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Maryland 80, UMBC 64: Carey leaves the scene | Reese and Frees

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In their last non-conference game, Maryland basketball struggled to dispatch an annoying UMBC team for 30 minutes, but used a breakout game for Donald Carey and a flurry of free throws for an 80-64 victory.

Carey leaves, but threesomes don’t fall … Carey has been an excellent 3-point shooter the past two seasons at Georgetown, but has struggled with his shooting thus far as a Terp, especially at home, where he has shot 4-for-33 since the start of the game. Confidence is a funny thing though, and Carey looked like he got a shot of it before the game, getting in on shots with poise and getting to the basket in ways he didn’t often do. The senior transfer between the cities was on 6-of-9 shooting, including 5-of-7 three-for-a-team for a team-record 19 points, his highest total as a Terp.

“Behavior-wise, I’ve been consistent with that. I know the type of player I am and I know the type of work I do, so eventually you know the work will come along”, Carey said afterwards.

If Maryland (10-3 overall, 1-1 Big Ten) can get this version of Carey on a regular basis the rest of the way, it would be a huge boost considering the team’s perimeter shooting struggles. They were 6 for 24 for three, a tally that was boosted by some late hits after the game had spiraled out of control. Previously they were 1 for 15, a familiar spot after several recent ugly filming performances. Miss Scott had a solid night overall (11 points, nine rebounds, two steals) but shot 0-for-5-of-3 and shot 6 in his last 32.

Jahmir Young it was 0 for 3 for three and is 3 for its last 16. Maryland’s dismal 3-point shooting is looking less like a slump and more like a weakness when Big Ten play comes around. Still, Young played well, entering the lane at will on his way to 18 points and seven rebounds. Young became the 12th active NCAA player this year to reach 1,300 career points, 500 rebounds and 300 assists.

hakim hartwho has dropped lately, has returned to normal, scoring 16 points on eight shots.

Reese and free throws… julian reese played 23 minutes on his return from a shoulder injury, trying and missing just two field goals. He gave the smaller Terriers trouble in the paint, coming to the line 12 times and hitting seven. Reese, who shot 80 percent from the line as a freshman, has struggled this season. As a whole, though, Maryland took advantage of a huge disparity at the line, doubling UMBC’s 16 tries.

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They made 22 of those 32, a 68.8% clip that Kevin Willard You won’t like it, but they capitalized on those opportunities as they pulled away midway through the second half, during which they racked up 14 free throws from 20 attempts. Recovery remains another concern; UMBC (9-5), which went on a six-game winning streak, had 12 offensive rebounds to Maryland’s seven and finished with 36 rebounds to Maryland’s 38.

How did it fall … Nearly 26 minutes passed and the Terps were 1-for-15 from three and clung to a four-point lead over the 16-point underdogs the Terriers. the ball found Ian Martinez wide open on the wing, but he unrolled a brick that barely grazed the backboard. Scott grabbed the rebound though, and Reese worked his way inside with a strong move to win some free throws, making both. But UMBC responded with a bucket, so Young threw the ball away, leading to a few free throws to make a two-point game.

Reese hit a free throw, Maryland got a stop, and Young found a Carey open three.

Moments later, Hart knocked down a three to end a drought, then sprinted out at halftime and attempted to throw an alley-oop from Hart that would have had the building buzzing – it was an impressive crowd for a minor name opponent, considering the students are in the break – but the ball went in and out, bouncing in the air and hitting the shot clock. After a few more erratic possessions, Hart hit some free throws, Maryland’s run was 11–2 and it was a 55–44 game. They did most of the damage on the line, scoring 12 points in 12 minutes.

Minutes later, UMBC went into a zone to try and stop Maryland from getting in the paint and tying more free throws, but they patiently rotated the ball around until they found Carey, who drained a corner three. With Maryland up eight, Hart drove into the paint, called out the defense, and found Carey smartly cutting across the baseline for an open layup. They got another easy one the next time when Young dribbled into the paint for a floating shot.

With the clock ticking down to three minutes, they passed the ball to Reese. He paired up, quickly recognized him, and threw a cross pass to an open Carey, who made the killing shot, three-pointer to make it 71-56. Then Carey drained three more, Hart threw a no-look pass to Scott for an emphatic dunk, and it was on to Big Ten play.

Maryland travels to Michigan next for a New Year’s game. The Terps have had two weeks and a few easy games to bounce back from that tough three-game slump, so they should be re-energized in Ann Arbor.