Reporting Brendan Darr
Before Maryland switches to the Big Ten, they have still have the awkwardness of participating in the ACC-Big Ten challenge on behalf of the ACC. Maryland held up their end of the bargain on Tuesday night at Northwestern. The Terps had a slow start to the game, but picked it up after the half en route to their 77-57 win over the Wildcats.
Despite being favored by four points in the game, Northwestern couldn’t handle Maryland’s presence inside. Alex Len had a big night and was the key to getting Maryland going in the second half. Len finished with 13 points, 12 rebounds and added two blocks. Len didn’t see much of the ball in the first half, but Turgeon went to the well early and often in the second half.
While Len played a vital role in the second half, Dez Wells was the star of the show for the first time this year. Wells set a new career-high with his 23 points against Northwestern. Wells athletic ability was on full display for the nation as he was streaking down the court and blowing by defenders. Wells didn’t settle for jump shots, rather, he chose to attack the basket, and it seemed others followed suit in the second half.
After Maryland’s slow start against Georgia Southern, coach Mark Turgeon and some of the players talked about how they had to play a full 40 minutes, and while they weren’t able to put it all together against Northwestern, they played an incredibly dominant 20 minutes, and did enough in the first twenty to not let the game out of hand.
Maryland will be in every game if they can out-rebound their opponents like they did against Northwestern. Maryland out-rebounded Northwestern 42-15 and only surrendered three offensive rebounds to the Wildcats. Maryland actually shot they best percentage from the free throw line all season in Tuesday’s game going 14-for-17.
Maryland drew some praise throughout the game from national pundits as they were on national display for the second time in the early going this season. With the rest of the ACC faltering on Tuesday night, with the only other ACC team winning in Virginia Tech, Maryland made a big statement to the conference with their win.
Maryland will face George Mason in their next game in the BB&T classic on Sunday at 2:30.