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Maryland rallies against Rutgers

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Updated 12 months ago on
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COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Maryland forward Jake Layman caught a pass at the top of the lane from freshman point guard Melo Trimble, gave a head fake to his opponent and then drove into the lane and slammed down a dunk late in the first half Wednesday.

Once he landed on the ground. Layman gave out a loud yell, to the delight of the home crowd, which consisted of just 12,419 fans on a cold night with Maryland students still on winter break.

“I think it got us going a little bit,” Layman said of the dunk.

The show of emotion was needed by the No. 14 Terps, who allowed the first 11 points of the second half but came back to beat Rutgers 73-65.

“We are happy we won. You have to give Rutgers a lot of credit. They started the second half well,” Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said. “Whatever it takes for us to win, we will do. I think that is what I like about this team.”

Forward Dez Wells had 17 points to lead four players in double figures. Layman added 12 points and 13 rebounds, guard/forward Jared Nickens had 11 points and freshman point guard Melo Trimble scored 11 for the Terps.

“We have to be more mentally ready to play,” Turgeon said. “In the end, our defense was great, our rebounding was great. And Jared Nickens hit some big shots.”

Maryland won the battle of the boards 46-33.

Said Layman: “We definitely did not play our best offensively. We made enough shots and enough guys scored for us to get the win.”

“We were just trying to pick up the offense,” said Nickens, who is starting to see more playing time. “I just happened to be open (a lot). We just have to play Maryland basketball.”

Maryland is 16-2 and leading the Big Ten standings with a 4-1 conference record. Rutgers (10-8, 2-3), which lost for the third time in five games, was paced by guard Myles Mack’s 19 points and six assists. Guards Bishop Daniels and Mike Williams each had 12 points.

“Our downfall tonight was we didn’t rebound the ball enough,” said Rutgers coach Eddie Jordan, who grew up in nearby Washington, D.C. “They spread you out. They have a good rotation and a good chemistry and they spread you out. They are known to get in the paint and get free throws.”

Rutgers was coming off a win against No. 4 Wisconsin, but Jordan said there was no hangover.

“It was over and done with,” Jordan said. “We have the confidence to play with the best teams in the league, the best teams in the country. We had a nice surge (to start the second half). We had a good flow. You have to make shots. We have not been known to do that.”

Forward Evan Smotrycz hit two free throws to give Maryland a 64-62 lead with 2:52 left. A 3-pointer by Nickens boosted the Terps’ lead to 67-63 with 2:18 to go.

Layman hit two throws with 1:20 left to give Maryland a 69-63 edge before Wells made two free throws with 1:13 left to make it 71-65 and seal the win.

The Scarlet Knights, who trailed 38-31 at halftime, scored the first 11 points of the second half to take a 42-38 lead. Rutgers led 45-40 after a 3-pointer by Mack.

The Terps cut the margin to 52-51 on a field goal by forward Jon Graham with 10:05 left. But Rutgers forward Junior Etou made his first basket of the game — a jumper from the top of the key — to give Rutgers a 57-51 lead with 7:24 left.

Maryland took a 60-59 lead with two free throws by Wells with 5:10 remaining. Rutgers then turned the ball over and Wells went the length of the floor for a layup to make it 62-59 with 4:36 to go.

The last meeting between Maryland and Rutgers took place on Dec. 27, 1990, at Madison Square Garden, when Jordan was an assistant for the Scarlet Knights.

NOTES: Maryland returns to action at home Saturday against Michigan State. Rutgers plays the same day at Minnesota. … Scarlet Knights coach Eddie Jordan

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