Maryland basketball entered its game Tuesday night averaging 16.5 turnovers per game. In a 75-69 win over Penn State, however, the Terps committed just five.
The reason: Maryland was down two players and decided to slow down its offensive pace.
“We played slower,” head coach Mark Turgeon said after the game. “Anthony [Cowan] had a lot to do with that. We tried to dictate the pace a little bit with our offense. We’re still trying to figure that out, but I was really happy with [the five turnovers].”
Cowan played all 40 minutes and only had two turnovers; only three other Terps committed one. With Justin Jackson sidelined for the year and Kevin Huerter in foul trouble for most of the first half, Maryland needed its point guard to run the show, and he did.
“Obviously, our bench isn’t as long anymore, so we’ve gotta slow it down sometimes, let everybody catch their breath and find out the best way to score,” Cowan said. “If that’s what it takes to win, then that’s what we’re gonna have to do.”
Maryland only forced six turnovers on the other end, so giveaways weren’t much of a factor on either side. That might change against No. 1 Michigan State, whose one weakness seems to be turnover margin. If Maryland can do a somewhat similar job of dictating the pace Thursday, the chances of a close game will be that much better.
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