Terps offensive flow. Pack, the graduate transfer from North Carolina A&T is used to scoring in bulk, averaging 17 points a game last season, and was back to his old ways tonight, scoring 22 points on 10 of 14 shooting. Although Wiley started slow after getting the nod to start for the first time in his young career, the freshman turned it up in the second half, finishing with 19 points, breaking his previous career high.
The Terps will rely on Pack and Wiley to put up big numbers as Wells sits out for the next few weeks and if tonight was any indication, Maryland is in good hands.
Michal Cekovsky impressed despite injury scare. The 7’1’’ freshman center showed great athleticism in the first half, finishing down-low on four of his five chances and slamming it home on a couple occasions. In the beginning of the second half, Ceko tripped over Jake Layman after Layman skied for a rebound and sprained his left ankle. Ceko shortly returned to the court and continued his high play, finishing with 10 points and six rebounds. The big man from Slovakia continues to improve each game and will be battle-tested on Wednesday as the Terps take on a big Virginia team.
The Terps can win on short rest. Whether the games were pretty or not, the Terps managed to outlast four teams in just seven days, giving them extra conditioning come conference play. The road doesn’t get much easier for Maryland, as they only have two days to prepare for No. 8 Virginia Cavaliers in the first ACC-Big Ten Challenge on the other side.
During the seven day stretch, Maryland impressed with quality wins over Arizona State and Iowa State and has handled adversity, responding to the injury of star Dez Wells by winning two consecutive non-conference games. The players were noticeably fatigued at times, but Turgeon did a good job rotating, playing 10 different Terps.