BALTIMORE -- It has been more than a decade and a half since Maryland played a game in Baltimore, but in its return to Charm City on Saturday night it started slow but shifted into gear to earn an 82-61 victory over Princeton in front of 11,076 at Royal Farms Arena.
Senior Jake Layman led the way with a team-high 19 points. Four other players were in double figures, including 11 points and six rebounds from five-star freshman Diamond Stone.
Here are five things you need to know.
1) Princeton watched the tape
What has Maryland’s issue been through this non-conference part of the season? Being stretched out with smaller lineups and forcing bigs to defend shooters on the perimeter. In the early minutes, the Tigers exploited that.
Robert Carter, Jr., defending Princeton’s Henry Caruso, could not close out and simply ran into a player who was hot. Caruso had eight points in the first six or so minutes of the game. Coming out of the under-16 timeout, though, head coach Mark Turgeon made a change to get Carter off and put Jake Layman or Rasheed Sulaimon on him instead.
2) Having to break the zone
Princeton watched the tape here, too. They came out against Maryland in a 3-2 zone, which forced the Terrapins to confront the biggest thorn in their offensive side so far this year. Early, their shots seemed to be falling when they could work it into the zone’s soft spot -- the corner three.
Layman and Sulaimon helped early, but then they hit a lull. That’s where freshman Diamond Stone again came off the bench and provided a spark. When shots dried up, they needed to get it inside and Stone was there. He was authoritative and went to the rim strong.
3) And then came the run
It comes at different points, depending on the game, but it always seems to be there at some point. On Saturday night, it was at the 6:36 mark of the first when another Caruso three put the Terrapins down by six, 25-19.
Maryland responded by turning up the defensive pressure and getting Princeton out of its rhythm. They piled on from three, with Layman, Melo Trimble and Jared Nickens hitting.
4) Counterpunching in the second half
Maryland began the second half with two strong, patient possessions. The lead was 14 by the 13:48 mark of the second half. But there were multiple points in the second half where Princeton cut the lead back to single digits.
A Princeton three made it eight with 12:53 to play. Maryland responded with a Stone and-1. A steal and dunk by Caruso cut the Maryland lead to nine with 10:25 to play. Layman’s jumper pushed back.
5) Praise for Jake Layman
The senior has had some stretches of criticism this season as he struggled at different points. On Saturday, he was a focal point and an engine for the Terrapins not only offensively but on the glass and defensively as well.
He was the attack dog at the top of Maryland’s 1-3-1 press that go Princeton uncomfortable and also finished with 19 points and eight rebounds