Irving, Watson Jr. carry BU to win over Maryland

Irving, Watson Jr. carry BU to win over Maryland
December 21, 2013, 3:00 pm
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Williams talks Terps identity, Whittington transfer

(Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports)

COLLEGE PARK--Call it a finals week hangover. Call it a mid-December mid-major trap game. Call it what you will, but ultimately it’s one that Maryland had to have.

Plagued by turnovers and unable to crack the opponent’s zone defense, Maryland stumbled to a 83-77 loss to Boston University on Saturday afternoon at Comcast Center.

Senior guard D.J. Irving led the way for BU with 25 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the floor. His backcourt mate, Maurice Watson, Jr. added 12 points and seven assists.

Maryland had difficulty breaking BU’s zone all afternoon, but four players still managed to score in double figures, led by Dez Wells with 18 points.

Read more below.

FINAL

Boston University 83, Maryland 77

ANNOUNCED ATTENDANCE

10,882

[RELATED: Injury update on point guard Seth Allen]

HEADLINES

TERPS NOT GETTING THE POINT

Perimeter defense has continually been a problem for Maryland as they approach the halfway point of the season. More specifically, guards have had their way driving to the basket with little resistance from Maryland’s defenders.

It was an issue that haunted the Terrapins again on Saturday.

Senior guard D.J. Irving had 25 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the floor. Sophomore Maurice Watson, Jr. started slow scoring in the first half, but finished with 13 points. He was most important as the facilitator BU needed on Saturday, though.

He had seven assists and turned the ball over four times. His ability to create opened up shooters on the perimeter and for forward Dom Morris down low.

TURNOVERS, TURNOVERS, TURNOVERS

Not holding onto the basketball was once again a problem for Maryland. The team turned it over 11 times in the first half. The inability to hang onto the ball nullified Maryland’s solid shooting percentage from the floor in the first.

The Terrapins cleaned up their act early in the second half, the main reason they were able to erase a 10-point halftime deficit and pull ahead for the first time in the second half with 9:06 to play.

But down the stretch, turnover became an issue again. Maryland finished with 17 on the game.

[RELATED: Turgeon bans Christmas until after Saturday's game vs. BU]

TROUBLE WITH THE ZONE

It isn’t that Maryland can’t shoot from the perimeter. Jake Layman is one of the best in the ACC at doing just that. Evan Smotrycz is no slouch, either. But the problem on Saturday against BU’s zone was getting those shooters open looks.

Maryland’s ball movement did not create driving lanes or space on the perimeter for Layman or others. After going an impressive 5-of-6 from three-point range in the first half, Maryland was 1-for-9 in the second.

LESS IS MORRIS

He has size. He has bulk. He moves around on offense. He was a problem on Saturday for Maryland. BU senior forward Dom Morris had 16 points and five rebounds, always in motion and working off of screens on the offensive end and putting himself in a position to score.

Maryland had trouble keeping up, not only because guards were able to find their way into the paint, but because mobile bigs made it difficult for the Terrapins to keep up.

FREE THROWS NOT FREE

Maryland struggled from the line in a game that was within single-digits. The Terrapins shot 15-of-26 on the night. Coach Mark Turgeon has said in the past that he wants his teams to make more free throws than the other team attempts. That didn’t happen tonight.

Boston University attempted 36. Maryland made 15.