Maryland men's basketball looked to be in a pretty bad spot Wednesday night. The No. 4 Terps were favored by 15 points, but trailed Penn State by as many as 13 late in the second half before eventually eking out a 70-64 victory.
Enter Diamond Stone. Maryland's highly-touted freshman came off the bench for the seventh time this season and almost single-handedly saved the Terrapins from an embarrassing loss in their conference home opener.
Stone's performance went from good to great to incredible. He finished the game with 39 points, a Maryland freshman record, to go along with 12 rebounds. Of Maryland's 47 second-half points, Stone had 32.
As the Terps trailed 18-13 with five minutes left in the first half, he provided a preview of things to come. The former five-star recruit missed this layup, got his own rebound, and slammed home a dunk.
Midway through the second half, Stone was Maryland's only effective player. He made numerous plays like this, where he would miss a shot, get his own rebound, and muscle in a layup.
As the Terps started to make their comeback, the 6'11 Stone showed the agility and athleticism of a much smaller player. With 5:40 left in the game, he picked off a pass from Penn State's Josh Reaves at halfcourt and took it to the basket himself, drawing a foul from Reaves and converting the off-balance shot to get the Terps back within 6.
Stone gave Maryland's second-half hopes another shot in the arm with this rejection on one end and a dunk on the other. His slam narrowed Penn State's lead to 60-57.
His game opened up the perimeter for Maryland's shooters, who couldn't buy a shot all night. The Terps went 5-of-21 from 3-point range, but Stone drew both defenders on this pick-and-roll, which helped Melo Trimble nail a three to tie the game at 60. Maryland would not trail again.
Arguably more important than anything else was Stone's efficiency from the foul line. He went 19-of-25 from the stripe, a Maryland record for attempts and makes. So here he is shooting a free throw.
Stone's 39 points broke Maryland's freshman single-game record of 33, set by Joe Smith in 1993. Simply put, the team would have had no chance without him.