Maryland basketball fans have been waiting for signature performance from freshman star Diamond Stone. On Wednesday night he finally delivered that game, with a dominating 39 point (19-25 from the free throw line) and 12 boards. In a game where Melo Trimble, Rasheed Sulaimon, and Jake Layman struggled to get a bucket, Stone showcased his potential and kept the Terps in a game they should’ve lost with grown man plays like this:
In the first half the Terps where out-played thoroughly on both ends. Penn State controlled the tempo, dominated the paint, and basically outplayed and out hustled. Shep Garner and Brandon Taylor led the way for the Nittany Lions, securing rebounds and hitting big time shots to keep there team ahead. The 31-23 score indicates otherwise, but at the end of the first half the deficit should’ve been higher.
Once the second half began, the Terps team came out hot and inspired. They showed why they were the 4th ranked team in the nation scoring and defending well for the first 10 minutes of the half. Melo Trimble and Diamond Stone showed why they can be a great inside outside combination throughout this stretch. Melo Trimble at this point understood that in order for him to make more of an impact he had to become a facilitator, and that’s exactly what he did. He penetrated the paint at will numerous times and dishing it off deep in the paint, often times to Stone. Those two set the tone and really helped Maryland get back into this game. Trouble came a brewing late in the half, Penn State came roaring back and hit great shots. However Diamond Stone came to the rescue and took over the game with plays like this:
Even Melo Trimble was able to join in on the late game heroics with this late three pointer:
With Big 10 season just beggining it’s a very encouraging sign to see Stone have such a dominating day, and as a Terps fan I look forward to more games like this from him. Stone and his teammates next face Northwestern at 8 on Saturday in their first conference road game.