Layman, Maryland offense freeze in loss to Pittsburgh

Layman, Maryland offense freeze in loss to Pittsburgh
January 6, 2014, 9:15 pm
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Gary Williams on Maryland, Georgetown and GW

(Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)

By the time Maryland tipped off against Pittsburgh at Petersen Events Center, it was 0°F in western Pennsylvania. This would be the spot to segway into a comment about how cold Maryland’s shooting was or hot the Panthers’ was.

I’ll pass, but the final score should give you an indication, a 79-59 Pittsburgh win over the Terrapins in the program’s first-ever ACC game in the history of the Steel City.

Baltimore native Durand Johnson, who came into the game averaging 8.1 points per game, poured in 17 points, second only on the Panthers to senior Lamar Patterson, who paced the Panthers offense with 19.

The Panthers controlled the ball as they are known to do. Coach Jamie Dixon’s team turned the ball over just seven times and handed Maryland its biggest loss of the season, a 20-point defeat.

Read more analysis below.

FINAL

Pittsburgh 79, Maryland 59

HEADLINES

CAN’T TURN THIS

Pittsburgh came into Monday night’s game ranked 16th in the country in turnovers per game, committing just 10 per game. That continued against Maryland, as the Panthers had 18 assists on 29 made baskets while turning it over just seven times.

Combine that with the fact that Pittsburgh shot 52.7 percent from the floor and it really doesn’t matter what conference you’re in. That wins games.

It helped to contribute to the run that was the turning point in the game. With 5:41 to play in the first half, Pittsburgh trailed by three points, 28-25. Maryland would not score for the next 3:48 and during that time the Panthers went on a 9-0 run to flip the deficit into a six-point lead.

[RELATED: Maryland signee Dion Wiley gives injury update]

JAKE LAYMAN ELIMINATED

Against Ohio State, Jake Layman was taken out of his game by being guarded tightly on the perimeter. On Monday night against Pittsburgh, it was even worse for the sophomore wing. Not only was he covered on the perimeter, but his two attempts to drive to the basket were rejected--emphatically.

He was 0-for-4 from the floor through 20 minutes.

He began the game on the bench in the second half, replaced by Nick Faust. Faust, too, struggled in the first half, but Faust’s presence defensively gave more than Layman can. Upon entry, Layman was more aggressive in the second half but never really found his footing.

He finished with three points on 1-of-7 shooting.

[RELATED: Wind chill to reach -25°F in Pittsburgh on Monday night]

PERIMETER DEFENSE STRUGGLING

It didn’t really matter what the switches ended up being. Whether it was Faust, Smotrycz, Dez Wells, or Roddy Peters on the nearest shooter, those Pittsburgh shooters were open. That allowed Durand Johnson to put up his 15 points. That allowed a team that came into the game ranked 201st in the country in three-point shooting to shoot at a 60 percent clip on Monday night.

WHERE IS EFFICIENT NICK FAUST?

Nick Faust had one of the best three-game stretches of his career at Maryland in recent weeks. That did not carry over on Monday night. The junior took three shots in the first half.

His first was a contested three-pointer off of a kick-out from the post. His second was an off-balance runner off the opposite foot. His third was a pull-up three with 30 seconds remaining on the shot clock.

He finished with five points on 2-of-7 shooting from the floor.

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