They did it. They won another road game, thus ending a nightmare stretch that had them going 1-6 in road ACC play. The road-game misery ended at the hands of the Wake Forest Demon Deacons who the Maryland Terrapins whipped 67-57 at Joel Coliseum in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
Dez Wells brought his “A” game and was the leading scorer for both teams pouring in 23 points on a sizzling 11-for-12 shooting, but it was the Terrapin defense that rose to the occasion, holding Wake to 32.7 percent shooting for the game.
Ahead 61-57, the Terps held Wake Forest scoreless for the final 2:58 of play to improve to 20-9, 8-8 in ACC play good for sixth place in the league standings.
This was a much needed confidence booster for a team who, because of their struggles on the road, has basically played themselves out of an at-large bid to play in the upcoming NCAA tournament. Before this win, Maryland had only beaten ACC cellar-dweller Virginia Tech on the road away from the cozy confines of Comcast Center.
In the process, the Terps have let a heart breaker at Florida State slip away, along with losing at Boston College and Georgia Tech, all games that were winnable had they been able to bring the confidence they have playing at home, where they are 16-2, with them on the road. This time they came out of their turtle shells in crunch time and picked up the win.
Guard Nick Faust and sharpshooter Logan Aronhalt each chipped in nine points helping the Terps shoot nearly 50 percent from the field. They also destroyed the Demon Deacons down low, outscoring them 46-18 in the paint. Maryland ended the game with a 41-30 rebounding margin, led by 7-foot-1 center Alex Len who collected 10 rebounds.
The Terps took a 30-24 lead at the break thanks to a 10-4 burst to end the half. They kept the advantage until the 15:13 mark of the second half, when a C.J. Harris dunk gave Wake Forest the lead 33-32. The game was still up for grabs until the Terrapins took the lead for good after an Aronhalt three-pointer made the score, 44-41, advantage Maryland with 10:43 left in the contest.
The Terps increased the lead to 59-49 with 5:24 to play and Wake would get no closer than four the rest of the way on a basket by Codi Miller-McIntyre with 4:33 to play, reducing the Terrapin lead to 59-55. That was the last field goal Wake would make in the game as Maryland held them to two free throws the rest of the way. The Terrapins meanwhile, ended the second half the same way they ended the first half, on a game winning 8-2 run.
The Demon Deacons were led in scoring by Harris who had 19 points. Devin Thomas added 17 and Miller-McIntyre scored five in a losing effort. Wake is now 12-16, 5-11 in ACC play, tied with Georgia Tech for ninth place in league play.