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Trimble scores 27 as Maryland rallies to beat Towson 71-66

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COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) Maryland was being dominated on the boards and seemingly incapable of scoring from the outside. As the deficit against Towson reached double digits, coach Mark Turgeon began to wonder if a comeback was possible.

“I wasn’t sure if we could do it,” he admitted.

Down by 13 points with 14 minutes left, the Terrapins (4-0) rallied behind Melo Trimble to pull out a 71-66 victory Sunday.

Trimble scored 27 and freshman Justin Jackson added 21 for Maryland, which used a game-ending 35-17 surge to squeeze past its in-state foe.

“We figured out how to win. It’s what we do,” Turgeon said. “When we were down 13 it didn’t look good.”

It was tied at 66 when Towson guard Deshaun Morman missed a shot and Trimble was fouled getting the rebound.

Trimble made two free throws with 35.9 seconds left. After Mike Morsell misfired for the Tigers, freshman Anthony Cowan was fouled and sank one of two shots for a three-point cushion.

Towson’s last chance faded when Morman missed a 3-pointer and Kevin Huerter made two fouls shots on the other end.

“It was just about us playing defense and dialing in,” said Trimble, who went 4 for 15 from the floor but was 16 for 17 at the foul line.

The Tigers (2-1) outrebounded Maryland 46-33 but were outscored 26-15 at the foul line.

Morsell led the Tigers with 17 points and Morman had 15. Towson is 0-13 against the Terrapins.

The Tigers had more height than Maryland, but they didn’t have Trimble.

“I’m a Red Sox fan,” Towson coach Pat Skerry said. “It’s like playing against Mariano Rivera back in the day. He’s like the ultimate closer for a team.”

The Tigers, on the other hand, couldn’t make a sizeable lead stand up.

Towson opened the second half with a 13-2 run to move in front 49-36 with 14:27 remaining. Maryland missed its first seven field-goal tries before Trimble ended the dry spell with a 3-point play.

That ignited a 12-1 run that got the Terrapins to 50-48. The Tigers then expanded their lead to 56-51, but soon after that, Trimble hit a 3 from the corner to put Maryland up 61-58, its first lead since 27-26 late in the first half.

“We’re an unbelievable work in progress when it comes to our offense right now,” Turgeon said. “With 12 minutes to go in the game I finally figured out what was going to work and we were able to do some good things against them.”

Unlike his coach, Trimble was confident the Terps could pull it out.

“We knew we could come back and hopefully change the momentum and try and get the lead back,” he said. “It was just about us playing defense and dialing in.”

The matchup was a campus-site game in the Barclays Center Classic, which does not put the teams in brackets until the action shifts to New York and Towson on Nov. 25.

SHORTHANDED

Maryland was without guard Dion Wiley, who had a stomach virus. Turgeon is also waiting on 7-foot-1 center Michal Cekovsky, who has yet to play this year because of a sprained foot.

THE TAKEAWAY

Towson: The Tigers showed they can complete with one of the better teams in the nation, which should serve as a confidence-boost when they get into play in the Colonial Athletic Conference.

“I told our guys our goal is to get into the NCAA tournament,” Skerry said. “That’s the type of team you’re going to play against and be able to beat.”

Maryland: This marked the third time in four games the Terrapins were involved in a close game. Barely beating American and Towson is nothing to crow about, but the experience gained from playing in tight affairs could prove beneficial in the future.

“We’ve figured out how to win three closes games now, which is a (good) sign when you’re playing so many young kids like we are,” Turgeon said.

UP NEXT

Towson travels to Boston College on Tuesday night for another campus-site game in the Barclays Classic.

Maryland hosts Stony Brook on Tuesday night in the Barclays Classic. The Terps are 2-0 against Stony Brook, winning in 2000 and 2012.

Bubbles brewing with season on horizon

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
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INDIANAPOLIS — With the coronavirus pandemic already forcing changes for college basketball, a bubble may be brewing in Indianapolis.

Indiana Sports Corp. released a 16-page proposal Friday that calls for turning the city convention center’s exhibition halls and meeting rooms into basketball courts and locker rooms. There would be expansive safety measures and daily COVID-19 testing.

The all-inclusive price starts at $90,000 per team and would cover 20 hotel rooms per traveling party, testing, daily food vouchers ranging from $30-$50 and the cost of game officials. Sports Corp. President Ryan Vaughn said the price depends on what offerings teams or leagues choose.

“The interest has been high,” Vaughn said. “I think as conferences figure out what conference and non-conference schedules are going to look like, we’re we’re a very good option for folks. I would tell you we’ve had conversations with the power six conferences, mid-majors, it’s really kind of all over the Division I spectrum.”

Small wonder: The NCAA this week announced teams could start ramping up workouts Monday, with preseason practices set to begin Oct. 14. Season openers, however, were pushed back to Nov. 25 amid wide-ranging uncertainty about campus safety and team travel in the pandemic.

