Rushed Reactions: #6 Maryland 76, Connecticut 66

Posted by Brian Otskey on December 9th, 2015

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Three Key Takeaways.

  1. Maryland was too strong up front for Connecticut. The combination of Diamond Stone and Robert Carter ended up being too much for the Huskies to handle around the basket. Stone and Carter combined for 24 points and 20 rebounds, an impressive showing against Amida Brimah. The Huskies made a second half push from the three-point line which made the game interesting late, but Maryland’s earlier work in the paint was too much for Connecticut to overcome. The Terrapins absolutely dominated the rebounding battle (45-24) and pulled down 14 offensive rebounds, leading to 15 second chance points.

    Melo Trimble had a lot to smile about Tuesday evening. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

    Melo Trimble had a lot to smile about Tuesday evening. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

  2. Melo Trimble’s ability to get in the lane was the difference. Trimble was aggressive as usual tonight and that is best reflected in his free throw numbers. The sophomore point guard went to the free throw line 15 times, converting 14 of them. Trimble is very strong and uses his body tremendously when driving to the basket. Connecticut couldn’t keep him out of the lane, a place where he is absolutely lethal. Containing him is key to defeating Maryland and the Huskies just did not do that. Trimble makes so much happen whether it’s creating for himself or for his teammates. He has truly become one of college basketball’s best point guards in such a short time with the Maryland program.
  3. Connecticut needs an offensive presence in the paint. Although a highly talented group, Daniel Hamilton, Rodney Purvis and Sterling Gibbs can’t do it all for the Huskies. While Amida Brimah is a tremendous presence defensively, he is not a factor on the other side of the ball. UConn forwards Hamilton and Shonn Miller are not big enough to have success in the paint against teams like Maryland with strong frontcourts. Granted, UConn will not be facing teams the caliber of Maryland throughout the season but this has to be a concern for Kevin Ollie as teams key in defensively on his talented crop of guards.

Star of the Game: Melo Trimble, Maryland. This was a fairly obvious choice. Trimble totaled 25 points and was in complete command of Maryland’s offensive attack. The Huskies simply could not contain him and his play, along with Maryland’s front court, was just too much to overcome. Madison Square Garden was quite the stage for Trimble’s outstanding performance against a quality Connecticut back court. His toughness and ability to penetrate and create are the engine that makes the Terrapins go.

Quotable:

  • “The technical definitely helped, there’s no doubt about it.” – Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon on Kevin Ollie’s ill-timed technical foul late in the game.
  • “It was everything that I expected.” – Maryland’s Robert Carter on playing at Madison Square Garden.
  • “They were tougher than us in every aspect. 45 rebounds. Melo Trimble had more free throws than our entire team.” – Ollie, lamenting how Maryland was tougher than his team tonight.
  • “No, I don’t think it (the technical foul) changed it (momentum).” – Ollie on his technical foul.
  • “Melo controlled the game. He was getting in our paint at will.” — Ollie on Trimble’s dominating performance.

Sights and Sounds: The MSG crowd of 19,812 was rocking for the second half of tonight’s doubleheader. Maryland brought a lot of fans and alumni from the area but this was Connecticut’s house as we saw countless times over the years at the Big East Tournament. Those days are gone now, but Huskies fans always turn out well whenever the team is in the Big Apple. This was a fantastic atmosphere for a Tuesday night in early December.

What’s Next: Maryland returns to College Park for a Saturday game against Maryland Eastern Shore. The Terrapins have a fairly light end to non-conference play. Connecticut also returns home and hosts Ohio State this coming Saturday. That is an important game for the Huskies as they now have three losses on their non-conference resume. A fourth against a Buckeyes team that is struggling would no doubt be a cause for concern.

Brian Otskey (268 Posts)


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