Terps top Hornets for 11th straight

The Terrapins kept their winning streak alive Saturday by defeating Delaware State 79-50.

The Maryland Terrapins won their 11th straight, dominating the Delaware State Hornets Saturday afternoon. Freshman forward Charles Mitchell led the Terps with 19 points, a career high, as the Terps rolled to a 79-50 victory.

Mitchell had a double-double with his 19 points and 14 rebounds in the win, grabbing 7 offensive boards. Mitchell had been struggling in the previous few games as Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon gave him fewer minutes, but Mitchell responded with a solid game that helped the Terps stay competitive on the boards. Sophomore forward Dez Wells and freshman guard Seth Allen each added 10 points for the Terps. Junior guard Pe'Shon Howard added six points and six assists.

“I think it is real simple: he gained weight,” Turgeon said about Mitchell's performance. “He wasn't playing minutes. We weren't doing the extra conditioning that he needs. He was probably eating a few pizzas at night that he shouldn't be eating, and he got back to his discipline. I was proud of his free-throw shooting too, he was 3-4 and they all looked good. The one bounced out but it looked good. He has worked hard and has lost weight. He works his tail off; when we get beat on the boards it's not because of him. He has great hands. He rushes some shots still, but he was good.”

“It definitely helped him. It helps him build confidence, and overall it helps him want to come out next game and do it again,” Allen said. “He's been putting in extra work, doing extra cardio trying to lose weight, eating right on a diet. I know he's going to keep it up, so Chuck's going to be fine.”

“I always tell him that he can do that every night,” Wells said. “Off the bench he can do that every night; imagine if next year or this year he works his way into the starting spot. He is a walking double-double. The ball gravitates to him sometimes. He is just a great offensive rebounder and a great player. He just brings so much energy.”

Maryland's 11-game winning streak is the longest streak since the 2001-2002 season when the Terrapins pulled off 13 wins in a row. That Terrapin squad would eventually win the National Championship.

The Terrapins also kept their winning streak against Delaware State alive. The Terps came into the game with a 6-0 all-time series lead over the Hornets, winning their last matchup, 72-54, at home in College Park on Nov. 23, 2010.

Maryland dominated the inside game, outscoring Delaware State 58-20 in the paint. The Terps also capitalized on the Hornets' 19 turnovers, scoring 29 points off giveaways. Maryland's bench also came up big again, outscoring Delaware State's bench 45-8. The Terps' offense was efficient, shooting 56.9 percent from the field and 73.1 percent in the first half, while their defense held Delaware State to 32.1 percent from the field.

The game started off slow for both teams, with the Terrapins and the Hornets trading baskets for most of the first half. The Terps finally started pulling away with Allen feeding Mitchell the ball for a layup to take a 21-16 lead with just under eight minutes to play. The Terps would cap off an 17-0 run with Wells throwing a down a dunk, bringing the Comcast Center to its feet, followed with a steal by Wells and layup by Mitchell. The Terps would enter halftime with a 40-22 lead. The Terps continued to dominate in the second half, with the walk-ons entering the game in the final minute to close out Maryland's 11th victory.

“It feels great to get everyone to touch the ball and everyone to rotate, and everyone on the floor and all our teammates just playing together,” Mitchell said. “When we have a lead on a team we want to keep it. We don't want to give up a lead. We should be beating teams by 20 or 30 points.”

Delaware State's Tahj Tate led all scorers with 20 points and also added four assists, but turned the ball over four times. Miles Bowman added nine points and five rebounds for the Hornets and Casey Walker had seven points and seven boards.

With the win, the Terrapins improve to 11-1 on the season while Delaware State falls to 5-8 on the season. The Terps will face Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) at home in College Park, Md. on Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013. Tip off is scheduled for 3 p.m.

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