Terps Top Seahawks In Hoops Debut, 71-62
Courtesy: UNCW Athletic Communications
COLLEGE PARK, Maryland - Sophomore guard Terrell Stoglin came off the bench to anchor three players in double figures with 22 points as Maryland turned back stubborn UNCW, 71-62, in the 2011-12 men's basketball season opener for both teams Sunday night at the red-clad Comcast Center.
The Terps, making their debut under new skipper Mark Turgeon, led 32-27 at halftime and survived a scare from the pesky Seahawks in the second half. Maryland led by as many as 14 points early in the final period before UNCW rallied to close the gap to six points with two minutes remaining.
Stoglin made the Atlantic Coast Conference's All-Freshman Team one year ago and used an assortment of layups, spin moves and 10-of-11 free throws for his team-high total. Sophomore forward Ashton Pankey added 13 points and junior forward James Padgett had 12 for the Terps.
Freshman guard Adam Smith paced UNCW with a game-high 23 points, including 16 in the first half on 6-of-10 shooting. He wound up connecting on 9-of-19 from the floor and 5-for-9 behind the arc to give the Seahawks just one player in double digits.
Maryland, 19-14 one year ago, played for the first time in 23 seasons without retired coach Gary Williams and Turgeon used just nine players in the contest.
After forging out to a 32-27 edge at halftime, the Terps scored 13 of the first 17 points of the second half to build a working margin. Stoglin capped a six-point run to open the half and rookie guard Nick Faust tossed in a free throw at 14:13 to give UM a 45-31 cushion.
The Terps maintained a double-digit lead throughout much of the second period until Smith and fellow freshman Cedrick Williams brought the Seahawks back. Reserve forward Berend Weijs banked in a shot with 5:30 remaining to push UM's lead to 65-53, but Williams scored four points and sophomore forward Donte Morales scored on a floater - his only bucket of the game - to slice the deficit to 65-59 at the two-minute mark.
However, Faust converted both ends of a bonus situation and Stoglin added four consecutive free throws to help the Terps escape before 12,873 fans.
The two teams battled nip-and-tuck in the early going before Maryland gained some separation with an 8-0 run around the six-minute mark. A layup by Stoglin with 5:05 left in the first half staked the Terps to a 23-15 advantage.
But Smith caught fire and drained three long range triples as UNCW cut into the margin. His third three-pointer from the right wing sliced the deficit to 27-26 with 2:51 remaining. Stoglin then converted a conventional three-point play with 12.7 seconds remaining in the half to give the Terps a 32-27 edge at the break.
Maryland shot 48.1 percent from the floor on 25-of-52 shooting, but failed to make a three-pointer, missing all nine attempts from long distance. UNCW made 41.1 percent of its shots on 23-of-56 and came up with nine steals.
The Seahawks continue a two-game season-opening road swing next Saturday with a 2 p.m. clash at Dayton. The Terps next travel to San Juan for the 5-hour Energy Puerto Rico Tip-Off, where they'll meet Alabama on Thursday.