There is already scrambling going on and some of the marquee early-season tournaments have already been impacted.

The Maui Invitational will be moved from Hawaii to Asheville, North Carolina, with dates still to be determined and organizers clear that everyone involved “will be in a bubble environment that limits their movement and interaction outside the venue.” The Batttle 4 Atlantis has been canceled. The Cancun Challenge will be held in Melbourne, Florida, not Mexico.

More changes almost certainly will be coming, including what to do with the ACC-Big Ten Challenge.

“I think we’re past the guesswork on whether we play 20 conference games or more than that,” Purdue coach Matt Painter said Friday. “We’re trying to get everybody set like in terms of MTEs (multi-team events), figuring out when to play the ACC-Big Ten challenge.”

Painter, who was part of the NCAA committee that recommended how to start the season, noted part of the uncertainty stems from differing protocols imposed by campus, city and state officials.

In Indianapolis, Vaughn believes the convention center, nearby hotels, restaurants and downtown businesses, many within walking distance of the venue, could safely accommodate up to 24 teams. The 745,000-square foot facility would feature six basketball courts and two competition courts.

Anyone entering the convention center would undergo saliva-based rapid response testing, which would be sent to a third-party lab for results. Others venues could be added, too, potentially with more fans, if the case numbers decline.

If there is a taker, the event also could serve as a dry run for the 2021 Final Four, also slated for Indy.

“It’s not going to hurt,” Vaughn said. “I can tell you all the planning we’re doing right now is the same for a Final Four that’s been scheduled here for any other year. But it would be nice to have this experience under our belt to see if it can be done.”

Maui Invitational moving to North Carolina during pandemic

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ASHEVILLE, N.C. — The Maui Invitational is moving to the mainland during the coronavirus pandemic.

One of the premier preseason tournaments on the college basketball schedule, the Maui Invitational will be played at the Harrah’s Cherokee Center in downtown Asheville, North Carolina.

Dates for the tournament announced Friday have yet to be finalized. The NCAA announced Wednesday that the college basketball season will begin Nov. 25.

This year’s Maui Invitational field includes Alabama, Davidson, Indiana, North Carolina, Providence, Stanford, Texas and UNLV.

All teams, staff, officials, and personnel will be in a bubble environment that limits their movement and interaction outside the venue.

Burton eligible at Texas Tech after 2 seasons at Wichita State

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LUBBOCK, Texas — Junior guard Jamarius Burton has been granted a waiver from the NCAA that makes him eligible to play this season for Texas Tech after starting 52 games the past two seasons for Wichita State.

Texas Tech coach Chris Beard announced the waiver Thursday, which came five months after Burton signed with the Big 12 team.

Burton has two seasons of eligibility remaining, as well as a redshirt season he could utilize. He averaged 10.3 points and 3.4 assists per game as a sophomore at Wichita State, where he played 67 games overall.

Burton is from Charlotte. He helped lead Independence High School to a 31-1 record and the North Carolina Class 4A state championship as a senior there.

NCAA season set to open day before Thanksgiving

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The NCAA men’s and women’s basketball season will begin on Nov. 25, the day before Thanksgiving.

The Division I Council voted Wednesday to push the start date back from the originally scheduled Nov. 10 as one of several precautions against the spread of coronavirus.

The later start date coincides with the decision most schools made to send students home from Thanksgiving until January out of concern about a potential late-fall and early-winter flareup of COVID-19. Closed campuses could serve as a quasi bubble for players and provide a window for non-conference games.

The maximum number of regular-season games has been reduced from 31 to 27. The minimum number of games for consideration for the NCAA Tournament was cut from 25 to 13.

Teams can start preseason practices Oct. 14 but will be allowed to work out 12 hours per week beginning Monday.

No scrimmages against other teams or exhibitions are allowed.

In other action, the council voted to extend the recruiting dead period for all sports through Dec. 31. In-person recruiting is not allowed during a dead period, though phone calls and other correspondence are allowed.

The men’s and women’s basketball oversight committees had jointly recommended a start date of Nov. 21, which would have allowed for games to be played on the weekend before Thanksgiving. The council opted not to do that to avoid a conflict with regular-season football games.

The council is scheduled to meet again Oct. 13-14 and could delay the start date and change other pieces of the basketball framework if circumstances surrounding the virus warrant.

UConn’s Tyrese Martin granted waiver to play this season

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STORRS, Conn. — UConn swingman Tyrese Martin, who transferred from Rhode Island in April, has been granted a waiver that will allow him to play for the Huskies this season.

The 6-foot-6 junior averaged 12.8 points and 7.1 rebounds and started every game last season for URI, where he was recruited by current UConn coach Dan Hurley.

NCAA rules require undergraduate transfers to sit out a season, but the organization has been more lenient in granting waivers during the pandemic.

Martin, 21, is expected to compete for playing time at UConn on the wing as both a guard and small forward.