COLLEGE PARK — The Maryland Terrapins moved to 18-2 on the season following a 67-55 win over Big Ten opponent Rutgers on Tuesday night. The win gives the Terrapins their best 20-game start since the 1998-99 season.
Both teams were in an offensive funk in the first half, and Maryland was only up by five following an L.G. Gill last second 3-pointer.
Following halftime, Maryland made some adjustments on both sides of the floor, which resulted in offensive output. Melo Trimble, labeled as questionable prior to the game after reportedly being sick, had another solid performance with 17 points.
Trimble has started to develop some consistency to his play, something that was missing in his game since the second half of last season.
The three freshmen, Anthony Cowan, Justin Jackson and Kevin Huerter, struggled in the first half but it was Huerter (11 points and six assists) who was able to find his stroke in the second half.
Center Michal Cekovsky, who has been nursing an injured foot, did see four minutes of action. Those few minutes were Cekovsky’s first in Big Ten play this season.
Rutgers (12-9, 1-7) was close throughout the game and could have stayed with Maryland for even longer if they were able to make their free throws. The charity stripe was not kind to the Scarlet Knights, as they went 10-for-24. Rutgers was able to rebound successfully against Maryland, something the Terrapins have consistently struggled with and must improve on.
This game was envisioned to be much easier than it truly ended up to be for Maryland, who is now ranked No. 22 in the country.
Maryland is undefeated in games on the road this season, surprisingly, with their only two losses coming at home to Pittsburgh and Nebraska.
The Terrapins try to keep that undefeated streak alive as their next two games are at Minnesota and Ohio State before hosting Purdue in College Park on February 4.
If Trimble can maintain his level of play, the freshman continue to perform and Cekovsky comes back sooner rather than later, Maryland could stay atop the Big Ten standings for a while.