Maryland put together one of its strongest performances of the year in a 82-60 beatdown of Wake Forest in the opening round of the ACC Tournament on Thursday.
Terrell Stoglin led the way with 25 points on only 14 shots as the Terrapins seemed to connect on all cylinders in the blowout victory. Maryland went out on a 20-4 run to start off the second half and quickly eliminated any chance the Demon Deacons had of getting back into the game.
That's the best, most complete game we've played all year, coach Mark Turgeon said after the game. We defended. We rebounded. We executed. We shared the ball.
Turgeon pulled aside his talented sophomore guard on the team's plane down to Atlanta and encouraged the second-team All-ACC player to be a better teammate against Wake Forest.
He certainly answered that call on Thursday. In addition to his 25 points, he had seven rebounds, four assists, and two steals. More importantly, Stoglin did a fantastic job of sharing the ball with his teammates and getting players like James Padgett and Alex Len involved in the game.
Just doing the little things that end up being big, Stoglin explained to reporters after the game about what Turgeon told him to do. Just other things, other than scoring.
Padgett added 10 points and five rebounds, Alex Len had seven points and six rebounds, including a monster dunk, while shooting guard Nick Faust had 19 points and five rebounds.
Travis McKie led the way with 22 points and eight rebounds in the losing effort for Wake Forest. Nikita Mescheriakov added 16 points and C.J. Harris had 14 points.
Maryland improved to 17-14 with the victory and will take on North Carolina in the ACC Tournament quarterfinals. In the two previous meetings with the Tar Heels, the Terps lost 83-74 and 88-64.
It likely won't be any easier on Friday for Maryland, but things might be clicking for the young team. Maryland had lost its last three games leading up to the ACC Tournament, including brutal late game losses to Georgia Tech and Virginia, but it clearly was able to shrug off the tough losses in the must-win scenario.
It will likely come down to whether Stoglin can keep his shot selection in check and put together another performance like Thursday's.
Other Notes: The Terrapins got a bit of good news earlier in the day when Charles Mitchell, a Top 100 power forward out of Georgia, committed to the Terrapins. He hasn't signed a Letter of Intent with the Terrapins yet, so the staff can't comment on him, but Turgeon alluded to the good news during his post-game press conference.
This has been a great day for Maryland basketball, a great day, Turgeon said. I can't talk about everything but a great day for us.