Maryland downs Stony Brook, 77-63, to remain unbeaten
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(AP) Michal Cekovsky needed only 16 minutes to collect five fouls in his season debut with Maryland.
Before exiting, however, the 7-foot-1 Slovakian provided the undefeated Terrapins with an emotional spark and 11 points in a 77-63 victory over Stony Brook on Tuesday night.
Coming off a tight win over Towson two days earlier, Maryland (5-0) built a double-digit halftime lead and maintained a comfortable advantage the rest of the way.
Seeing action for the first time after being sidelined by a sprained foot, Cekovsky came off the bench to go 5 for 7 from the field, snag two rebounds and get an assist. He thrilled the crowd with several alley-oop dunks, including one in which he was called for a technical foul for hanging on the rim.
“He looked fresh, physically and mentally,” coach Mark Turgeon said. “I was really encouraged. He finished plays around the rim, and defensively he’s going to play a lot better than he did tonight. He’s one of our better defenders.”
With starting center Damonte Dodd out with a concussion, Cekovsky’s return came at the perfect time for a Maryland team without a lot of height.
Melo Trimble scored 21 for the Terrapins, going 4 for 8 from the floor and 10 for 11 at the foul line. The junior guard has made 26 free throws in his last two starts.
Ten players got at least 11 minutes of playing time.
“That was as deep as we’ve been all year,” Turgeon said.
Lucas Woodhouse scored 14 and Tyrell Sturdivant had nine points and 10 rebounds for Stony Brook (0-3), the defending America East champions. Playing their first season under coach Jeff Boals, the Seawolves have five newcomers and a pair of redshirt freshmen.
Stony Brook went 3 for 24 from beyond the arc and committed a season-high 12 turnovers.
“If you asked me what our strength was at the beginning of the year, It would have been shooting the basketball,” Boals said. “We go 3 for 24 and get great looks.”
Trimble scored 13 points, eight at the line, to help Maryland take a 38-27 halftime lead.
It was 11-all before Trimble made five foul shots in a 19-5 run that put the Terps ahead to stay.
In the second half, Cekovsky had two alley-oop dunks and a free throw in a 14-8 spurt that made it 55-42 with 13 minutes left.
“He thinks it’s his time,” Turgeon said of Cekovsky. “He’s been frustrated because he’s been hurt since Aug. 29. His timing’s not there yet. It will be. Now we’ll see if he can stay healthy.”
WILEY GETS HOT
Maryland guard Dion Wiley missed the Towson game with a stomach virus, but showed no ill effects in this one. He went 4 for 5 from 3-point range and finished with 13 points, five more than he scored in his first three games.
Stony Brook: With only two seniors on the roster, the Seawolves can learn from a game like this. The America East won’t serve up competition this stiff.
Maryland: The Terrapins needed a confidence boost after squeezing past Towson, and they got it. Maryland has thus far won two blowouts and three squeakers, so the Terps should be ready for anything upon returning to the court Friday night.
Stony Brook stays in Maryland for a game against Towson late Friday afternoon.
Maryland faces Richmond in the Barclays Classic in Brooklyn, N.Y. The winner plays Boston College or Kansas St. on Saturday.