COLLEGE PARK, MD.
– The Monmouth University men’s basketball fell at the University of Maryland 71-38 in the Comcast Center on Wednesday night. The Hawks, now 5-6 overall, received a career-high effort from sophomore Khalil Brown
, who netted 10 points, while Jesse Steele
added eight points for the Blue and White. The Terrapins, who outscored the Hawks 40-17 in the second half, won their ninth straight to improve to 9-1.
Monmouth, which forced 24 Maryland turnovers, pulled down a season-high 17 offensive rebounds, and went 7-of-8 from the free throw line.
added six points and four rebounds for Monmouth, while Ed Waite
chipped in four points and six boards.
Maryland, which scored 14 of its first 15 points in the paint, grabbed a 15-5 lead following consecutive Dez Wells baskets, before Nesmith's baseline jumper pulled the Hawks within 15-7 with 15:00 showing. Nesmith’s hoop started a 7-0 spurt for the Hawks, as Steele accounted for the next five, including his second three-pointer, to make the tally 15-12 at 11:10.
The Hawks climbed within 20-16 following consecutive hoops off Steele assists, as Waite's lay-in and Stephen Spinella
’s dunk at 7:20 cut the Terrapin edge to four.
As Monmouth missed nine straight field goal attempts, UMD answered with five points to grab a 25-16 lead before Nesmith's fast break basket off a behind the back pass from Andrew Nicholas
made the score 25-18 with 2:38 remaining. Brown’s tip-in pulled MU within 27-20, while his free throw with nine ticks left allowed the Hawks to pull within 30-21, but a late Terrapin foul shot made the score 31-21 at the break.
After a pair of Nicholas free throws allowed MU to climb within 31-23 just 26 seconds into the second stanza, the Terrapins answered with an 8-0 spurt and extended their run to 17-4, to haul in a 48-27 advantage with 9:26 left.
’s foul line jumper made the score 48-28 at 9:08, but the Terrapins responded with another 11-0 spurt to lead 59-29 with 4:13 left on Jake Layman’s three-pointer.
The Hawks, who went scoreless for 5:10 ended their drought on Nesmith’s jumper in the lane, making the score 59-31 at 3:58, while Brown’s first career three-pointer with 1:42 showing, made the score 66-36.
The Terrapins, who shot 58.1% overall from the floor, including 61.9% in the first half, outscored Monmouth 38-14 in the paint. The Hawks, who hit just 5-of-30 in the second half, connected on 20.6% overall.
7-1 center Alex Len posted a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds for Maryland, which is receiving votes in the national polls once again this week, while Nick Faust (16 points) and Dez Wells (10) added double-figure nights for the Terrapins, who outrebounded the Hawks 44-29.
Monmouth returns to action on Saturday, December 22, when the Hawks host Villanova in the MAC at 7:00 p.m.
POST GAME QUOTES (courtesy of UMD Athletics):
Head Coach Mark Turgeon Opening statement:
"We defended well; we held them to 20% shooting. We got outplayed in the first half. They out hustled us, and they played harder than we did. It was probably one of the worst halves one of my teams has played. I was really disappointed in our team. We have worked really hard on turnovers, but I was really disappointed in it today. It was more mental than anything. They just weren't mentally into the game. The guys played better in the second half."
Sophomore Forward Dez Wells
"We have to give credit to Monmouth. They're a good team, they played hard and they didn't give up. Teams like that can beat teams like us if we don't play as hard as we have to."
Monmouth Coach King Rice Opening statement:
"First off I just want to thank Coach Turgeon, his staff, and the University of Maryland for playing us. Turgeon has been a big brother to me for a long time. He always looks out for me, and I'm thankful he would give us the opportunity to come into a big time arena like this and play. Maryland is a big, strong team; they're a lot stronger inside. We need some bigger guys inside, so knowing Turgeon like I do, I told our guys, `He's going to go inside to start the game,' and that's what he did. Their kids got comfortable. They have a very talented team. I'm hopeful that they really listen to the staff that Turgeon has, because Mark Turgeon is one of the best coaches in the country and he has a great staff. I hope those young men realize what they have and they listen to him. Special things could happen for this team."
On who stood out on Maryland's team:
"I'll tell you what: Pe'Shon Howard. In today's game kids want to score the ball; every kid wants to shoot. I have all kinds of guys telling me they need more shots. This young man understands what a team is about, he can score if he needs to score, you can just tell that. The way he runs their team he makes everybody a better player; and then the big fella [Alex] Len. It's harder for big guys to play against 6'4 or 6'5 guys because they feel like if they bump them then it's going to be a foul. I thought that young man played extremely well tonight. He's a good one. I like a lot of pieces on their team."
On what he'll take away from tonight's game:
"This is an opportunity for our kids to do something that a lot of college basketball players will never get to do, play the University of Maryland on their campus. My guys will remember this for a long time. I'm sure the score will get a lot closer over the next 20 years. It's good for our guys to go in and battle. If we make the NCAA Tournament--and the only way we can make it is winning our tournament--we're going to play a team like Maryland in the first round. So we just have to relax. We're going to be ok our kids are getting better. We played a better team tonight, and they just showed us they were better."