Newark, NJ – After losing their first game of the season by seven points at Penn State, the No.7-ranked Maryland Terrapins were determined to redeem themselves at the Prudential Center on Thursday night vs. the Seton Hall Pirates. The Terps fate would result in a heart breaking second straight loss as Seton Hall came out with a 52-48 win. In what was a low scoring game, Maryland came out flat from the beginning as they struggled to get into a rhythm due to the defensive activity of Seton Hall’s guards and rim protection provided by the Pirates’ frontline.
With their two leading scorers out with injuries, It was not clear who Seton Hall would rely on for the 32 points missing from the lineup. 6-4 senior guard Quincy McKnight answered the call with a game high 17 points, a clutch steal and the game sealing free throws.
The MVP of the game was the 7-2 Seton Hall center Romaro Gill, who posed a major threat defensively against the Terps with his 7-8 wingspan. Gill finished the game with six blocks, one steal and six points. Although Gill is not much of an offensive option for Seton Hall he displayed the ability to be a solid screener, with soft touch around the rim when finishing. Gill’s foot speed and frame is a concern when it comes to rebounding the ball. He finished the game with only three rebounds against Maryland’s strong agile bigs. However, the imprint he left on this game was more than the stat sheet reflected. He hustled several times saving the ball from going out of bounds and also showed ability to change the shots he did not manage to block when guarding post players. Gill also redirected attacking guards on the pick & roll, forcing them to kick the ball back out. That was a big reason Maryland only scored seven points over a 16-minute stretch during the first half.
While Gill was on the bench Pirates backup 7’2 sophomore center Ike Obiagu and his 7-4.5 wingspan continued where Gill left off. In his 17 minutes of play he added six blocked shots. Many of them led to fast break points for the Pirates, which was the key to their victory over the Terrapins. The Pirates blocked a total of 15 of Maryland’s field goal attempts.
No. 7-ranked Maryland (10-2) is sure to slide down the rankings after two back-to-back losses to unranked programs. They will look to snap this losing streak at home on December 29th against Bryant (7-4). Seton Hall (7-4) will look to continue their winning ways at home on December 22th against Prairie View A&M (3-8).
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