COLLEGE PARK--Something spectacular emerged from twenty minutes of running and jumping and shooting between Maryland and Wake Forest on Tuesday night at Comcast Center. My goodness, they began to play organized basketball.
After overcoming a slow first half that featured three shot clock violations and 18 turnovers between the two teams, Maryland’s offense finally clicked. The Terrapins used a 16-3 run over a five-minute stretch in the middle of the second half to take control for good in a 71-60 win over the Demon Deacons in College Park.
Nick Faust helped to keep Maryland afloat in the first half as it navigated the doldrums, then powered the second-half push. He finished with a career-high 20 points on 7-of-11 shooting and added five rebounds and four assists.
Read more below.
Maryland 71, Wake Forest 60
CHARLES MITCHELL STARTS AGAIN
Mark Turgeon is sticking with what works and what works is Charles Mitchell in the starting lineup. After putting in work on the block against Duke, Mitchell was Maryland’s primary offensive option on its first two possessions and it worked for much of the night.
He finished with 12 points on 6-of-8 shooting and seven rebounds.
For much of the first half, Maryland-Wake Forest was a struggle. Before Maryland’s 11-2 run to end the half and enter the locker room up by five points, it was mostly a showcase for turnovers, missed free throws, and sloppy offense.
Need evidence? Maryland shot 1-of-6 from the free throw line, Wake Forest committed three shot clock violations, and the two teams combined for 18 first-half turnovers.
BORN TO RUN
Stuck in neutral for much of the first half, Maryland broke out in the second. Evan Smotrycz and Nick Faust helped to key a 16-3 run that put Maryland up and, save a late push that got Wake Forest back within single digits, essentially sealed the game.
HAD TO HAVE IT
With five games remaining in the season entering Tuesday night, two of which come against ranked opponents, Maryland could not afford a loss against a team over which they were heavily favored.
Maryland is now 15-12 on the season and an even 7-7 in ACC play. Their next opponent? Undefeated and No. 1 Syracuse.