The Big Ten only had one game on Monday night, but it was a good one. Rutgers went on the road to face Maryland in a matchup that looked pretty good on paper. Both teams were hoping for a marquee victory.
Let’s take a look at what happened.
Game of the Night:
-No. 19 Rutgers Scarlet Knights 74, Maryland Terrapins 60
While Maryland led this game at halftime, it was Rutgers who cruised to a double-digit win. The Scarlet Knights got a massive 27 points from Ron Harper and double-digit scoring from three others en route to a 74-60 win. Meanwhile, Maryland’s offense struggled to find consistency all night and the defense struggled in the second half.
For Rutgers, this is certainly a big win. It pushed the team to 5-0 overall and 1-0 in Big Ten play. The team has won seven straight dating back to last season and could now be poised to get a statement win later this week at home against Illinois on Sunday. A win there and the Scarlet Knights would have to start getting some Big Ten title consideration.
On the other side, Maryland fell to 4-2 with the loss. And what’s particularly disappointing is how average the Terps have looked over the last two contests. Maryland turned a lot of heads in November against a sneakily good non-conference slate, but has face planted against its two toughest opponents of the season over the last week in Clemson and Rutgers. Both games were over well before the final buzzer.
Eric Ayala also disappointed in this one. He finished with 12 points, but it felt pretty pedestrian after his first few games of the season. Aaron Wiggins also had a rough night with just six points on 13 field goal attempts. Those two will have to do better if Maryland is going to improve.
The good news is there’s still plenty of time for Maryland to get back on track and that will start next Tuesday (the 22nd) at home against La Salle. However, underwhelming against quality competition isn’t a good recipe for this year’s Big Ten, where eight teams are ranked in the top 25 on KenPom. Mark Turgeon and his staff will have some work on their hands.