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Maryland tops UConn in NYC: 5 things you need to know

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Maryland tops UConn in NYC: 5 things you need to know

NEW YORK, N.Y. -- Big city, bright lights, not really a problem.

In another featured game on national television, this time at Madison Square Garden in New York City against a fringe Top-25 team, Maryland played -- all things considered -- its best start-to-finish game of the season in a 76-66 victory over Connecticut on Tuesday night.

Sophomore guard Melo Trimble led the way with 25 points, including 14-of-15 shooting from the free throw line. Freshman Diamond Stone was one rebound away from a double-double with 16 points and nine rebounds.

Here are five things you need to know.

1) Sticking with a successful starting lineup

Against St. Francis, putting Damonte Dodd in the starting lineup and bringing Diamond Stone off the bench jump-started the offense. Head coach Mark Turgeon stuck with it and it gave himself exactly what he would have wanted.

Once entering the game in place of Robert Carter, Jr., Stone had five points and four rebounds by the under-16 timeout. He had an and-one layup that sparked an outburst of emotion and confidence that we have not really seen from him this season.

2) Asserting themselves early

With help from that lineup, Connecticut had no answer for the Terrapins on the inside. Melo Trimble was dicing the defense by getting to the basket, then dishing to Stone for layups and slams.

After settling for jumpers on the first few possessions, Maryland made it a point to attack the basket off the bounce or by dumping it into the post and getting fouled. That supplemented their sub-par shooting effort in the first half to push them to a 16-point halftime lead.

MORE TERPS: MARYLAND DROPS IN LATEST AP TOP 25 POLL

3) Defense, defense, defense

Connecticut has no shortage of talented perimeter players, from Sterling Gibbs to Daniel Hamilton to Rodney Purvis to Jalen Adams. On top of that, Maryland struggled early in the season with perimeter defense.

Not an issue on Tuesday night. Connecticut scored just 22 points in the first half and shot 30.4 percent. Diamond Stone, who at times has struggled defensively, was able to guard UConn big man Amida Brimah -- much less an offensive talent than he is a defensive one. With that, nearly every possible trouble spot was accounted for.

4) Connecticut makes a second-half push

In the first four minutes of the second half, Maryland’s defense slipped into a rut of complacency. The lead was trimmed to nine by the 13-minute mark. The Connecticut-friendly crowd got louder. But a well-timed timeout by Turgeon helped to turn the tide and within about four minutes, Maryland had again pushed the lead to 16 points, 59-43.

Connecticut pushed back again, cutting the deficit to nine, 65-56, with 4:40 to play. Another stretch of terrific back-and-forth basketball saw Trimble hit a floater, then Purvis responded with a three to cut the Terrapins’ lead to six, 67-61.

5) A pivotal technical

After Daniel Hamilton made a three-pointer to cut the Maryland lead to just three points, 67-64, Connecticut guard Jalen Adams was called for a foul on the ensuing in-bound. Connecticut head coach Kevin Ollie was displeased. Papers ended up on the playing floor when he swiped them off the scorers' table in anger and he was given a technical foul.

Trimble made three free throws, pushing the Maryland lead back to six points. The momentum was never in Connecticut’s favor again.

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Maryland's Darnell Savage signs rookie contract with Green Bay Packers

Maryland's Darnell Savage signs rookie contract with Green Bay Packers

Darnell Savage is the third NFL draft prospect profiled in our series ‘I Am the Prospect’. Download the MyTeams App for all three features.

Darnell Savage Jr. spent four seasons wowing fans in College Park as a defensive star for the Maryland Terrapins, and in April he found out he’ll be taking his talents to Wisconsin after being selected in the first round of the NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers.

Now, his future in Green Bay is officially official.

As Schefter mentions, Savage is the first first-rounder to sign a contract in 2019. It will be the standard length of first-round draft picks, going four years guaranteed with a fifth-year option. Reports are that the speedy, hard-hitting safety will earn $12.5 million over the first four seasons of the contract.

There were some questions about Savage’s fit in an NFL defensive backfield, given his size. But he is an athletic player with great instincts for the ball, and his statistics were thoroughly impressive the last two seasons in college. The Packers certainly believed he would be a terrific fit in their defense, considering they traded up to the 21st pick in order to make the selection.

Savage should have a great opportunity to start early in Green Bay, and now that he’s signed his contract so early, he’ll be able to get to work sooner rather than later. Knowing Savage, that’s just the way he wants it.

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NFL Draft prospect Tre Watson hopes to time draft night around 'Avengers' release

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NFL Draft prospect Tre Watson hopes to time draft night around 'Avengers' release

Thursday night will be a very important moment in the life of former Maryland linebacker Tre Watson.

At midnight, the highly-anticipated Marvel movie Avengers: Endgame will hit the big screen for general audiences to see, bringing the conclusion to a decade worth of popular films. Watson, like millions of others, has been counting down the days until he could see the Avengers and Thanos go at it one more time.

Oh, and Thursday also marks the beginning of the 2019 NFL Draft, where Watson will most likely hear his name called at some point over the three-day span.

While Watson will be tuning into the draft that night, he understands that his moment of recognition may come a little later on in the week. Therefore, Thursday is all about 'Avengers'.

"Fortunately, you know, I'm kind of realistic. I know I'm not going to be a first-round pick," Watson said in an interview on NFL Network. "So I'll just be watching that just kind of for the formality of it, I'm definitely excited for 'Avengers' and then I kind of will springboard into Day 2 and Day 3 where I'm hoping to hear my name called. It's really a perfect set up for me, honestly."

This isn't the first time that Watson has let it be known to the world that he is a dedicated Marvel fan. His Twitter feed is filled with thoughts on the movie, including a tweet from a few months back that took the internet by storm.

The first round of the draft still does have some intrigue for Watson, as his former teammate Darnell Savage Jr. has gained a lot of steam during the draft process and has a chance to be chosen on Thursday night. However, Watson will hope that Savage's name is called earlier in the night rather than later, as he will need time to get to the theatre to prepare to watch  Captain America and company save the day one last time. 

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