Maryland didn’t do that many things that well Friday night in the first round of the Western Digital Freedom Bowl tournament, but the Terrapins were so effective in two facets of the game that they were able to defeat Texas Christian, 74-67, and advance to tonight’s championship game.
TCU shot 68% from the floor in the first half and led, 38-33, at halftime. But Maryland was so dominating on the boards and so accurate from the free-throw line that the Horned Frogs finally relinquished the lead for good with 13 minutes remaining in the game.
Somehow, Maryland outrebounded TCU, 18-0, in the second half and had a hefty 30-11 rebound advantage for the game. And the Terrapins, who made 17 of 18 first-half free throws to stay in the game, finished the evening shooting 93% at the line (27 of 29).
“They were setting up and taking target practice in the first half,” Maryland Coach Bob Wade said. “The free throws kept us in the game. That was the key. But I’m proud of the kids. We’re young, but we hung in there.”
Junior forward Tony Massenburg and 6-foot 10-inch forward Jerrod Mustaf carried the bulk of the offensive burden for the Terrapins. Massenburg recovered from a slow first half to lead Maryland with 26 points. And Mustaf, who brought the ball up court all night, scored 16. Massenburg was 7 of 11 from the field. Mustaf made 6 of 7 field-goal attempts. Each had 9 rebounds.
“We asked Jerrod to do a lot of things tonight,” Wade said. “He’s very important to our offensive scheme. And Tony had some really big buckets and offensive rebounds in the second half.”
Forward Craig Sibley led TCU with 15 points and 4 rebounds--2 more than any of his teammates. Sibley was 6 of 10 from the field, but made only 3 of 10 free throws. The Horned Frogs were 13 of 25 at the line.