COLLEGE PARK -- Maryland came into Tuesday’s game against Division II Bowie State wanting to keep its rhythm with no in-conference game scheduled during the workweek. They likely accomplished what they set out to do.
After a slow start, the Terrapins shifted into gear to close out a blowout victory over the Bulldogs, 93-62, at XFINITY Center in College Park.
Four Maryland players scored in double figures, led by Rasheed Sulaimon’s 16 points. Michal Cekovsky had a career-high 14 points. Diamond Stone had 14 of his own.
Here are five things you need to know.
1) Sleepy start
In a half-full arena for the 6 p.m. tip time, Maryland played with energy to match. Bowie State tried some defensive pressure, which the Terrapins were no really prepared for. They turned the ball over twice in the first three minutes. They were settling for jump shots.
2) Fouls get things going
The game’s pace was slowed by fouls, with Bowie State putting the Terrapins into the bonus just 4:55 into the game. That was a result of Maryland getting away from the jump shots (which they didn’t need) and deciding to exploit their advantage on the interior
The result was easier points and the foundation for the official swing in Maryland’s favor.
Michal Cekovsky had reached his season-high of nine points just under nine minutes into the game. He had a career high of 11 by halftime. Diamond Stone had eight points by the under-8 timeout.
3) But no flow
There seemed to be times where perhaps Maryland had shifted into gear and could pull away for good, but those were typically slowed by fouls. The Terrapins turned it over seven times in the first half and, despite shooting 54 percent while holding Bowie State to 32 percent, needed until just before the half to push the lead to 18 points.
4) Shifting into gear in the second half
Rasheed Sulaimon was the spark out of the gate in the second half, using his defense to create offense. He finished with 16 points to lead the effort.
Cekovsky added to his career-high in the second half and finished with 14 points.
5) Looking ahead
Mark Turgeon wanted this game to keep Maryland in rhythm, being that they have a “bye” in Big Ten play during the workweek. All things considered, they probably accomplished that.
Trimble and Sulaimon played 17 and 20 minutes, respectively, to allow them to get work in while still being mindful of the minutes load they have been forced to carry so far this season. Cekovsky got good work in. Jaylen Brantley saw much more time than he has of late -- and looked solid.
Now comes the home stretch of the Big Ten season. Six regular-season games remain -- three on the road and three at home -- and each will have tournament implications.
Nationally, many still want to see the Terrapins consistently beat quality teams. Michigan, Indiana, Purdue, and Wisconsin will allow for that. How they fare will help to solidify them on either the No. 2 or No. 3 line, mostly likely.