Terps try to bounce back from first loss
College Park, MD (Sports Network) – The Comcast Center in College Park is the
site of tonight’s non- conference clash between the 23rd-ranked Maryland
Terrapins and the Fordham Rams.
Three straight victories have enabled Fordham to build some confidence after
a disappointing 1-2 start to the campaign. The Rams were most recently in
action on Sunday, as they rolled to a 70-54 decision over Iona, a tough
opponent from the MAAC. Only once so far has Fordham enabled an opponent to
reach the 70-point plateau, so strong defense has been key to the club’s
Maryland won its first eight games of the season, and six of the wins came by
double figures. The Terps attempted to make it nine in a row on Sunday, but
they were defeated by Notre Dame, 81-74. The 81 points surrendered marked the
club’s worst defensive effort to date.
Maryland is 7-1 all-time versus Fordham, with the Rams’ lone win coming in the
first meeting back in 1956.
Fordham shot 59.3 percent from the floor in the first half against Iona and led
by 14 points at intermission. The Rams dropped to 32.4 percent efficiency in
the second half, but they were still able to cruise to victory in large part
because they forced 25 turnovers in the clash. Sebastian Greene exploded for 20
points on 8-of-10 overall shooting, and he also pulled down nine rebounds to go
along with four steals. Marcus Stout pitched in 12 points for the Rams, who got
11 points and 12 rebounds from Bryant Dunston. Rounding out the double-digit
scorers was Brenton Butler with 10 points off the bench. Stout is netting 13.2
ppg this season, and Butler is close behind with 12.8 ppg. Dunston adds 11.5
ppg, 7.8 rpg and 2.7 bpg to the mix, but he has fallen a bit short of
expectations. As for Greene, he is contributing 10.3 ppg for the Rams, who are
holding their opponents to just 61.8 ppg.
Maryland has done a solid job at both ends this season, as the squad is scoring
80.9 ppg on 48.1 percent shooting from the floor while limiting opponents to
64.7 ppg on 35.8 percent shooting. The Terps have forced 175 turnovers in nine
outings, an average of nearly 20 per game. D.J. Strawberry has been the top
performer for coach Gary Williams, as the versatile guard is posting 15.1 ppg
to go along with 34 assists and 26 steals. Ekene Ibekwe adds 12.4 ppg and 7.0
rpg, and Mike Jones is posting 12.1 ppg. In the loss to Notre Dame, Strawberry
scored 17 points and recorded six steals, while Ibekwe and Greivis Vasquez
pitched in 13 points apiece. Maryland turned the ball over 19 times and missed
10 of 28 free throws, two obvious factors that led to the defeat.