The Maryland Terrapins have absolutely no room to slip up during their last few weeks in the ACC and despite struggling at times against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons, the Terps kept their slim NCAA tournament hopes alive with a 71-60 victory at College Park Tuesday.
Maryland needs every single game from hear on out and beating Wake Forest the way it did is a good sign the Terps can make a run to finish the regular season and carry it over into the ACC tournament.
Maryland trailed by as much as eight in the first half, but because of a career-high 20 points from Nick Faust and steady play from Charles Mitchell — who looked to overcome the close miss against the Duke Blue Devils this past weekend — the Terps slowly chipped away at the deficit and wore down Wake in the second half.
Mitchell scored 12 points and grabbed seven rebounds while playing aggressively inside. Faust gave Maryland energy it desperately needed when he hit three three-pointers in the first half. He finished with four three-pointers. Maryland hit eight three-pointers compared to only two from Wake.
A lot of Maryland’s comeback had to do with a Devin Thomas flagrant foul on Dez Wells during the first half. That foul sent Thomas to the bench. His inside presence was sorely missed by the Deacons. Maryland was able to take advantage of this and came all the way back to take a first half lead.
While the victory is important, it is only worth something if Maryland can carry the momentum over against the Syracuse Orange on Monday. This game will be Maryland’s most important game of the season to date. The Terps have to win to help build on their tournament resume. Losing is simply not at option because Maryland does not have a signature win. Even beating Syracuse does not guarantee anything.
Maryland has four more games remaining and because the Terrapins handled business against Wake Forest, those games still mean something.
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