Maryland basketball emerged unscathed Tuesday with a 93-62 victory over a Bowie State team that simply doesn't belong on the Terps' February schedule.
The game essentially served as a midweek scrimmage for Maryland, as Mark Turgeon was able to empty his bench in the second half and give his starters some rest. This game was never in any danger of being competitive, and the Terps came away with one of their most lopsided victories of the season. It was also Maryland's 27th consecutive home win, a program record.
Michal Cekovsky was Maryland's heartbeat on offense early, and he finished the game with career-high 14 points. Diamond Stone added 14 of his own, and Rasheed Sulaimon carried the Terps through the middle of the game, leading several fast breaks and finishing with 16 points on 7-of-10 shooting. Melo Trimble enjoyed a light night, as he finished with 5 in 17 minutes and only attempted 1 shot from the field. His services weren't required, and Mark Turgeon took the opportunity to give Jaylen Brantley some extended minutes for the first time in a while. The transfer guard played 21 minutes Tuesday, more than he had in his previous three games combined. He scored 10 points, and often played off-ball while Sulaimon ran the offense. These minutes could prove helpful for him as the regular season inches to a close.
After a slightly slow start, Maryland ripped off an easy 7-0 run to make it 21-7 with 12 minutes left in the half. Maryland had Bowie State all wrapped up on defense. The Bulldogs were so overmatched that they had more fouls than points on several occasions during the half. Maryland entered the break leading 47-29, and coasted to an easy finish in the second half. When the final buzzer sounded, Maryland's lineup consisted of Varun Ram (who scored a career-high 8 points), Jaylen Brantley, Andrew Terrell, Trevor Anzmann and Ivan Bender, just as it should against this type of competition.
The No. 2 Terps are now 22-3 (11-2 Big Ten), and will host Wisconsin on Saturday in their third-straight home game. That matchup promises to be a bit more exciting.
Three things to know
1. This game was just unfair. KenPom literally gave Maryland a 100% chance of beating Bowie State. This game was almost never close, and the final score doesn't even reflect the disparity between the two teams, Maryland was never scared.
2. Not much "happened." This game wasn't very exciting. Fan turnout was only okay compared to the rest of the season, which is understandable for a February game against a Division-II team, and Maryland got out to an early lead that was just comfortable enough for everyone's minds to wander. At least no one got hurt.
3. Jaylen Brantley played. The guard has been very absent from the Terps' recent games, but he finally saw the court against Bowie State. Just as he did in previous non-conference blowouts, Brantley saw extended minutes in the second half, which could be a valuable experience for him.