Blogs > The Full-Court Press

Welcome back to the Trentonian's Full-Court Press blog. Yes, we're still alive, and with the 2015-16 season rapidly approaching, it's time to fire up the old blog for another season. Check back here throughout the year for updates on all things Rider and Princeton, including coverage of both the MAAC and Ivy League. Feel free to drop me a line on twitter @kj_franko ( or email

Sunday, December 20, 2015

No. 6 Maryland races past Princeton in second half

Princeton's Alec Brennan, right, blocks a shot by Maryland's Diamond Stone. (AP Photo)

Baltimore >> The final score doesn’t indicate it, but Princeton left Royal Farms Arena on Saturday night having gave a decent account of itself.

The No. 6-ranked team in the country was just too good in its first appearance since 1999 in the Charm City.

Maryland sizzled in the second half, racing past the Tigers, 82-61, in front of a loud 11,076 fans.

“We think we can be pretty good, and tonight we faced a really good team,” Princeton coach Mitch Henderson said. “I really like this team, and I think we can be pretty good, so my expectations were pretty high going in in our ability to execute. I’m a little disappointed in a stretch of a game, but not overall.”

The Tigers (6-3) started well and led by six after a Henry Caruso jumper with 6:33 remaining in the first half, but the Terrapins (10-1) did what you’d expect a top-10 team to do.

Maryland exploded on a 16-2 run, and although Princeton tallied the final four points of the first half, trimming the deficit to four at intermission, the Terps’ momentum carried over to the second half.

They quickly built the advantage to double digits, making six of their first eight shots, and eventually stretched the lead to 26 late in the second half.

They shot 65.5 percent in the second half and finished 56.1 percent for the game.

“We played pretty well in the first half, but in the second half, they went on a run and we didn’t respond well,” said sophomore guard Amir Bell, who finished with nine points. “I think we’re good enough to compete with the best teams in the country, but we have to be focused in every aspect of the game. In the second half, we didn’t do that.”

Jake Layman paced five Maryland players in double figures with 19 points. Jaylen Brantley scored 14, Robert Carter Jr. added 12 and Rasheed Sulaimon and Diamond Stone had 11 each.

Henderson was worried about trying to stop star point guard Melo Trimble from penetrating, and while he only scored seven points, he dished out 10 assists.

The Terps began carving up the Tigers’ 3-2 zone, a look that initially surprised them, with crisp passing.

“Our whole offensive strategy was to play in the paint and when they showed 3-2 zone, I thought we shot too many jumpers at the start,” Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said. “I thought we kind of got used to it, put different guys at the high post and really got it clicking in the second half.”

Princeton, which usually mixes man-to-man and 1-3-1 zone, had to come with something different against the bigger Terps.

“I’m not sure why it gave them trouble, but it didn’t give them trouble for the whole game,” Henderson said. “I think it slows you down a little bit. It’s still a defense where you have to keep your body in front of the man. We didn’t do that very well.”

What the Tigers did well was make 3-pointers in the first half. They connected on seven in the opening 20 minutes, including four of their first five.

Henry Caruso finished with 17 points and was the lone Princeton player to reach double figures.

“We competed very well,” Bell said. “We played hard. We were looking to play together as a team. In the first half, we really executed our gameplan. We just need to learn how to do it for 40 minutes.”

NOTES:  This was the first meeting between the schools since 2001. Maryland leads the all-time series, 6-3. … Princeton freshman Myles Stephens and Maryland junior Robert Carter Jr. are third cousins. They met for the first time Saturday night. … The Tigers return to action Tuesday night at home against Bucknell.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home