No. 3 Maryland had trouble with their regional rival Georgetown Hoyas all evening tonight, but managed to come away with the victory thanks to a late fourth quarter rally and leave the court on a positive note as the Terps won 75-71.
Sophomore guard Melo Trimble led all players with 24 points, sinking 13 of 18 free throw attempts while shooting just 4 of 11 from the field. Senior Jake Layman also chipped in 15 points, even hitting a clutch three-pointer in the fourth quarter to give Maryland a lead.
Though it seemed like Maryland’s strong defensive attack would dominate Georgetown from start to finish, that was not the case. Georgetown started the game on a 9-0 run and appeared ready to run with Maryland at an equal speed, with the sole goal being leaving the XFinity Center with a victory.
But Maryland refused to back down at any point. This team constantly drove the lane and forced Georgetown to commit 25 fouls on the game. To give a better idea, Maryland only committed 15. The score at halftime was a 33-33 tie, which mean that the second half was bound to be dramatic.
Georgetown outplayed Maryland for much of the second half as guys like freshman sensation Marcus Derrickson and forward Isaac Copeland picked and popped their way to the basket and increased the Hoyas’ lead to as many as seven points. Senior seven-footer Bradley Hayes made Terps freshman big man Diamond Stone look amateurish in the paint. And Maryland continued to fight hard.
Trimble hit a game-tying three with four minutes left to tie the game at 61. After a trading of layups, Layman nailed a clutch three from the corner to put the Terps up 66-63, though D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera quickly answered that with a three of his own as the timer read 2:07.
The score was tied at 68 a Maryland jumper and two Georgetown free throws later, but then the game was iced thanks to a deep three from former Duke standout Rasheed Sulaimon, who finished the game with 10 points and seven assists. Free throws and one garbage time three later, the game was over.
That all being said, as much as some people may not want to admit it, Maryland is for real this season. The Terps play as a cohesive unit and have a knack for making the clutch shots, and having Sulaimon as a shooter and playmaker is only going to help the team moving forward. Stone is going to continue to improve all season long and the team’s depth will too.
On Georgetown’s end, though the team falls to 0-2 with the loss, this team is still looking promising for the long run. Yes, the season-opening overtime loss to Radford was bad, but the Hoyas can now say that they took the No. 3 overall team IN THE COUNTRY to the brink. On paper, this should have been a blowout on Maryland’s end. Instead, it was a dogfight that saw two deep and talented teams fight and claw to the absolute death until a winner could be crowned. To paraphrase Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, two teams entered, and one team left as the victor.
Georgetown will look to get into the win column when it hosts Wisconsin on Friday, while Maryland will host the MAAC’s Rider Broncs the same day.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports