November 20, 2015

One takeaway from Maryland's latest win was how close it was to being a first loss. The Terrapins would like to live a little farther away from the edge in their next contest.

The third-ranked Terrapins look to build off a stressful victory when they host visiting Rider Friday night in the Cancun Challenge.

Maryland (2-0) nearly lost at home for the first time in 15 games Tuesday against old rival Georgetown, needing a late 3-pointer from Rasheed Sulaimon for a 75-71 win.

The tight victory came against a Georgetown team that opened the season with an 82-80 double-overtime loss to Radford and served as a reminder that a new-look Maryland roster loaded with talent will take time to settle in.

''I told our guys, man, we needed this,'' coach Mark Turgeon said. ''This was great. We figured out how to win the game. It lets them know we're not invincible.''

That's how Maryland looked during an easy 80-56 win over Mount St. Mary's on Nov. 13, but concerns slipped through the cracks against Georgetown.

Such as the fact that three starters didn't record a single minute for the Terrapins in 2014-15. Sulaimon was playing the last of his three seasons with Duke while forward Robert Carter sat out a year after transferring from Georgia Tech. Center Diamond Stone is a highly-touted freshman out of Milwaukee.

Sulaimon's 3-pointer broke a 68-68 tie with 1:18 left, but it was his only make of the second half as he finished with just 10 points in 37 minutes. Carter had 12 points and eight rebounds in 31 minutes, while the 6-foot-11 Stone was a non-factor with five points and one rebound in 14.

Maryland allowed the Hoyas to shoot 48.2 percent from the field and 42.1 percent from 3-point range, but most pressing might be its deficit of 36-28 on the boards. Turgeon has noted his desire to play big with Stone, the 6-9 Carter and 6-9 forward Jake Layman, but he went small late without Stone.

What the Terrapins do have is sophomore guard Melo Trimble, the Big Ten Preseason Player of the Year. Trimble, who combines with Sulaimon in a stellar backcourt, poured in 17 of his game-high 24 points in the second half.

"Toughness is what we had down the stretch," he told the team's official website. "We just believed in each other."

The Terrapins have plenty of chances to mesh before Big Ten play, including bracket play in this Challenge next week in Cancun. Maryland plays Illinois State on Tuesday and either Rhode Island or TCU in the Riviera Division championship or third-place game the following day.

The Terrapins wrap up the Challenge with a home game versus Cleveland State on Nov. 28.

Rider (0-2) has lost seven straight against ranked teams since a season-opening win over No. 18 Mississippi State on Nov. 13, 2009.

The Broncs opened this season with a 64-56 loss to Princeton last Friday before Tuesday's 73-60 defeat at La Salle. Xavier Lundy scored a career-high 19 points on 9-of-14 shooting in the latest loss while Shawn Valentine, who scored a personal-best 15 in the opener, was held to four.

All three matchups in this series came in the 1990s with Maryland winning all three.

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