No. 19 Maryland tops South Carolina-Upstate 67-57
COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) Maryland coach Mark Turgeon implored his team stay confident after the Terrapins struggled to make shots in the first half against South Carolina-Upstate.
His players responded with a dominant performance on both ends of the court.
Freshman Melo Trimble earned his first double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds as No. 19 Maryland overcame a halftime deficit to pull away from the Spartans 67-57 on Saturday.
Jake Layman scored 17 points and Evan Smotrycz added 10 for the Terrapins (10-1). Upstate was attempting to beat its first AP Top 25 opponent in Division I school history.
''Bad shooting is contagious, but I was proud that we continued to guard,'' Turgeon said. ''A lot of teams would keep their heads down at the half, but we came back.''
The Terps shot 9 of 35 (25.7 percent) from the field, including 2 of 17 from beyond the arc in the first half. They were much better in the second half, going 13 of 20 (65 percent) from the field.
Michael Buchanan and Fred Miller had 13 points apiece for the Spartans (8-3). Ty Greene finished with 11 points for Upstate, which ended a four-game winning streak that included a victory over Georgia Tech of the ACC.
Maryland trailed by four at the break, but used its size to gain momentum early in the second half. A dunk by Layman capped a 10-2 run and the Terps had their first lead since early in the game, 36-35, with 15:13 left.
Maryland never trailed again.
''In the first half, I wasn't aggressive enough,'' Layman said. ''I wasn't looking for my shots. I was settling for some 3's I probably shouldn't have taken.''
Layman and Smotrycz hit consecutive 3-pointers and the Terps led 43-37 with 11:37 remaining. Layman hit another long jumper and increased the margin to 54-46 with 7:19 left. Maryland had an answer for each Upstate field goal, and Trimble made three key free throws in the final two minutes to put the game away.
''We were off in the first half,'' Trimble said. ''We were running our offense, but we were just not making shots. It made us tougher and made us start driving the ball.''
Upstate fell to 0-5 all-time against Big Ten opponents
Maryland scored just 14 points in the opening 13 minutes. Upstate took advantage and a jumper by Miller capped an 8-0 run, increasing its lead to 21-14 with six minutes remaining.
''I thought we did a lot of good things,'' Spartans coach Eddie Payne said. ''You can't make errors against a good team like that. We had a few self-inflicted turnovers. I think our players know we are capable of competing and winning games like this.''
The Spartans lead the Atlantic Sun with 10.8 steals per game. Upstate finished with seven steals against Maryland.
The Terrapins forward Evan Smotrycz returned to the lineup for the first time since Nov. 30 and played 18 minutes. He didn't show any lingering effects of the broken foot that also forced him to miss the first five games of the season. ''I'm not in the best shape right now and not moving the best I can,'' he said.
FROM THE LINE
The Terrapins entered the game leading the nation in free throws made (197). Maryland went 17 of 23 from the line, while the Spartans were 8 of 11. Trimble finished 8 of 9.
USC Upstate: The Spartans travel to Memphis on Wednesday.
Maryland: The Terrapins travel to Oklahoma State on Dec. 21.