Maryland had been coming off three straight losses heading in to Thursday’s opening round game in the ACC Tournament against Wake Forest. The Terps were reeling and looked worn down heading into post-season play. Sean Mosley and Nick Faust picked up ankle injuries, while Terrell Stoglin was looking tired down the stretch.
None of that mattered on Thursday afternoon as the Terps demolished Wake Forest in the second half, after being up just five points at the half, en route to an 82-60 win over Wake. Maryland came out of the break on fire, with most of the damage coming from Terrell Stoglin. Stoglin had just 9 points in the first half, but had 9 in the first four minutes of the second half. The Terps would push the lead to 29 points with four minutes to go before sending in the walk-on’s.
Stoglin led the Terps with team-high’s in points (25), rebounds (7), and assists (4). Coach Mark Turgeon did a great job of rotating players in and out and allowed Stoglin to stay fresh. His 8-for-14 performance was his highest shooting percentage (57.1%) since his 9-for-11 (81.8%) game against Clemson on Feb. 7th.
Stoglin wasn’t the only Terrapin to shine tonight, as both Nick Faust (19) and James Padgett (10) scored in double-digits. Faust did a lot of his work in transition, as Maryland pressured Wake Forest all night and played a more up-tempo game than the Terps have all season.
Padgett was phenomenal, again, on the offensive glass as he had three offensive rebounds – all of which led to baskets. Alex Len also played a solid game, with two big dunks in transition and dominated the defensive end, with 3 blocks and countless altered shots.
After the game, Turgeon called today’s game “That’s the most complete game we have played all year.” And honestly, who would disagree. The Terps shot their highest field goal percentage (54.4%) during a game today all season. Maryland also dominated the boards and dished out 18 assists.
The dominating performance was a surprise, but a welcomed one, as the Terps have had trouble maintaining large leads this season. The Terps were up 22 against Cornell in the first half, before the lead was whittled away and was down to one point in the second half. It’s a performance that the Terps have been searching for all season.
Maryland will play at noon tomorrow against number-one seed North Carolina. The game can be seen on ESPN2 and the ACC Network. For more information on Maryland follow Brendan Darr on twitter: @BrendanDarr1067