Maryland basketball beat Rutgers 67-55 Tuesday night at Xfinity Center, using a bristling start to the second half to get to 18-2 on the season.
The Terps got out to their customary double-digit second-half lead, then let the Scarlet Knights back in with a flurry of turnovers. They had 12 giveaways to eight assists after halftime, keeping the game close after Maryland got out to a 17-point lead with under 10 minutes to go. After shooting 39 percent in the first half, Maryland was a much more efficient 50 percent in the second.
The Terps had a full complement of players for only the second time this season, as center Michal Cekovsky and guard Dion Wiley returned from their respective ankle and back injuries, though neither played consistent minutes. Melo Trimble was sick and didn’t practice on Monday, but was back in his starting shooting guard spot for this one.
He led Maryland with 17 points on an efficient 5-for-8 shooting, and Kevin Huerter scored eight of his 11 points in the second half.
Rutgers’ only offensive production came from its guards, and leading scorer Corey Sanders had to work hard to get his buckets. He had 15 points on 19 shots, while his counterpart Nigel Johnson had a solid 14 points on 11 shots.
Maryland started off the game on a 7-2 run, but never led by more than five in the first half. Rutgers took a brief one-point lead with two minutes remaining before halftime, and the two teams battled back and forth until a Trimble three made it 31-27 with 40 seconds left. L.G. Gill made a three at the buzzer to give the Terps a 34-29 halftime lead.
Maryland started the second half on a 20-9 run, which figured to firmly putting Rutgers at a distance. The Scarlet Knights battled back and cut Maryland’s lead to nine on multiple occasions, but the Terps never let it get closer than that.
Three things to know
- Maryland sprinted ahead early in the second half, then relapsed a little. As has become customary, this was a close game in the first 20 minutes. Then Maryland streaked to a double-digit lead. Then Maryland’s opponent cut the lead to under 10. But that was as close as it got.
- The Terps still aren’t fully healthy, but should be soon. Dion Wiley and Cekovsky only played in short stretches, as neither is 100 percent recovered from his injury yet. This team should have its full complement of players soon, though.
- Rutgers didn’t help itself at the line. The Scarlet Knights were an atrocious 8-for-22 at the line. They could have turned it into a different game with even an average number of makes.