“It wasn't really a fun game to be a part of, to be honest with you,” Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon said after the game. “We didn't make shots, shots we should have made.”
“I think we played well,” sophomore forward Dez Wells said. “That was the first time this season we played against an offense like that. We're going to have to play another team like that later, so it was a good experience for us. We executed our offense well and played hard defensively. We also out-rebounded them and cut down on our turnovers from last game.”
Len also grabbed six rebounds for the Terps and Dez Wells and Shaquille Cleare each scored eight points for Maryland. The Terps' leading rebounder was freshman forward Charles Mitchell who had eight total rebounds and five offensive boards.
“We did everything Coach asked us to do,” Len said. “I think we had a little trouble playing against their zone. By the end of the game we figured out how to play against it; so it was a good game.”
The last time the Terrapins and the Bulldogs squared off was back in December 1998, with the Terps rolling to a 104-70 win at home in College Park, Md. With the win, the Bulldogs became the third opponent in a row that the Terps have stayed undefeated against, with the Terps having never lost to George Mason or Maryland Eastern Shore in their school history.
A new lineup was unveiled by Turgeon, who started Mitchell and Logan Aronhalt alongside Faust, Len and Howard. The Maryland Terrapins took a quick lead to start and while they did not start with a convincing run, they managed to take a considerable lead as the first half progressed despite only shooting 40.7 percent from the field. A foul by Aronhalt on Bulldog guard Shaquiell Mitchell sent him to the line at the buzzer. Mitchell converted two of his three free throw attempts to cut Maryland's lead to 31-18 at the half.
The Terps continued to battle in the second half and protected their lead, cruising to a 61-46 victory as the walk-on players also got to record some playing time. The Terps continued to struggle shooting, finishing with a 37.3 field goal percentage while the Bulldogs shot 32.1 percent from the field. The Terps made up for their woeful field goal shooting by converting 18 of their 22 free throws and outscored the Bulldogs in the paint 28-6. Maryland's bench also outscored South Carolina State's bench 27-9, providing a spark for the starters who combined for a total of 13-of-29 from the field.
“Guys really weren't hitting shots today,” freshman guard Seth Allen said. “Their zone was weird, and we haven't played anything like that before. We were so wide open and I think it threw off our rhythm for the whole game.”
With the win, the Terrapins rise to 8-1 on the season while the South Carolina State falls to 4-5. The Terps will host Monmouth at home in the Comcast Center in College Park, Md. Wednesday. Tip off is scheduled for 8 p.m.