Guards highlight Maryland-Rutgers game
COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Two standout guards who are coming off strong games will face off Tuesday when No. 22 Maryland hosts Rutgers in a Big Ten Conference contest.
Melo Trimble, Maryland's junior point guard, had 20 points and five assists when the Terps (17-2, 5-1 Big Ten) won 84-76 at Iowa on Thursday as his team won another close game. He hit several big shots down the stretch.
"It's what we've done all year," Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said after the game. "You don't get to where we are right now without winning like that and believing you're going to win those games. There was some doubts out there because it got really tough. Just a lot going on out there and we had to overcome it."
Trimble said: "Not calm things down, but we aggressive. I had that in my mind the whole game. I had that aggressive mindset; keep shooting."
However, Turgeon told reporters that Trimble was sick on Monday and sent home, forcing him to miss the day's practice.
"Melo was sick today," Turgeon said. "Melo did not practice today, hopefully he will be better. We'll see how he feels tomorrow."
Rutgers posted a 65-64 win at home over Nebraska on Saturday as sophomore guard Corey Sanders hit a last-second shot for the Scarlet Knights to enable them to win their first conference game of the season.
And Sanders sounded very much like Trimble.
"Just attack the basket, that was the play," the Lakeland, Fla., product told reporters. "I just wanted to get the ball on the rim, because I knew (center) C.J. (Gettys), a 7-footer, was down there to keep the ball alive and that's what he did today. He just kept it alive and I was able to finish it."
Maryland is averaging 75.7 points per contest and shooting 45 percent from the field and 71 percent from the foul line. The Terps are shooting 36 percent on 3-point shots while opponents are making 31 percent.
The Terps' opponents are shooting 40 percent from the field and averaging 65.7 points per contest.
Trimble is averaging a team-high 17.4 points per contest while freshman forward Justin Jackson is averaging 10.3 points and 6.0 rebounds per contest. Jackson was named co-freshman of the week in the conference Monday after he had 12 points, nine boards and six steals at Iowa.
Freshman guard Anthony Cowan is averaging 11.3 points per game and freshman guard Kevin Huerter is scoring 8.0 points per contest.
Rutgers is scoring 68.1 points per outing and shooting just 42 percent from the field, 29 percent from 3-point line and a lowly 64 percent from the charity stripe. The Scarlet Knights are outrebounding foes 42.2 to 34.7 per game.
Sanders is averaging a team-high 12.4 points per contest, while junior forward Deshawn Freeman and junior guard Nigel Johnson are averaging more than 11 points per game.
Maryland began the season ranked No. 25 in the AP poll but fell out even though the Terps began the year with a win at home over American.
The Terps entered the poll again Jan. 16 in the No. 25 spot and moved up to No. 22 this week.
Turgeon has made glowing comments all season about his young team, which starts three freshmen.
"There's a huge belief system," Turgeon said after the win against Iowa. "It's great to see Melo make shots like that for us in the clutch and that's what he's done most of his career. He has done that lately, the last couple of games. For him to step up and do that was terrific. Our belief system was good throughout."
Rutgers, meanwhile, is 12-8 overall and 1-6 in conference play.
"I'm just proud of our guys," Rutgers head coach Steve Pikiell told reporters after the game against Nebraska. "It's not been an easy road. They've been fighting and clawing. We banded to
gether, we stayed the course. I'm just happy for our guys and happy for the great environment today."
Pikiell is in his first season with the Scarlet Knights after Eddie Jordan, a native of Washington and former coach for the Wizards of the NBA, was let go following last season.
"These guys have been through a war, and this is what you have to do to win a Big Ten game. Play hard for 40 minutes. We did a good job. Every point matters. Our defense did a great job for us for 40 minutes," added Pikiell, Stony Brook's head coach last season and a former assistant at nearby George Washington University.
Updated January 23, 2017