Maryland Shakes off First Half Shooting Woes to Win
In their portion of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, the No.3 nationally ranked Terrapins hosted the Notre Dame Fighting Irish for the first time in more than 4 years.
Maryland emphasized one of their key weaknesses in what may have been their worst slow start of the year. The Terps would begin 0-10 from the 3 point line as they fumbled consistently on offense (they would end the half 2-13 from beyond the arc). Their defense, however, would hold very strong in the first half and force two seperate 4 minute scoring droughts from Notre Dame.
If it was Fight, They would have Stopped it:
As what is to be expected from UMD, they would eventually find an offensive rhythm to end the half on a 21-7 scoring run. Similarly to how North Carolina was able to defeat the Fighting Irish earlier in the season, Maryland found success in driving to the top of the key to break up Notre Dame`s zone defense. Notre Dame would never reclaim the lead after the Terps run into the half.
By pressing their advantage in the paint through their athleticism and size, Maryland secures another win on their first 9-0 start since the 1998-99 season. Hopefully this season can keep the fire burning as the Terps welcome Illinois to the Xfinity Center to mark the beginning of conference play.
Notable Statlines, The Good and The Not So Good:
Jalen Smith-With a strong defensive performance, Smith would also notch a double double with 16 rebounds and 15 points. He was dominant in rim protection with another 5 blocks tonight.
Defensive Efficiency-The Terps were very strong on the defensive end in this game, a trait that arguably kept them in this match despite poor shooting to start. While they let John Mooney score a bit in the second half, they were able to keep nearly every Notre Dame scorer in check, even keeping T.J. Gibbs-who averages 10.5 points per game-to zero points on 0-11 shooting.
The Not So Good:
Maryland`s beyond sluggish start on Offense-As mentioned, UMD would open up 0-10 from beyond the arc and only net two threes total in the first half. In a changing game where the ability to stretch the floor is a near necessity, Maryland`s continued failures from beyond the arc worry many as they welcome in higher scoring opponents like Ohio State, Michigan, and Michigan State later in the season.
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