No. 3 Maryland beats Rutgers 88-63 for 8th straight win
COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) Maryland went big against short-handed Rutgers - with predictable results.
Freshman Diamond Stone led a dominating performance by the Terrapins on the boards, and No. 3 Maryland cruised to an 88-63 victory Wednesday night.
Stone had 15 points and 10 rebounds against the smallish Scarlet Knights, who were without injured frontcourt players Deshawn Freeman and Ibrahima Diallo .
Maryland (14-1, 3-0) never trailed and finished with a 49-27 rebounding advantage in its eighth straight victory.
Rutgers (6-10, 0-3), which started three guards and two forwards, never had a chance.
''No matter how small they were, I wanted to stay big,'' Terps coach Mark Turgeon said. ''We actually practice that every day; we have our big guys chasing around guards.''
Stone, a 6-foot-10 center, went 6 for 10 from the floor and had three blocked shots in just 21 minutes.
''He's practicing better and he's defending better,'' Turgeon said. ''Diamond gets it. He's coming.''
Jake Layman scored 18 points, Rasheed Sulaimon added 15 and Robert Carter Jr. chipped in with 12 for the Terrapins, who built a 46-18 halftime lead and coasted to their ninth consecutive conference victory.
Rutgers (6-10, 0-3) made six field goals and collected only one offensive rebound in decisive the first half.
The second half wasn't much different. After Rutgers closed to 56-34, the Terps reeled off 18 straight points to go up by 40.
''Obviously, our team is depleted by injuries,'' coach Eddie Jordan said. ''Our spirit was 100 percent. Our competitive nature was 100 percent. We played really hard in the second half. I appreciate Mark understanding where we are, sort of pulled out the hounds a little bit.''
Rutgers, especially in its current state, was simply overmatched.
''This team is too good,'' Jordan said of Maryland. ''They could be a Final Four team, they could be a national championship team.''
Maryland's leading scorer, sophomore Melo Trimble, sat out the second half with tightness in his hamstring. He finished with four points - all at the free throw line.
''Melo's fine,'' Turgeon said.
Corey Sanders scored 16 points for the Scarlet Knights. They are 2-19 in conference play since joining the Big Ten last season.
Rutgers was within 13-9 before Trimble and Carter each scored four points in a 10-0 spurt that put the Terrapins comfortably ahead.
The Scarlet Knights did not shoot well, and on most occasions they only got one chance to score because Maryland was so dominant on the boards.
A 3-pointer by Jake Layman sparked a 12-2 run that made it 37-15.
''We have the capability to score in quick bursts like that, any point of the game,'' Sulaimon said.
Making matters worse for Rutgers: Leading rebounder D.J. Foreman committed his third foul with 4:54 left in the half and center Greg Lewis picked up No. 3 just a few seconds later.
Maryland held a 31-12 rebounding advantage at halftime. Rutgers went 6 for 25 from the field in its lowest-scoring first half since a 16-point performance against Purdue on Feb. 12, 2015.
Rutgers: Four players scored in double figures. Omari Grier scored 12, Foreman had 12 and guard Bishop Daniels had 11 points and 10 rebounds, more than a third of his team's final total.
Maryland: Eleven different players scored for the Terrapins, a testament to their depth and balance. There's no telling who will step up on any given night.
''As a team, we're getting into a really good rhythm right now,'' Sulaimon said. ''In practice, how we're flowing in our offense, and the trust we're starting to gain with each and every one of us. We're just getting better. ''
Rutgers: The Scarlet Knights have never defeated a Top 10 team on the road. ... Rutgers is 3-6 against Maryland, 0-3 in Big Ten play. ... The Scarlet Knights have never won a Big Ten game on the road.
Maryland: Layman reached double figures in points for only the third time in the last 11 games. ... Stone missed his first shot and had his second attempt blocked. He has scored a combined 25 points in two games since his 39-point performance against Penn State on Dec. 30. ... The game drew 17, 950, the Terps' eighth home sellout of the season.
Rutgers: Hosts Nebraska on Saturday.
Maryland: At Wisconsin on Saturday.