Mark Price knows a thing or two about 3-point marksmanship. Even if he didn’t like it, the NBA sharpshooter-turned-Charlotte men’s basketball coach had to appreciate Maryland’s excellence from deep Tuesday.
The 49ers couldn’t keep up with the 3-point barrage in an 88-72 loss at Royal Farms Arena. They looked fully capable of springing a surprise until the Terrapins pulled away by hitting 10 of 16 second-half 3-point tries.
“You’ve got to pick your poison sometimes,” Price said. “It worked for us in the first half. They started making their 3s in the second half.”
Charlotte (6-5) led by as many as 10 points in a dream start and kept a 37-36 lead into halftime. The 49ers surprised Maryland by rotating through several zone defenses and forced the Terrapins into mistakes.
They generated five turnovers before the first media timeout and turned 13 first-half turnovers into 14 points. Maryland’s 1-for-9 start on 3-pointers helped, too.
Maryland (12-1) did a better job protecting the ball after the break and seemed to pick up more momentum with every deep ball. Jaylen Brantley’s 3-pointer with 14 minutes, 22 seconds left put the Terps ahead for good at 50-47.
Charlotte – boosted by 28 points from Jon Davis – was much more competitive than during Saturday’s 40-point loss to Florida, but ultimately ran out of steam in its nonconference finale. The 49ers will open Conference USA play on New Year’s Eve, hosting North Texas.
Three who mattered
Melo Trimble: The Big Ten Player of the Year front-runner, he shook off a slow start with 17 of his team-high 21 points after halftime for the Terps.
Kevin Huerter: The freshman scored all 10 of his points in the first seven minutes of the second half to help the Terps grab control.
Jon Davis: A Maryland native, he did all he could, hitting 10 of 12 shots from the floor and 7 of 8 free throws to tie his career high for Charlotte.
▪ Maryland hung in it early when its offense was struggling thanks to putbacks and free throws. Charlotte scrapped hard to keep a bigger opponent off the offensive boards but couldn’t always do it. The Terps had 10 of their 11 second-chance points in the opening half.
▪ This one wasn’t always pretty. Charlotte tied a season-high with 21 forced turnovers but committed 17 of their own.
▪ The 49ers are a more complete team with the addition of Austin Ajukwa. In his second game since becoming eligible, the Clemson transfer had seven points in 15 minutes off the bench.
▪ It goes down as a neutral court loss for the 49ers, even though the game was played about 30 miles from Maryland’s campus. The crowd of 7,139 became a factor once the Terps made their run.
▪ Benas Griciunas earned his first start of the season and set personal bests in points (12), rebounds (5) and minutes (27).
He said it
“I just wanted to approach this like it was a regular game. I didn’t want to take it personal against the guys I’ve grown up with.” – Jon Davis on his return to Maryland.