Maryland basketball had yet another slow start before pulling away to beat the Jacksonville State Gamecocks, 92-66. The win puts Maryland at 11-1, with just one more non-conference game remaining before the start of Big Ten action.
Melo Trimble led the way in this one with 23 points and Michal Cekovsky once again made his impact on the low block early, finishing with 15 points.
The typical mistakes Maryland’s had all season persisted at the start of this one, as the Terps failed to box out consistently or use screens properly to open up driving lanes on the other end of the floor. A stagnant offense and lackadaisical defense resulted in just a 23-20 advantage for the Terps over KenPom’s no. 232 team at the eight-minute mark of the first half.
But a 13-2 run put Maryland back on track, led by a full-court press which included L.G. Gill in what formerly was Jake Layman’s role at the top. Trimble took control on the attack, scoring 15 first-half points. He hit all five of his attempts from the field, including three from deep. The junior was firing from anywhere he found room from including a pair of one-legged runners in the lane. That’s an encouraging sign for the team’s best player, who will have to take more shots this season than he’s accustomed to.
Maryland took a 42-29 lead into the half.
Maryland held on to a double-digit lead throughout the second half, in part because of its strong 57 percent shooting performance. Anthony Cowan made three of four shots from the field for for 12 points and two assists, and Ivan Bender finished with 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting.
The Terps hit from deep just as well, hitting 11-of-17 attempts. Dion Wiley knocked down three and Cowan hit a pair as Maryland cruised to an easy win.
Maryland plays its final non-conference game at Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore on December 20 against Charlotte.
Three things to know:
- Jared Nickens sat the first half of this one. After a win against Saint Peter’s, Mark Turgeon vowed to quit giving the bench equal opportunities and followed through on Monday. Nickens has had a tough opening to the season and didn’t enter the game until the 16-minute mark of the second half with Maryland up 20 points.
- Maryland started slow... again. The struggle to put on a complete game showing continued as Maryland slouched its way through the opening 12 minutes of this one. But also in typical fashion, the Terps made up for it.
- Melo Trimble looked sharp. This is always important, and even more so that the rest of the Terps team has struggled scoring consistently. Trimble finished with 23 points and had one of his best shooting nights in recent memory, going 6-of-7 from the field and 4-of-5 from deep.