BALTIMORE -- Mark Turgeon admitted during his postgame press conference that he was not prepared for the 3-2 zone that Princeton threw at his team out of the gate on Saturday night in Baltimore.
Combine that with hot shooting by the Tigers to start and it was a recipe for a six-point deficit, 25-19, with 6:36 to play in the first half.
“Our whole offensive strategy was to play in the paint and then they showed a 3-2 zone and I thought we shot too many jumpers at the start,” Turgeon said.
“I thought we kind of got used to it. Put different guys in the high post, but we really got it clicking in the second half. We had better movement and guys shared the ball, we moved it quicker.”
Then the tide turned.
With the help from a 1-3-1 press, Maryland made Princeton uncomfortable and ripped off a 16-2 run to seize control of the game that they never relinquished.
Senior Jake Layman was instrumental not only to helping Maryland keep its head above water as Princeton shot an uncharacteristically high percentage from three to begin the game, but he powered the comeback as the attack dog in the 1-3-1 press and a solid shot maker. He finished with 19 points and eight rebounds.
The offense took off from there, with five players finishing in double figures -- not one of whom was Melo Trimble, who played more of a true point guard role with seven points and 10 assists.
“It was a different game. We weren’t prepared for the 3-2 and we haven’t seen it a lot and we kind of adjusted,” Turgeon said.
“Once we got the ball inside and kind of calmed down a little bit,” Layman said, “things started going our way.”
Maryland would be forced to counterpunch at two different points in the second half, when a double-digit lead dwindled down to single digits again. But a Diamond Stone and-1 jumper and a Layman shot halted the runs.
Maryland now moves to 10-1 on the season and has an extended holiday layoff before facing Marshall on Dec. 27.