Score on, you crazy Diamond.
Maryland freshman Diamond Stone almost singlehandedly lifted his fourth-ranked team from a double-digit home deficit with eight minutes remaining to bring Maryland to a 70-64 escape of a win Wednesday over Penn State. Stone scored a Maryland-frosh-record 39, and also had 12 rebounds. Stone took 25 free throws, connecting on 19.
The funny facet of Stone turning on his faucet is Terps coach Mark Turgeron, per usual, did not start the touted five-star big man. Meaning what we saw Wednesday night in College Park was last seen 10 seasons ago.
Diamond Stone: 1st major-conference player with 35 points/10 rebounds off bench since Joakim Noah in March 2006 (Florida vs Georgia)
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) December 31, 2015
If not for Stone, who was 10 for 15 from the field and also had a block and this steal-and-bucket in transition, Maryland probably falls to the Nittany Lions, as the Terps got something of an unexpected punch in the mouth. The Terps were down 55-45 with eight minutes remaining but rallied to start their Big Ten campaign at 1-0.
Sopomore star Melo Trimble had an off night, finishing with 10 points on 3-of-10 shooting, though Trimble came through near the end by cashing two 3-pointers to help push Penn State away. The Nittany Lions were largely done in because they kept hacking Stone. PSU committed 26 fouls to Maryland’s 17. Shep Garner led PSU with 17 points.
Maryland now gets an interesting test on Saturday, as it heads to Chicago to face Northwestern. The Wildcats are off to a stellar start (13-1) and took out Nebraska on the road Wednesday night.