Listen to play-by-play of the Cancun Challenge matchup between Illinois State and Maryland from Riviera Maya, Mexico at 8:30 p.m. ET on 105.7 The Fan! (no streaming)
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When: 8:30 PM ET, Wednesday, November 25, 2015
Where: Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya, Riviera Maya
TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network
(By SportsDirect Inc.) No. 2 Maryland may be undefeated but thus far it’s been a year of living dangerously. After surviving another battle on Tuesday, the Terps will face Rhode Island on Wednesday for the Cancun Challenge championship at Riviera Maya, Mexico.
Maryland used another strong second half to fend off Illinois State in the semifinals of the Challenge. The Terps trailed by five in the second half of Tuesday’s game, but as in recent wins over Georgetown and Rider, they made all the necessary plays to pull out the win. Rhode Island is a surprise entry in the title game. The Rams defeated TCU on Tuesday night and have appeared to right the ship after losing their best player to a season-ending knee injury in the first game of the year.
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Depth at the guard position may yet prove to be an Achilles heel for the Terps but there is no disputing their talent in the backcourt. Preseason Player of the Year candidate Melo Trimble had 15 points and seven assists and Duke transfer Rasheed Sulaimon had 18 points in the comeback win against Illinois State. Maryland was 2-for-18 from 3-point range before hitting three of its last four attempts from beyond the arc, fending off yet another challenge in a game that coach Mark Turgeon said was his team’s best of the season.
ABOUT RHODE ISLAND (3-1):
Coach Dan Hurley has to be pleased with the way his team has responded since losing its star guard E.C. Matthews in the first game of the season. The Rams hammered Cleveland State, shooting 63 percent from the floor earlier in the week, and then held off TCU in Tuesday’s Cancun semifinals. Four McGlynn, a transfer from Towson, had 18 points for Rhode Island, which closed the game on a 12-3 run.
1. Maryland’s lack of guard depth has been readily apparent in the early going as the Terps try to fill the hole left by Dion Wiley, who suffered a torn meniscus in the preseason.
2. Rhode Island’s Jared Terrell registered his first double-double, with 12 points and a career-best 10 rebounds against TCU.
3. Maryland has been solid in early season tournaments, winning last year’s CBE Hall of Fame Classic in Kansas City and the 2013 Paradise Jam in St. Thomas.
PREDICTION: Maryland 81, Rhode Island 62