Cleveland St.-Maryland Preview
Maryland has gotten a couple of days to recover from its successful trip out of the country and has only a couple more before its most significant nonconference game of the season.
In between, the second-ranked Terrapins will tune up for that showdown Saturday night at home against Cleveland State.
After needing second-half comebacks in its previous three games, Maryland (5-0) dominated Rhode Island in an 86-63 win Wednesday to take the Cancun Challenge title. Tournament MVP Melo Trimble had 17 points, hitting all seven of his field-goal attempts, and Rasheed Sulaimon also scored 17 while missing one of his seven.
The Terps shot a season-best 60.0 percent and went 10 of 17 from 3-point range after previously hitting just 30.1 percent of their 3s. They held the Rams to 33.9 percent shooting and 2 for 15 from beyond the arc.
"We beat a really good team handily, one that is well-coached. What we do care about is, we're getting better," coach Mark Turgeon said. "We had to accept that just because you are ranked high doesn't mean you will win every game easily.
"We're going through a process we haven't gone through before. We're getting deeper as a team, dialing in - a lot of things are headed in the right direction."
Turgeon's team will try to build on that effort ahead of a trip to No. 9 North Carolina on Tuesday as part of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. The Terps have lost the previous eight matchups with their former ACC rival.
First, Maryland will try to win its 29th consecutive home game against an unranked team when it faces the Vikings (2-3).
Cleveland State is also playing its first game since traveling to Cancun. It split two contests there and lost 77-66 to South Dakota State on Wednesday in the Mayan Division championship.
The Vikings are one of the worst offensive teams in the nation, averaging 56.6 points on 35.2 percent shooting and connecting at 25.6 from 3-point range. A 39.0-percent shooting performance against the Jackrabbits was their second-best this season.
Kenny Carpenter, averaging 5.6 points, had a career-high 17 in that game and matched another personal mark with seven rebounds. The Vikings' leading scorer, Demonte Flannigan (10.2 ppg), has totaled 18 points in his last three games while missing 17 of 23 shots.
Freshman guard Rob Edwards is their only other player averaging in double figures (10.0). He had seven points Wednesday after totaling 33 in his prior two contests.
The Terps have four players averaging at least 12 points, led by Trimble with 16.2 per game.
Maryland is Cleveland State's highest-ranked opponent since a 90-56 loss to No. 1 Cincinnati on Nov. 26, 1999. The Vikings have lost 10 of their last 11 matchups against Top 25 teams and claimed that lone win at No. 7 Vanderbilt on Nov. 13, 2011.
Maryland won 95-84 in its only other game against Cleveland State on Dec. 5, 1984.