COLLEGE PARK -- It took Nick Faust a few games of high school basketball to score 20 points for the first time.
“I scored 20 when I was a sophomore at John Carroll, against Calvert Hall,” Faust, now a junior at Maryland, recalled Tuesday night. “My junior year and senior year [at City] I scored 20 all the time.”
It took until Faust’s 97th game at Maryland for the 6-foot-6 guard to reach that milestone. He did it in a 71-60 victory for the Terps over Wake Forest on Tuesday at Comcast Center.
Faust knew he had finally broken the 20-point barrier after making a breakaway dunk for points 19 and 20.
“I did know when I made that dunk, I knew it was [for my 20th point]. Seth [Allen] told me,” he said.
Asked if he was surprised that it took so long for him to score 20 points in a college game after averaing better than 20 ppg his last two years in high school, Faust smiled.
“Yeah, I think I got 19 points three times? It feels good to finally crack it. It has been a while.”
Along with his scoring output, Tuesday's game may have been Faust's best all-around game at Maryland. Along with shooting 7 of 11 from the floor (4 of 7 on 3-pointers), Faust had five rebounds, four assists, a block and a steal and just two turnovers in a team-high 32 minutes.
He also had a hand in Wake Forest forward Travis McKie shooting 6 of 15 from the field, including 2 of 6 on 3-pointers.
Faust knows there’s a difference from the way he played against the Demon Deacons and at other times this season, when he has often taken quick shots and is careless with the ball. Tuesday’s game started off with Faust launching – and missing – a couple of quick 3-pointers.
“[It's just a matter of] being under control, pacing myself, sometimes I get a little ahead and try to speed up,” he said. When I’m playing at a great pace and with poise, I can be pretty good.”
After an early 7-4 lead turned into deficits of 15-7 and 18-11, Faust got Maryland back in the game and eventually in the lead. He hit a spinning bank shot on which he was fouled (but missed the free throw) and followed it up with three straight 3-pointers in the final 6:35 of the first half, including one with two seconds left to give the Terps a 30-25 lead.
Faust’s performance helped the Terps on a night when junior guard Dez Wells, the team’s leading scorer, finished with just six points, only the fourth time he failed to score in double figures this season. Allen also had a tough night, making just 2 of 10 shots, and missing 7 of 9 -pointers.
Maryland coach Mark Turgeon -- who decided to have Faust come off the bench earlier this season to give the team a player who can score in bursts -- said that he liked much of what Faust did against the Demon Deacons.
“The one [3-pointer] before half was huge, puts us up five,” Turgeon said. “Didn’t particularly like his [next-to]-last one, when he pulled up on the break from 15 with [8 seconds gone on the 35-second clock with Maryland up 11].
"I thought his passing was great, I thought his defense was great. I thought he looked fresh, made free throws, rebounded, did a lot of good things.”
And one thing he had never done before at Maryland.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun