Terps shake off Spi­ders

Mary­land takes over late af­ter trail­ing by dou­ble dig­its in N.Y.

Baltimore Sun - - COLLEGE BASKETBALL NBA -

Mary­land had gone down to the wire in three of its first five games this sea­son, win­ning three times af­ter trail­ing in the sec­ond half. The Terps changed the script a lit­tle Fri­day night against Rich­mond in the open­ing round of the Bar­clays Clas­sic, but not the end re­sult.

Af­ter trail­ing by as many as14 three times in the first half, and by 12 at halftime and again early in the sec­ond half, Mary­land missed its chance to win in reg­u­la­tion, then took over in over­time and held on for a 88-82 vic­tory be­fore a pro-Terps crowd at the Bar­clays Cen­ter in Brook­lyn, N.Y.

Ju­nior guard Melo Trim­ble led Mary­land (6-0) with 31 points, ty­ing his ca­reer high. The team’s three fresh­man starters also scored in dou­ble fig­ures: guard Anthony Cowan scored 18, forward Justin Jack­son had16 points and seven re­bounds, and wing Kevin Huerter had his first dou­ble dou­ble, with 12 points and 10 Bar­clays Clas­sic fi­nal re­bounds.

Guard ShawnDre Jones led Rich­mond (3-2) with 23 points.

The Terps will play Kansas State, which beat Bos­ton Col­lege ear­lier in the night, in tonight’s cham­pi­onship game. Mary­land has won earl­y­sea­son tour­na­ments in each of the past three years — at the Can­cun Chal­lenge last year, at the CBE Hall of Fame Chal­lenge two years ago and at the Par­adise Jam in 2013-14.

Trail­ing 41-29 early in the sec­ond half, the Terps went on 13-2 run that was fu­eled by two long 3-pointers by Huerter to pull within one, 43-42, on a drive by Trim­ble. The Spi­ders ex­tended the lead to five, but Mary­land then went on a 15-5 run to take a 57-52 lead on a put-back by ju­nior cen­ter Michal Cekovsky.

But the Terps couldn’t hold on to the lead as Rich­mond’s matchup zone de­fense slowed Mary­land’s of- fense. The Terps also contributed to a 9-3 Rich­mond run, as three straight turnovers, two by Trim­ble — led to a three-point play by Spi­ders cen­ter T.J. Cline and a fast-break layup by Jones.

In one stretch in the first half when the Terps saw an 8-8 game turn into a 24-10 deficit, Mary­land missed 12 straight shots, and missed its first 13 3-point shots for the game. Con­versely, the Spi­ders spread their op­po­nents out with their Prince­ton of­fense, hit­ting a com­bi­na­tion of 3-pointers and drives.

The Terps twice cut their deficit to 10 points, to 24-14 on a steal and drive by Cowan and later to 34-24 on a 3-pointer by Trim­ble with two min­utes left in the first half. It was the first 3-pointer Mary­land had hit in the game.

But Rich­mond an­swered right back with a 3-point shot by sopho­more guard Kh­wan Fore. A free throw by Jones made it 37-24, but Cowan re­duced the deficit to 38-26 with 14 sec­onds left in the half. The Spi­ders, who played most of the half with­out Cline, their best big man and the son of New York basketball leg­end Nancy Lieber­man, shot 14for-30 from the field.

MICHAEL REAVES/GETTY IMAGES

Melo Trim­ble puts up a layup. The ju­nior guard led Mary­land with 31 points, ty­ing his ca­reer high. The Terps trailed by as many as 14 points three times in the first half. The Terps play Kansas State tonight for the Bar­clays Clas­sic ti­tle.

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