Maryland basketball rolled past the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Xfinity Center on Wednesday, taking care of business with ease in a 88 to 63 victory.
Several Terrapins flirted with a double-double and Diamond Stone got there with a 15-points, 10-rebound outing, in which he also blocked 3 shots. In usual well-rounded fashion, four Terrapins racked up double-digits point totals. Senior Jake Layman led the way with 18 and Rasheed Sulaimon scored 15 points and grabbed 5 rebounds. Robert Carter finished with 12 points on 6 of 7 shooting and had 7 rebounds, and Jared Nickens was one point away from matching Stone's milestone, finishing with 10 rebounds of his own.
Meanwhile, Rutgers only scored 18 points in the first half, and couldn't match up with Maryland's bigs all night. This was destruction.
The big story of the night, however, was Melo Trimble, who stayed on the bench for the entire second half due to an apparent leg injury. Word from the team is that he was suffering from hamstring tightness. [Update: Maryland Head Coach Mark Turgeon said, "Melo's fine. Melo will be fine," after the game.]
No. 3 Maryland may have been without its star for the second half, but Rutgers was without a chunk of its roster. The already overmatched Scarlet Knights came in with a depleted core, which featured just seven scholarship players. Rutgers' missing players account for 23.8 points and 13.9 rebounds per game and the team just wasn't able to make up for that lost production.
Maryland dominated from the start, not trailing for a second and holding a commanding 46-18 lead by the end of the first 20 minutes.
Rasheed Sulaimon set the pace early for the Terps, connecting on his first two shots of the game to score 5 of Maryland's 7 opening points, and finish the half with 10.
Diamond Stone made his first start since Maryland's loss to North Carolina in early December. He accompanied Sulaimon's strong start with one of his own. The reigning Big Ten Freshman and Player of the Week scored 8 points and hauled in 6 rebounds in 11 first half minutes. Four of those boards came off his own misses on the offensive end.
Stone was on double-double watch as early as the first half, as was Robert Carter Jr., the Terps' leading rebounder, who wasn't able to get there in limited minutes. The transfer junior corralled 6 boards, and scored 10 first half points on 5-of-6 shooting.
The height differential between the teams was apparent from the start, as Maryland was able to out-rebound its opponent 31 to 12 in the first half, getting contributions from eight of 10 players who touched the court.
Coach Mark Turgeon inserted Jared Nickens in place of the injured Trimble to start the second half, opting to put Sulaimon at point guard early before handing the keys to Jaylen Brantley and Varun Ram later.
Maryland shouldered its offensive load on senior Jake Layman's shoulders, and he connected for 11 second half points.
TheTerrapins never looked back, winning their third conference game of the season to move to 14-1 on the season and remain undefeated at home.
Three things to know:
1. Melo Trimble's injury doesn't appear to be too serious at first glance. The unfortunate outcome of a generally boring game was the leg injury to Maryland's superstar sophomore. Trimble did attempt to play in the second half wearing a leg sleeve, but ultimately decided to sit out. We'll see if this hamstring tightness affects him on Saturday against Wisconsin.
2. What more does Jake Layman need to do? The senior scored 18 points, hit 5 of 10 shots from the field, grabbed four boards and swatted a pair of shots. Was it against Michigan State? No. But this is a Big Ten opponent, and Layman showed up on both ends.
3. Maryland was able to keep all of its starters under 30 minutes. The Terrapins take on Wisconsin in Madison on Saturday and need all the rest they can get. A blowout game was in order, and Maryland came through, giving itself good rest before conference play gets tougher.