With two tuneups remaining before Big Ten play tips off, Maryland hosts Jacksonville State on Monday evening. Terrapins point guard Melo Trimble, coming off a season-low five-point effort in Saturday’s win against Saint Peter’s, will look to guide his young squad to another defensive-minded victory.
Trimble leads the team in scoring (17.2) but attempted only four shots in the forgettable win over Saint Peter’s. “It was kind of a boring game,” Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said. “They were using 30 seconds even though they were down 20, 25. Our guys kind of got caught up in it and we didn’t finish the game the way we would have liked.” The Terps scored only 16 points in the final 14 1/2 minutes, but it was more than enough to earn their third straight win, the latter two of which have seen their opponent score only 56 points. Defense once again will be a key against a Jacksonville State squad that won at Tulsa to begin the season but enters the week having lost two in a row.
ABOUT JACKSONVILLE STATE (5-5): The Gamecocks lost a four-point affair to Samford and a five-point overtime contest to Louisiana Monroe in their last two outings, although Greg Tucker (37 combined points on 10-of-18 3-point shooting) was not to blame. Tucker is one of four quality 3-point shooters for Jacksonville State, a group led by Erik Durham (12.4 points, 54.4% 3-pointers). Norbertas Giga is not much of a threat from long range, but he has 21 rebounds in the last two games and the freshman has matched a season high with 18 points in two of the last three contests.
ABOUT MARYLAND (10-1): Joining Trimble in double figures on the season are freshman Justin Jackson (11.2) and Anthony Cowan (10.0), while Jackson leads the team in rebounding (6.1) and Cowan paces the squad in assists (3.5). Jackson scored 19 points and fellow freshman Kevin Huerter added 14 in the win against Saint Peter’s – a much-needed lift considering the quiet game for Trimble and for the Terps reserves, who combined for 2-of-14 shooting. Huerter is 5-of-9 from 3-point range in the last two games after starting the season 11-of-41 from the arc.
1. Sophomore F Christian Cunningham is 7-of-8 for 15 points in the Gamecocks’ last two games, but he has fouled out of both contests despite playing a total of 49 minutes.
2. Jackson has only seven assists and five steals in nearly 300 minutes this season.
3. Maryland would love a similar start to the one it had against Saint Peter’s. The Terps led 14-0 en route to a 40-18 halftime advantage.
PREDICTION: Maryland 68, Jacksonville State 59