On Friday, things went according to plan for the Maryland Terrapins.
After suffering its first loss on Tuesday against North Carolina, the Terps were hoping to rebound at home against St. Francis PA. Though Maryland couldn’t make up for its loss on Tuesday with a win on Friday, many were wondering how the team would respond. Plus, with a matchup against Connecticut awaiting Maryland next Tuesday, this looked like it might just be a trap game.
Maryland was considered a heavy favorite coming into the game and few gave the Red Flash a realistic shot to win. In fact, KenPom’s algorithm predicted a 20-point win for Maryland and gave St. Francis PA just a three percent chance of victory. The game wasn’t expected to be a thriller.
From the opening tip, things were never all that close. In fact, it took more than seven minutes for St. Francis PA to hit its second shot of the game. That kind of domination for Maryland didn’t quite hold up during the rest of the game, but from that point onward, the Red Flash never got within shouting distance.
All told, Maryland was able to pick up a 96-55 win, improving to 7-1 on the season and 5-0 at home.
Though the win doesn’t appear all that significant on paper, it’s actually important and should help build confidence for Maryland. That may sound odd to say for a team ranked in the top five, but the Terps have been largely unimpressive against weaker opponents so far this year. Even in wins against Mount St. Mary’s, Rider and Cleveland State, they didn’t look like a top-five team.
The key players for Maryland in the win were Robert Carter, Jake Layman and Diamond Stone. All accounted for at least 16 points with Carter leading the way with 20 points, six rebounds and six rebounds. Additionally, Layman had 16 points, three rebounds and two assists and Stone had 16 points, four rebounds and two steals.
It wasn’t a very competitive game, but it was the type of performance that fans expect from a top-five team against an overmatched opponent at home. The Terps have been inconsistent to start the season and this was the type of performance the team needed, especially with the rough loss on the road to North Carolina earlier this week.