The No. 6 Maryland Terrapins took it to the UConn Huskies early, building a big lead in the first half and taking a 16-point advantage into the break. They held on to win, 76-66, despite a furious UConn rally.
Maryland won with defense early on, as the Huskies looked lost when they had the ball. Shonn Miller was the team's leading scorer at the half with four points. Everything was going wrong. UConn was turning the ball over at an alarming rate; Maryland was grabbing offensive rebounds with ease and dominating in the paint on both ends of the court.
Diamond Stone, the highly-rated freshman center who chose Maryland over UConn and Wisconsin, started off strong and finished with 16 points and nine rebounds, six offensive. The Terrapins' do-everything guard Melo Trimble finished with 25 points, and had an answer offensively any time it appeared UConn might be surging.
Despite the terrors of the first half, the Huskies came out on fire to start the second, closing the gap into single digits with over 13 minutes left. Maryland never faltered or lost confidence as UConn made a handful of mini-runs in the game, especially with head coach Mark Turgeon calling time-outs at the right time to curb those runs.
The Huskies made a frenzied push at the end, getting the game to 67-64 with under three minutes left after a Daniel Hamilton step-back three, but then Kevin Ollie drew a technical foul for reacting to a call by shoving a bunch of papers onto the court. It killed UConn's buzz and gave the Terrapins extra points and possession.
Daniel Hamilton finished with 23 points for the Huskies, who are at their best when Hamilton is being assertive. He keyed UConn's run to make this game close at the end. Unfortunately, he disappears for stretches and it kills UConn. Additionally, Kevin Ollie's lineups across the game were very, very puzzling at times. Foul trouble early on contributed to that, but he needs to tighten things up there.
The Huskies will be back in action on Saturday at Gampel Pavilion when they host Ohio State. Tip-off is at 12pm and the game will be televised on CBS.
Hopefully this team can learn to play a full 40 minutes by then.