Panthers Pounce on Terps

Timothy Earl January 28, 2014 Comments Off on Panthers Pounce on Terps

Maryland_Terrapins2The 20th ranked Pittsburgh Panthers, behind 28 points from sensational senior Lamar Patterson, held on to beat the Maryland Terrapins, 83-79 at Comcast Center.

The Terrapins were behind the entire second half but were able to cut into a late Panther double digit lead to make the game interesting. A Dez Wells free throw made it 81-76 with 32 seconds to play in the game and a late three from Terp Evan Smotrycz ended the failed comeback for the Terps.

Unfortunately for Maryland, Patterson was the best player on the floor. He beat the turtles with a display of drives to the basket or earned his points at the free throw line. He was 12 for 14 at the charity stripe. Patterson is second in the ACC in field goal percentage at .513, and backed that up by going 8-14 from the floor. Patterson, who is also the fourth leading scorer in the ACC averaging nearly 18 points per game, also collected seven rebounds, had seven assists and four steals.

Maryland, on their home court, were not able to take advantage of their offensive possessions and were undone by 17 turnovers. Pitt, on the other hand was efficient on the offensive end and usually either scored or earned their points at the free throw line. The Panthers attempted 47 free throws and shot 60 percent from the field in the second half. Pitt, who leads the ACC in rebounding defense and rebounding margin, out rebounded the Terps 37-28.

The Panthers made enough free throws at the end of the game to secure the on-the-road ACC victory while improving to (18-2, 6-1 in ACC play), good enough for second place in the league standings.

Wells, the Terps leading scorer, led the team again with 19 points. Maryland fell to (11-9, 3-4 in ACC play) which left them in ninth place in league play. The Terps are 1-4 in their last five games.

The Terrapins got off to a quick start hitting their first four shots and were leading early, 11-6. Maryland wingman Jake Layman led the beginning burst, scoring five of his 18 points during the Terrapins early game run.

Pittsburgh clawed back into the game and took an 18-16 lead with with 8:26 to play in the first half. The Panthers were helped by Terrapin first half fouls. Pittsburgh began the game 16-16 at the free throw line on their way to a 42-37 halftime lead. Patterson had 13 points in the first half.

Pittsburgh controlled the game the entire second half. A Patterson bucket gave them their first double digit lead of the game at 53-43 with 15:41 to play in the game. Another Patterson free throw gave his Panthers their biggest lead of the game at 62-49 with 11:46 remaining in the game.

The Terrapins were not able to match the Panther’s offensive efficiency and found themselves down by nearly double digits the rest of the second half and the late game rally only made the game respectable. Maryland was only 2 for 11 on three point attempts in the second half.

Smotrycz led the Terps in rebounding with seven, while scoring 10 points. Nick Faust added 13 points for Maryland. Panther Talib Zanna added 16 points for Pittsburgh who is having a successful first year in the ACC.