The No. 6 Maryland men's basketball team beat Maryland Eastern Shore on Saturday, 77-56, at Xfinity Center on Saturday evening.
Melo Trimble scored 18 points on 4-of-4 long-range shooting, while Maryland as a whole shot its way out of a sluggish start. Rasheed Sulaimon had a career-high 10 assists. Jared Nickens (12 points), Diamond Stone (12) and Robert Carter Jr. (8) also contributed to a balanced Maryland box score. The Terps finished shooting 51 percent as a team.
The win pushes Maryland to 9-1 for the season. The Terps face Princeton at Baltimore's Royal Farms Arena next Saturday, then host Marshall on Dec. 27 before Big Ten play gets underway on Dec. 30 against Penn State.
The Terrapins played down to the level of their 1-8 competition in the first half. They shot just 42 percent from the field in that half and never managed to pull all the way away, despite taking a 14-point lead at one juncture. The Hawks ended the half on a 7-0 run, leaving Maryland only up by 6 points at the break in a game it was favored to win by 33.
Of course, Maryland was never in real danger here. The Terps extended their lead starting with the first minute of the second half, and the score was never as close as that 6-point halftime margin again. UMES showed admirable plug but never had a serious chance, and Maryland wound up winning by a more reasonable 21.
Three things to know
1. Melo Trimble might've found his 3-point stroke. Not that Trimble hasn't been very good this season, but he entered Saturday just 11 of 33 on 3-point shots. That's not quite right for a player who shot 41 percent on such attempts as a freshman last season. Well, Trimble was 4 of 4 from deep against the Hawks, and his percentage for the season is up to 41 percent. So much for small sample sizes.
2. Robert Carter Jr. isn't a 3-point shooter by trade. Carter is a prodigious inside scorer. He entered Saturday shooting 72 percent on 2-point shots, which he can make either out of the post or on the drive to the basket. But he entered at 5 of 16 (31 percent) on 3-pointers, then went 0 for 2 on them Saturday. Carter is a terrific player with practically limitless talent, but he's at his most efficient when he's playing to his strengths. Those don't lie outside the arc. .
3. Maryland now gets some helpful rest. It'll be a full week before Maryland returns to the court against Princeton. The Terps have started slowly too often in their first 10 games, and a long layoff might give them a healthy injection of energy. Once Big Ten play comes around – or, at least, after Maryland's played Penn State – that'll be necessary.