After losing two in a row to start off the month of December, the Terps took down their first ACC opponent at Boston College on Thursday and after a short turnaround were narrowly able to escape Comcast Center with a win over a bad Florida Atlantic team (Conference USA). The Owls came to College Park with just a 3-7 record and gave Maryland quite a scare as they held the Terps to just 39 percent shooting. After Maryland got out to an early 22-8 lead, the Owls kept it closer than 14 points for the remainder of the game and cut the lead to five multiple times in the second half. The win brings the Terps record to 7-4.
The Terps relied heavily on sophomore small forward Jake Layman who scored one third of Maryland’s 66 points, shooting 8-14 from the field and 4-7 from behind the arc for 22 points. He hit arguably the biggest shot of the game at the 12:38 mark in the second half when he sunk a three ball as the shot clock was about to expire when the Terps were only up by two. But besides Layman, the Terps shot a dismal 17-49 highlighted by junior forward Evan Smotrycz’s 1-12.
But there were some definite positives to this close win: Maryland shot 9-12 from the free throw line and the Terps committed just 9 turnovers, their second lowest total of the season. Those two categories will remain crucial as they get deeper into their final season in the ACC.
Shaquille Cleare turned one of his best efforts so far with 10 points and a very impressive five offensive-rebounds. For Florida Atlantic, senior guard Pablo Bertone put in very impressive 21 point effort (3-3 from behind the arc) and freshman guard Marquan Botley scored 18 for the losing Owls.
Up next for Mark Turgeon’s Terrapins is a home game against Boston University a week from today at 1pm (ESPN3).