Maryland basketball improved to 5-0 with a steady win over Stony Brook in a rather quiet Xfinity Center Tuesday night.
Most students had left for Thanksgiving, and those not among the crowd of 14,034 missed the Terps dispatch the Seawolves with relative ease.
As usual Melo Trimble had 21 points to carry the scoring load, but he got a boost from two players who weren’t on the court against Towson on Tuesday. Michal Cekovsky hadn’t played all season due to a foot injury, and played valuable minutes in his season debut. Dion Wiley missed Maryland’s win over Towson with a stomach virus, and he made his first four three-pointers of the season in his return. The only game this season in which Trimble hasn’t scored 20 points was against Division-III St. Mary’s when he scored seven in a blowout.
Maryland was without center Damonte Dodd, who missed the game with a concussion. This forced all of the bigs into more playing time. Maryland’s lack of depth in the frontcourt didn’t come back to haunt them, but the Terps will be glad to get Dodd back when he recovers. Cekovsky, L.G. Gill and Ivan Bender finished with four fouls, and Mark Turgeon rotated them constantly as he tried to keep them from fouling out. Cekovsky ultimately did, with three minutes to go. But the game was long over by then.
Stony Brook kept things close for the the first 11 minutes, but Maryland advanced to an easy lead simply by making a whole lot of shots. The Terps’ 34-20 lead shrank slightly to 38-27 at halftime after a four-minute Maryland scoring drought.
The lead only briefly got under 10 in the second period, and Maryland coasted to victory. The Terps never broke it open, but remained comfortably ahead by double-digits the whole way. They extended the lead to 18 with four minutes left, extinguishing any distant chance of a Stony Brook comeback.
Three things to know
- Melo Trimble, still good. Maryland’s star did his usual thing, getting to the line and providing an early scoring presence when the Terps needed it.
- Michal Cekovsky and Dion Wiley were exactly what Maryland needed. Cekovsky was good offensively and defensively in his season debut. He slammed home alley-oops and showed solid vision passing the ball. Wiley looked more comfortable than he had in any previous game, finally finding his shot from deep.
- It’s time for the Barclays Center Classic. The Terps have two days off, then play Richmond this Friday in New York to begin this post-Thanksgiving tournament. This won’t feature any exciting opponents, but playing in a tournament at a sweet NBA arena is cool.