Maryland's burst to the top of the rankings has been aided by a 12-10 redemption against reigning national champion Loyola and a 16-7 thumping of Atlantic Coast Conference rival Duke en route to a 4-0 record.
The Terps have also benefitted from quick starts. This season, the team has outscored opponents, 22-4, in the first quarter and after halftime, the squad has sprinted to a 16-9 advantage in the third quarter.
Maryland's ability to put their opponents in an early hole in each half mirrors the wishes of coach John Tillman.
"In 15 minutes, you've got to make the most of every second out there, and hopefully, they're focused and ready," he said Thursday evening. "And it says something about [offensive coordinator] Ryan Moran having the guys on offense prepped up and [defensive coordinator] Kevin Conry and [volunteer assistant] Brian Farrell doing a really good job with the defensive guys and having them prepared to come into the game but also being ready to make some adjustments at halftime. And you hope those adjustments work. I think the preparation that the players have made and the coaches have made has certainly paid off."
With the team winning 62 percent of its faceoffs and the defense limiting opponents to less than 30 shots per game and 6.8 goals per contest, the offense has taken full advantage of its increased possessions. (ESPN analyst Quint Kessenich wrote in his Friday column that the Terps are averaging almost 11 more possessions per game this season.)
But Tillman pointed out that the team hasn't taking its foot off the accelerator due to the quick-reversal nature of the sport.