With the start of spring semester a day away, University of Maryland students packed the house in Comcast Center to watch the Terps take on Boston College. The Terrapins looked to bounce back from an ugly loss in North Carolina in which they turned the ball over 21 times. The Terps played another ugly game, but came out on top of this one, 64-59.
The Terps were able to cut down on their turnover from last game, but it still wasn't pretty. Maryland turned the ball over less this game (14) than they did in the first half against North Carolina (15).
Turnovers are clearly still an issue for this young Terrapin team, but Coach Mark Turgeon likes the direction of his team.
I'm really proud of my team, said Turgeon after the game. We've had an unbelievably tough stretch. We went Sunday at Miami, Wednesday in an emotional game, and then we were at noon on Saturday and then Tuesday. And we played two teams that had byes leading into the game: North Carolina and Boston College. We gutted it out.
Gutting it out is something that Turgeon says he wants his team to do. He said that his team found a way to win tonight, and will continue on with the mindset: just find a way.
Because of the Boston College's small lineup, Freshman Jake Layman started the third game if his career Tuesday night. He responded well, scoring 15 points in 28 minutes. Coach Turgeon was excited about how Layman played in a starting role.
I think he is more comfortable starting and I know that I am more comfortable with him, Turgeon said about Layman. It gives us a shooter and an athlete. The kid is going to be a really good player. It was great to see him play with confidence. He was really good defensively; I couldn't even get him on the court earlier in the year because he was so bad defensively. He was really good defensively and that's why he was able to stay out there.
Trailing 43-40 with 11:16 remaining in the game, Dez Wells started running the point. He assisted on 4 of the following 5 made shots, as the Terps went on a 12-1 run. Wells finished with a career-high 8 assists in the win.
We went with Dez and he had eight assist, seven in the second half and made shots for people, Turgeon said. We put the ball is Dez's hands. We went from down three to up eight when the ball was in his hands.
He can play four positions, from point guard to position four, said Alex Len, who had a game high 16 points and 13 rebounds. He can do everything, you know. It's pretty good to have him.
Like most of Maryland's wins this season, defense played a huge role. Boston College only shot 35.7% against the Terps. In all six ACC games, the Terps have held their opponents below 38 percent from the field.
Our guys believe in their defense and pretty soon we are going to be believing in our offense. We are getting better. 64 points tonight and shooting 42 percent feels like 80 percent compared to the way we have been shooting.
Nick Faust scored 9 of his 11 points in the second half, but led the team with 4 turnovers. Charles Mitchell (14 minutes), James Padgett (9 minutes) and Shaquille Cleare (7 minutes) didn't play much in the win due to Boston College's smaller lineup. The trio combined for 6 points and 4 rebounds.
With the win, the Terrapins improve to 15-4 on the season and 3-3 in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Boston College falls to 9-9 overall and 1-4 in the ACC. The Terps will travel to Durham, N.C. on Saturday to take on the top-ranked Duke Blue Devils. Tip off is scheduled for 1 p.m.