The Maryland Terrapins (7-4, 1-0) never trailed against Florida Atlantic this afternoon, but they allowed the Owls to keep it close down to the wire.
The Terps jumped out quick early on but the rest of the game remained close due to the solid play by Pablo Bertone. Bertone came into this game averaging 20 points per game and finished with 21.
Marquan Botley also helped the Owls (3-8) keep pace with the Terps by pouring in 18 points himself.
Maryland’s MVP of the night was Jake Layman who came into the game averaging 14.4 points per game. He finished the game with 22 points which included a huge 3-pointer in the final minute of the game to help seal the deal for the Terps in a 66-62 victory.
Layman had a solid night outside of scoring by posting six rebounds, one assist, two blocks and two steals.
Everyone was getting into the scoring act tonight for the Terps as Shaquille Cleare, Dez Wells, and Charles Mitchell each scored 10 points. But, even with what seemed to be a good team effort, there was a lot of selfishness that got in the way of Maryland’s opportunity to run away with the game.
Coach Mark Turgeon talked about being more unselfish as a team.
“We have to be much more unselfish on both ends on the floor for us to be a better basketball team. We talked about that.β
Maryland shot 39.7 percent from the floor this game in part to some bad shot selections in the first half. Maryland shot 35.3 percent from the floor in the first half but showed improvement in the second half by shooting 44.8 percent from the floor.
Evan Smotrycz was a prime example tonight of bad shot selection. He shot an abysmal 1-12 from the floor and went 0-6 from 3-point range. Everyone has an off night offensively, but you have to be able to recognize that early and get the ball in the hands of guys who are knocking down shots.
Though he was not producing points, Smotrycz did shine in weaker areas of his game by hauling in seven rebounds and not committing lazy fouls.
The game was a little too close for anyone’s liking but there are a few good things the Terps can take away from this game.
Maryland averaged 13.9 turnovers per game coming into tonight and only committed nine against the Owls. Roddy Peters seems to be stepping up his game and helping this Maryland team find a grove. Hopefully we continue to see him develop and mature into a solid point guard (sooner rather than later).
Maryland also out-rebounded the Owls 40-33. Shaq helped the Terps out-rebound the Owls on the offensive boards and said that it was something the team was encouraged to do more.
βWhen we played Boston College, Coach told us we really needed to start rebounding offensively. Five of my rebounds tonight were offensive rebounds. I just hustled and got the ball.β
The Terps as a whole gave their team second chances by hauling in 16 offensive rebounds compared to the Owls nine.
With little time to prepare for this FAU team and coming off an emotional ACC road win, the Terrapins did what they had to do to win.
A week-long break should help the Terps rest and fix a few things before they host Boston University next Saturday.