Tom Dienhart, BTN.com Senior Writer, March 20, 2016
It took a while, but No. 5 Maryland subdued pesky No. 13 seed Hawaii, using a balanced attack with four double-digit scorers and a strong defense to survive and advance. The Terps were too big and too talented for the Warriors, who toppled Cal to reach the second round after Maryland dumped South Dakota State in its opener.
The Terps have never lost to a team seeded 13th or lower (12-0 all time). And the program is in the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2003. Maryland began the Big Dance going 3-5 in its last eight games. Now, the Terps have won two in a row as they head to the South Region semifinals.
Top star: Melo Trimble. He hasn?t had a sensational sophomore season. But Maryland?s point man was on spot tonight, scoring a game-high 24 points. He did most of his damage from the free-throw line by hitting 13-of-14. Maryland is 23-3 the last two seasons when Trimble gets to the line seven times in a game. Trimble also had eight boards and three assists while committing just two turnovers.
Top stat: 31, free throws shot by Maryland, which made 28 (90 percent). Hawaii was just 10-of-15 from the charity stripe. As mentioned, Trimble hit 13-of-14 freebies, while Rasheed Sulaimon nailed 8-of-9.
Top play: Rasheed Sulaimon lay-up. The Duke transfer is a slasher who can get to the basket with relative ease. He proved just that on this beautiful play, all set up by consecutive between-the-leg dribbles and a quick spin move.
The key to victory: Defense. Maryland hit just 1-of-18 (5.6 percent) from 3-point range. But it stayed in the game because of its tough defense, limiting Hawaii to 32.9 percent shooting (23-of-70). The Terps also did a good job attacking the basket, which helped Maryland get to the free-throw line.
It was over when: With the game tied at 41 early in the second half, the Terrapins went on a 16-2 run to pull away from the Warriors in the second half en route to taking a 13-point decision. The Terps are now 23-0 when leading at the break.
Did you see this? Already mentioned it, but Maryland couldn't find its stroke from distance (1-of-18). Based on his reaction to Melo Trimble's made triple midway through the second half, Mark Turgeon knew how much his team was struggling from behind the arc. Just watch the Maryland coach in the video below. Classic!
What?s next: Maryland will take on the No. 1 overall seed in the tourney next, Kansas. Gulp. Hey, with every challenge comes an opportunity. Remember, some felt the Terps were the best team in the nation in the preseason.
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