Maryland will play Boston College Tuesday night fresh off the Terps’ biggest win of the season. Traveling to BC for a late-night game screams of a trap game for a young Terps team that has heard a lot about its victory over Duke for the last two days.
The Terps (18-7, 6-6) have the chance to answer if the 83-81 win over Duke will be a springboard to a late-season tourney run, or just a high point in an otherwise inconsistent season.
Boston College came to College Park earlier this season, and Maryland squeezed out a 64-59 victory. The Terps must play with more vigor to defeat the Eagles in Boston. BC can present defensive challenges with hot shooting, and if Maryland looks at all hungover from the Duke victory the Eagles could mount a quick lead.
A young team on the road like Maryland cannot afford to get down early. In the January game against BC, Alex Len paced the Terps with 16 points and 13 rebounds. A similar effort from Len could again lead Maryland to a win.
BC comes into the game having a down season (11-14, 3-9) but since joining the ACC in 2005, the Eagles have won more than they’ve lost against Maryland. The Terps will get back junior guard Pe’Shon Howard for this game after he served a one-game suspension.
Howard’s suspension allowed freshman Seth Allen to receive the bulk of the minutes at point guard for the Terps. Allen gave the Terps a Jekyll/Hyde performance with eight turnovers compared to 16 points, but the young lefty also gave Maryland a difference maker with the ball in his hands.
For his efforts against Duke, including hitting the game winning free throws with 2.8 seconds left, the ACC named Allen its Freshman of the Week. If Allen can replicate his offensive success against BC, and limit the tunrovers, Maryland should win the game.
The formula for a Maryland victory stems from defensive tenacity, aggressive rebounding and running the offense from the inside out. The Terps must keep the Eagles’ 3-point shooting in check, but if the team brings an intense level of play to Chestnut Hill, Maryland should return home victorious.