The Terps came in to tonight riding high off a win against Notre Dame in the BB&T Classic on Sunday.  After a strong first half, that saw the Terps leading by as many as 16, the Terps struggled in the second half in what became a back-and-forth game to the buzzer.  In the end, Maryland was able to hold on 77-74.

Mount St. Mary’s erased a 16-point first half deficit by clamping down on defense and making 52.4% of their three’s for the game. At one point in the second half, Mount St. Mary’s were on a 15-3 scoring run.

Terrell Stoglin responded. Emphatically.  With Maryland trailing 68-67 with under four minutes left, Stoglin took over, scoring six straight points for the Terps to give them the lead 73-70.  The ACC’s leading scorer finished with 23 points tonight, just slightly above his season average (22.4 points per game).

Coach Turgeon said after the game “I didn’t do a very good job tonight until the end. I don’t know if it was me or Terrell bailing me out down the stretch.”

Stoglin did help down the stretch, but the defense, while poor for much of the second half, improved in the last-minute as Nick Faust blocked a shot and Mychal Parker secured the late rebound to seal the game.  Parker made two free throws – his first two shots of any kind on the night – to put the Terps up 75-72.

Danny Thompson decided to go for the dunk with a second left, rather than go for a three pointer.  On the inbound play, Sean Mosley caught the inbound play, held on, and was fouled.  He sank both free throws to put the Terps up 77-74 with one second left.  A last second three-quarter court shot fell short to end the game.

It was not a good win for the Terps, but a close game in December is something to build on.  Especially when Pe’Shon Howard and Alex Len return at the end of the month.  One positive from the game was the Nick Faust.  Faust had the key block, but also added 13 points, 5 assists, and a steal.

After the game coach Turgeon mentioned “His confidence was there tonight and was there yesterday in practice.  Kids get so caught up in scoring and their shot. They see their numbers and what people are saying and it affects him.”

Turgeon added “We tried to simplify the game for him. Defend, rebound, get to the foul line and get shots for Terrell and Sean. He did that tonight, he had five assists.  We told him if he is going to score, get to the rim.”

Another positive was the return of Ashton Pankey.  You’ll recall that Pankey played just one minute against Notre Dame on Sunday.  After the game, coach Turgeon said it was a coaches decision to only play a minute.  Tonight, after clearing the air with Turgeon, Pankey finished with 13 points and 5 rebounds in 20 minutes of action.  Pankey did take have a few plays where his effort was questionable, but at the end of the day he played pretty well.

Coach Turgeon said at the end of his press conference that the team had a long time off (a week) until their next game and would use that to get better.  Next Wednesday the Terps (5-3) welcome Isiah Thomas and the Florida International Panthers (2-5) to Comcast Center for a 7:30 game on ESPN. Yes, a 5-3 Maryland team is taking on a 2-5 FIU team in out-of-conference action in primetime, on ESPN.

Follow Brendan Darr on twitter for more Maryland updates: @BrendanDarr1067



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