Terps put it all together, crush Wake
ATLANTA | Maryland’s gleam of moderate overachievement and steady progress dissipated over the final three games of the regular season.
A reinvigorated roster, not to mention a meeting with ACC punching bag Wake Forest, helped bring the Terrapins’ excitement back for at least one day in March.
Eighth-seeded Maryland pulverized ninth-seeded Wake Forest 82-60 in the first round of the ACC tournament Thursday, providing a jolt to a team not quite ready to see its season come to an end.
“That’s the most complete game we have played all year,” coach Mark Turgeon said.
Terrell Stoglin scored 25 points and Nick Faust added 19 for the Terps (17-14), who advanced to meet top-seeded North Carolina (27-4) in Friday’s quarterfinals.
Yes, Maryland maintained flickering NIT hopes and it did so with its most lopsided ACC tournament victory in a decade. The Terps built their largest lead of the season (29 points late in the second half) and produced their second-best assist total of the year (18).
But more than anything, they departed Philips Arena feeling better about vastly better about themselves after some late-season struggles.
Maryland lost to struggling Georgia Tech, was blown out at North Carolina and stretched Virginia to overtime to complete the regular season. A NO. CAROLINA VS. MARYLAND Friday: TV: Radio:
four-game skid to close out the year would not have left a pleasant sensation entering the offseason.
Instead, the Terps embraced their tournament opportunity. Stoglin attempted only 14 shots, his fewest since point guard Pe’shon Howard was lost for the season with a torn knee ligament. Faust continued his maturation with one turnover in 31 minutes. And Maryland overwhelmed the shallow Demon Deacons (13-18), with walk-on Jonathan Thomas playing 12 valuable minutes to help wear out Wake.