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Maryland’s latest win over Rutgers shows how far the Terps have come

The Terps leaned on a very good defensive effort on their strategy to a 68-59 win at Rutgers Athletic Heart. With a fourth consecutive convention victory, Maryland (14-10, Eight-Nine) has firmly located itself throughout the NCAA event image, and the Terps’ trail to the postseason changed into a lot more practical after some other key highway win.

“It adjustments the entirety,” Trainer Mark Turgeon mentioned. “Lately truly adjustments so much as a result of we beat a truly, truly just right workforce that’s been taking part in smartly of their construction. And so they had been able for us. It was once a type of video games we knew we had been going to must play smartly to overcome them. It’s simply the maturation of our workforce. We’ve gotten higher.”

All 5 of Maryland’s starters scored in double figures — led via junior guard Eric Ayala with 14 issues and his classmate Aaron Wiggins, who scored 13. However the Terps’ enforcing protection is what allowed them to construct any such sizable lead in opposition to the similar squad that notched an emphatic victory in School Park in December. All the way through Turgeon’s tenure at Maryland, the Terps had by no means crushed an opponent at the highway after shedding to that workforce at house previous within the season.

Rutgers (12-Nine, Eight-Nine), which had gained 5 of its earlier seven video games, struggled offensively for a lot of the afternoon. The Scarlet Knights scored simplest 35 issues via 30 mins of play. They completed the sport capturing 38.2 p.c from the sphere (21 for 55), however 9 of the ones baskets got here all the way through the general 11 mins, after the Terps had given themselves the cushion of a double-digit lead.

“The fellows have purchased in to it, and so they knew that for us to win this recreation, we needed to be nice defensively,” Turgeon mentioned. “However the kicker is we’re getting higher offensively.”

When the Scarlet Knights trimmed Maryland’s lead from 15 issues to 6 with 7:37 to head, the Terps replied with a 6-Zero run that incorporated two baskets from senior guard Darryl Morsell. Rutgers by no means climbed any nearer. All over the sport, Maryland’s protection helped generate offensive alternatives. All the way through that wanted burst, junior ahead Jairus Hamilton tipped a Rutgers cross that ended in a dunk from Morsell in transition. The Terps scored 20 issues off Rutgers’s 15 turnovers.

The former assembly between those two groups solid a mild at the Terps’ offensive problems; they shot a season-low 34.four p.c from the sphere in a 74-60 defeat. However Maryland has steadily stepped forward because the season has improved. Wiggins fueled the Terps on Sunday, extending his run of robust shape along with his scoring and team-high 10 rebounds. Maryland shot 46.Eight p.c from the sphere, and the protection helped the Terps undergo a few transient scoring droughts. Ayala and Wiggins have each been taking part in at their easiest in recent times, and the Terps proceed to grasp wins with a defensive-minded means.

“We’ve were given a tricky crew — guys who jump again from adversity, guys who struggle via,” Wiggins mentioned.

When the Terps misplaced to Rutgers in December, Ron Harper Jr., the Scarlet Knights’ standout guard, scored 27 issues. On Sunday, Harper scored simplest six issues on 1-for-6 capturing. Morsell began the sport guarding Harper, however Turgeon moved his senior chief over to shield Jacob Younger, who led the Scarlet Knights with 19 issues.

“After which Younger wasn’t scoring anymore. He’s simply particular like that,” Turgeon mentioned of Morsell. “He guards, he guards, he guards.”

With about six mins left within the first part, Morsell left the courtroom with a shoulder harm. He returned quickly after along with his shoulder wrapped and promptly reentered the sport. Turgeon mentioned Morsell’s shoulder “didn’t come the entire means out” however he needed to have it popped again in two times all the way through the sport. After the second one time it took place with about 4 mins left in the second one part, Turgeon determined to not have Morsell play once more.

The Terps took keep an eye on of the sport early when their protection compelled Rutgers into an abysmal capturing stretch. All the way through the general 8 mins earlier than halftime, the Scarlet Knights scored simplest 4 issues and overlooked 9 in their 10 box purpose makes an attempt as Maryland constructed a 28-20 halftime lead. The Terps’ stifling protection didn’t let up after the wreck, and Rutgers struggled to make a lot of a push.

Turgeon informed his gamers earlier than their Feb. 14 recreation in opposition to Minnesota — the matchup that started this four-game successful streak — that the most efficient was once nonetheless forward.

“And guys believed it,” Wiggins mentioned. “Guys felt like we hadn’t had a super season up till that time, however we felt like lets nonetheless flip it round.”

Starting with the house loss to Rutgers, the Terps began their season with a 1-Five convention document. They trudged via 13 convention matchups with out incomes back-to-back wins. And now Turgeon has a successful streak, a transparent trail to the event with 3 common season video games left, a workforce that helps to keep bettering and gamers rising in self assurance.

“We may have hand over again and again this 12 months,” Turgeon mentioned, referencing the workforce’s tough first part of the convention time table. “And those guys simply stored struggling with and stored struggling with. Each time we win, I’m in order that satisfied for the gamers.”

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