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Trimble's 23 points lead Terps over Jacksonville State, 92-66

For nearly a year, it seemed, Melo Trimble's 3-point shot was a sometimes thing, here one night and gone for a week or two.

There was the hamstring injury last season that limited his mobility and eventually messed with his mechanics as well as his head.

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A month into his junior season -- two weeks before the start of the Big Ten schedule -- the 3-point shot returned Monday night for the 6-3 point guard and so did the Trimble of old.

Trimble, who barely looked at the basket in Saturday's unimpressive 10-point win over Saint Peter's, didn't force any shots in Maryland's 92-66 win over Jacksonville State at Xfinity Center.

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He also rarely missed.

Scoring 15 of his game-high 23 points in the first half, including a 3-pointer on Maryland's last possession to give the Terps a 42-29 lead, Trimble made all five shots he attempts in the half, including three 3-pointers.

Though he didn't take another shot until a little over seven minutes left -- a front-rimmed 3-pointer after an extended rest on the bench --  Trimble finished the game making six of seven shots overall, four of five on 3-pointers. He also made all seven of his free throws.

"It's amazing, when a shot goes in, it makes everything looks better," Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said after his team's highest-scoring night against a Division  I team this season.  "He's been taking good shots for the most part, making good passes, making good decisions, but a lot of shots have been rolling out. It just doesn't feel right. Today they rolled in, and he swished a few."

Said Trimble, "It felt good. Just confidence. I had no doubt in my mind that I would have one of these games. It will give me more confidence just shooting the basketball. It just took time. I've been getting in the gym early, getting extra shots in. Staying after practice, working and shooting with coach Bino [Ranson].  I knew that it was going to start falling, just got to stick with it."

Trimble was far from a one-man show for Maryland (11-1), which has a week off before taking on Charlotte at Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore on Dec. 20.

Junior center Michal Cekovsky finished with 15 points, redshirt sophomore guard Dion Wiley scored 10 of 13 points in the second half to tie a season high, while  freshman forward Justin Jackson and freshman guard Anthony Cowan each added 12. Redshirt sophomore forward Ivan Bender scored a career-high 10.

The Terps made 11 of 17 shots from 3-point range.

"Looking at the boxscore right now, looks like everyone is in double figures down the line," said Trimble. "That's a great sign of a great offense and everyone is not being selfish."

Jacksonville State, where Turgeon started his Division I coaching career in 1998 and spent two seasons, was another tough out for the Terps. For a few minutes, the second half was reminiscent to Saturday, when Maryland watched a 25-point lead disappear.

Leading by 20 points nearly four minutes into the second half, 51-31, on a layup by redshirt sophomore forward Ivan Bender, the  Terps watched the Gamecocks cut the deficit in half with 12:33 left. But Maryland stopped the 10-0 run by Jacksonville State (5-6) with a 9-0 run of its own.

"I was just disappointed because we subbed, and we gave us back-to-back 3s, on defensive mistakes, then we turned it over and they got a layup," Turgeon said of Jacksonville State's run. "The guys responded to that. The best part was that we kept playing, we finished the game offensively that I thought we played with some great poise."

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As a result, Turgeon was in a much better mood than on Saturday.

"I'm happy with the team, I thought we played a much more complete game than we had in a while," Turgeon said. "I thought that was a really good team, especially an offensive team, hard to guard. We weren't quite as great defensively as I'd like us to be, but offensively was good. Melo got going. We shared the ball. We played inside-out. Ceko was good. A lot of guys played well."

Though the second-half play of Wiley was encouraging, and the continued improvement of Cekovsky and Bender give the Terps hopes of having an inside presence in the league, the success of Maryland's season will again ride on Trimble.

For one night, at least, he looked like the Trimble of old.

"His numbers are incredible, 23 points on seven shots," Turgeon said. "Melo's getting open looks, that's a good thing, that's a good sign. I thought they really put a lot into trying to guard Melo tonight, and we still got him said good looks."

Asked when he started feeling it Monday, Trimble smiled.

"They just fell tonight," said Trimble, who came into the game shooting 31.1 from 3-point range, nearly identical to what he shot last year (31.5) after shooting over 41 percent as a freshman. "I'm always prepared for every game, going out there getting extra shots. Previous games my shots haven't been falling, I could easily put my head down and say, 'I can't shoot' or whatever. I just stuck with it and shot it with confidence and didn't worry if they missed."

Only one did.

Notes: On the Big Ten coaches' teleconference earlier in the day, Turgeon announced that senior center Damonte Dodd will have his left knee reexamined later this week. Dodd, who was diagnosed with a sprained medial lateral ligament, is expected to be out until early in the Big Ten season. The Terps open the Big Ten schedule Dec. 27 against Illinois.

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