Maryland returns to Comcast Center Saturday at 2 p.m. against Florida Atlantic as it closes out its non-conference schedule with four straight games in College Park. The Terps and Owls are meeting for just the second time in series history.
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Terps Support Toys for Tots
The Terps have partnered with the UMCP Campus Police and Prince George’s County Police for the Toys for Tots drive. Donation bins will be located outside Gates A, B and Terrapin Trail Garage entrances for the Men’s Basketball game on December 14 vs. Florida Atlantic. Fans are encouraged to bring new unwrapped toys for boy or girls to the game.
• The Terrapins won their first conference game of the season Thursday with an 88-80 victory over Boston College in Chestnut Hill, Mass. The Terps shot 55.2 percent from the field — their second-best percentage of the season (62.3 – Morgan State).
• Boston College had no answer for junior Dez Wells, who shredded the Eagle defense to the tune of a career-high 33 points on 12-of-18 shooting. Wells put the Terps on his back in the second half, scoring 22 points in the frame to keep BC at bay.
• Wells’ 33-point effort was the highest scoring performance for a Terrapin since Terrell Stoglin poured in 33 points in a double overtime contest against Miami on Feb. 1, 2012. Greivis Vasquez was the last Maryland player to score 33 points in a 40-minute game, accomplishing the feat against NC State on March 1, 2009.
• Freshman Roddy Peters had a strong performance in his first career ACC game, posting a career-high 14 points, while adding three assists at Boston College. Peters earned his third career start in 26 minutes of action.
Last Time Out
Maryland opened its ACC slate Thursday with an important road victory at Boston College, 88-80.
The Terps got off to a sizzling start against the Eagles, jumping out to a 15-6 lead in the first 5:11. Nine of the 15 points came on 3-pointers, as Evan Smotrycz hit a pair and Nick Faust knocked one down from the wing. Maryland built a 12-point first half lead before the Eagles fought their way back into the game.
After Olivier Hanlan put Boston College ahead, 64-60, with 7:19 to play, Dez Wells fought his way to the free throw line to begin a torrid scoring run for the Terps. Wells scored 16 points in the final 6:46 to push Maryland to the victory.
Scouting Florida Atlantic (3-7)
Florida Atlantic’s two-game winning streak was snapped Thursday when it fell at DePaul, 81-70. The Owls began the season 1-6, before rattling off a pair of victories against Central Florida and Jacksonville. FAU is still looking for its first road win, sitting at 0-4 on the season.
The Owls are led offensively by senior Pablo Bertone, who is averaging 20.0 points in addition to 4.2 rebounds. The 6-foot-4 Argentinian tallied 30 points for the second time this season with a strong effort against DePaul on Thursday night.
Florida Atlantic has gotten strong inside production on the glass from Justin Raffington and Dragan Sekelja, who are averaging 7.6 and 7.3 rebounds on the season, respectively.
Although they rank in the bottom half of the C-USA in most catergories, the Owls have the fourth-best rebounding margin in the conference at +5.4.
Career Night for Dez Wells
Simply put, Boston College had no answer for Dez Wells Thursday night, who slashed through the Eagle defense possession after possession for a career-high 33 points. The junior notched 22 of those points in the second half.
Presented with an advantageous matchup, Wells became the first Terrapin to score 33 points in a 40-minute regulation game since Greivis Vasquez poured in 33 in 2009.
Wells gave Boston College fits driving to the basket, collecting four “and-1″ plays on drives to the hoop in the final six minutes. On a rare Wells miss late in the game, Jonathan Graham was there to tip-in the rebound and give the Terps an insurmountable six-point lead.
Spinelli Meets Former Coach
Maryland assistant coach Scott Spinelli is set to coach against FAU head coach Mike Jarvis, who was the head coach when Spinelli was a player at Boston University. Initially a walk-on, Spinelli earned a scholarship as a point guard and helped the Terriers advance to the 1988 NCAA Tournament.
Maryland jumped out to a 12-point halftime lead and never looked back as it defeated Florida Atlantic on December 27, 2009 in the inaugural meeting between the schools.
It was the third straight game in which Greivis Vasquez reached the 20-point mark. The senior guard went 12 for 20 from the field for 26 points, adding eight rebounds and five assists.