COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Mike Jones and D.J. Strawberry each scored 19 to lead Maryland to an 81-63 victory over the University of Vermont men’s basketball team on Wednesday night in the 2K Sports College Hoops Classic Regional Semifinals. The Terrapins extended a nine point halftime advantage with an 11-3 run to open the second half and held a double-digit lead for the rest of the way as they improve to 2-0 on the season. Sophomore Mike Trimboli (Norwalk, Conn.) led Vermont with 15 points and five assists, as the Catamounts fall to 1-1.
“Maryland did a good job not allowing us to run many of our sets with its defensive pressure, which led to a lot of turnovers,” said Vermont head coach Mike Lonergan. “This was a great tournament for us to play in and it’s a good experience for our players to play on national television.”
In the first half the Catamounts struggled with turnovers, totaling 14, thanks in large part to a full court press by the Terrapins. Vermont started by hitting only three of its first 11 attempts just over eight minutes in, but down 11-7 the Cats used a Timothy McCrory (Pascagoula, Miss.) tip-in off a missed Martin Klimes (Prague, Czech Rep.) shot and a Mike Trimboli three-pointer on a fast break to take a 12-11 lead.
The two teams traded baskets for the next few minutes and with Maryland on top 19-18, the Terps would score nine of the next 10 points to go on top 28-19 with 3:22 left in the opening stanza. Senior Mike Jones scored 11 of Maryland’s final 13 points of the half, to send the home team into intermission with a 36-27 lead. The Catamounts out rebounded the Terrapins 25-16 in the first half, but Maryland took advantage of the Catamount miscues and scored 14 points off of turnovers.
The start of the second half saw Maryland extend its lead to 17 over the first 4:07, capped off by a dunk by James Gist. Vermont cut its deficit to 12 when freshman Marqus Blakely (Metuchen, N.J.) tallied the next five points on a three-point play and a lay-up over the next 1:18 to make it 47-35.
The Terrapins would go on top by as many as many as 24 in the second half, before the Catamounts made one final push. A basket by Strawberry made it 77-55 with 4:15 remaining, but Vermont cut it to 14 with an 8-0 run on hoops by freshman Nick Vier (Franklin Lakes, N.J.), senior Chris Holm (Henderson, Nev.), redshirt freshman Jason Green (Washington, D.C.) and sophomore Colin McIntosh (Milton, Mass.), but that was as close as the Catamounts would get.
Holm tallied seven for Vermont and a game-high 11 rebounds, while McCrory finished with six points and six boards. Maryland held Vermont to 32.8 percent from the floor for the game and 2-for-16 from three.
Maryland advances to the 2K Sports College Hoops Classic Semifinals at Madison Square Garden in New York on Thursday and will take on the winner of the New York Regional bracket, which St. John’s is hosting.
From Vermont Media Relations