Maryland snaps season-high three-game losing streak
(AP Photo/Mel Evans)
By TOM CANAVAN
AP Sports Writer
PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) Maryland got its big guy going in the second half and that's all it needed against Rutgers to get back on track.
Center Damonte Dodd scored six points inside in a 17-6 spurt to start the second half and Maryland avoided its first four-game losing streak since the 2004-05 season with a 79-59 victory over Rutgers on Tuesday night.
"I thought Damonte's energy really got us going and then on the defensive end with the rebounding, he ran the floor hard and opened things up," Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said.
Dodd had all nine of his points and six of his seven rebounds in the second half as the Terrapins (23-7, 11-6 Big Ten) won for only the third time in eight games. The skid took Maryland out of the Top 25.
"We needed this really bad," said Melo Trimble, who led the Terps with 11 points. "We're not putting our heads down too much. We didn't start not believing in each other anymore or feel sorry for ourselves."
Leading 32-28 at the half, Maryland took control after Gettys cut the lead to two points with a basket.
Dodd scored on a layup, Kevin Huerter and Trimble hit 3-pointers and Dodd scored on a follow to make it 42-30. After consecutive baskets by Williams cut the lead to 42-34, Dodd scored on a slam, Huerter hit a jumper and Dion Wiley hit a 3-pointer to make it 49-34 and Rutgers trailed by double figures the rest of the way.
"In the huddle I just said let's try to start off defensively and get as many stops as possible," said Dodd, who was limited to six minutes in the opening half after picking up two fouls. "I know we can score so it was important we get stops."
Trimble said Dodd really stepped up.
"He played really well in the second half," Trimble said. "We had to get him going."
Rutgers coach Steve Pikiell said his team played well for a half.
"I thought Maryland played hungry," he said. "We played one half the way I wanted to play. Unfortunately, when you play a top-25 caliber team with elite guards, you have to play better than that. I'm very disappointed with how we played today, especially in the second half."
ON THE ROAD:
Maryland is 11-2 in road games, including 7-2 in the conference.
"We have been great on the road," Turgeon said.
Maryland: The Terps can clinch a top four seed in the Big Ten Tournament with a win over Michigan State in its regular-season finale.
Rutgers: Nothing changes. The Scarlet Knights are going to be the lowest seed (No. 14) when the conference tournament gets underway on March 8.
Maryland hosts Michigan State on Saturday to finish regular season.
Rutgers will honor its seniors in home finale against Illinois on Saturday.
More AP college basketball: http://collegebasketball.ap.org
Updated February 28, 2017