COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — Freshman Melo Trimble scored 13 of his 24 points in the second half and Maryland extended its winning streak to six games by holding off Monmouth 61-56 on Friday night at XFINITY Center.
The Terrapins were playing their first game without leading scorer Dez Wells, who will be sidelined for four weeks due to a fractured wrist. Maryland (6-0) did get a boost with the return of Evan Smotrycz, who missed the early part of the season with a broken left foot. Smotrycz posted a team-high six rebounds.
Jake Layman had 14 points for Maryland. The junior guard has now recorded double-digit scoring in all six of the Terps' wins this season.
Max DiLeo and Deon Jones each had 11 points for Monmouth (2-3).
The Terps had some struggles against the Hawks' zone defense, but never relinquished the lead.
A pair of free throws by Layman and a three-pointer by Jared Nickens provided some cushion and Maryland led 50-40 with 4:53 remaining.
A three-pointer by Andrew Nicholas with just under a minute cut Maryland's margin to 53-51. After Trimble made a pair of free throws, Monmouth answered with another three-pointer and cut the Terps' lead to one.
Trimble then made six free throws in the final minute to seal the game for Maryland. The freshman finished 13-of-14 from the free throw line.
“First of all I want to give Monmouth a lot of credit. I thought they were terrific. They had a great game plan and they defended. They had a lot of energy and they were scrappy," head coach Mark Turgeon said. "We were really good defensively in the first half until right before half when they hit a couple threes. We were good in the second half we just gave up to many second-chance points and rebounds. I thought we were a little out of rhythm just trying to get used to not having Dez (Wells) and bringing Evan (Smotrycz) back."
Maryland returns to action when it hosts VMI Sunday at XFINITY Center at 6 p.m.