BOSTON (AP) – Fatigue was the only thing that stopped Maryland’s Dez Wells.
Wells scored 18 of his career-high 33 points in the closing seven minutes to carry Maryland to an 88-80 win over Boston College Thursday night in the Terrapins’ final league-opener as members of the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Boston College led by four with 7 minutes to play before Wells scored 14 of Maryland’s 18 points during a 4 ½ minute stretch.
“He was doing it early and he was just exhausted,” Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said. “I sat him for like three, four minutes in the second half. Then when it became crunch time, he’s such a competitor and did what he does.”
Boston College’s Ryan Anderson became the 40th player in school history to reach the 1,000-point mark when he nailed a jumper from the right corner, tying the game at 70 with 4:30 to go. But Jake Layman and Wells scored consecutive driving baskets, pushing the Terrapins ahead for good.
“At the four-minute timeout it was like, ‘Let’s use clock and let Dez do his deal,'” Turgeon said. “You could sense it. He was bigger and stronger than them.”
Roddy Peters added 14 points, Layman 13 and Nick Faust 11 for the Terrapins (6-4, 1-0 ACC).
Boston College coach Steve Donahue said his team prepared for Wells, but didn’t execute.
“He took it to the basket,” he said. “Our game plan was to make him kick it.”
Wells was 12 of 18 from the floor, mainly driving the ball right into the lane against a weak interior defense by BC.
Wells said his coach simply told him to stick to what was working.
“He just told me to be who I am. ‘Don’t get away from who you are. You worked hard during the offseason, so just show people who you are. Don’t change anything,'” he said.
Layman was impressed watching his teammate dominate.
“Towards the end of the game he was sort of unstoppable,” he said. “He was hitting some crazy shots and it was fun to see.”
Olivier Hanlan led BC (3-7, 0-1) with 26 points, Garland Owens had 16 and Anderson 14 with eight rebounds.
Maryland shot 55.2 percent (32 of 58) and pushed the ball inside continually after BC overcame a 12-point first-half deficit. The Terrapins owned a 34-24 scoring edge in the paint.
“Before the game we talked about not letting him attack,” Hanlan said of Wells. “We just didn’t do a good job.”
BC closed to within two points twice late in the game, but never had a chance to tie or go ahead.
After the Eagles sliced it to 76-74 on Owens’ basket, Wells banked in a short jumper and was fouled on the play. He missed the free throw, but Jonathan Graham tipped in a missed shot on the next possession, sparking a 9-2 run that sealed it.
The Eagles, who entered the week leading the country in free throw shooting at 80.8 percent, went 22 for 27 from the line.
Maryland, which held a four-point halftime edge, led 54-47 before the Eagles went on a 10-2 run, taking their first lead of the game on Hanlan’s two free throws with 10:20 to play.
Maryland led 42-36 at the half.
The Terrapins opened a 23-11 lead early in the first half on Faust’s 3-pointer from the left corner before BC scored 19 of the next 27 points. Owens came off the bench and sparked the spree with an alley-oop dunk and a pair of 3s. He entered the game with just three made 3-pointers this season.
At halftime, BC showed highlights of Andre Williams winning the Doak Walker Award as the nation’s top running back on the video boards.
Boston Celtics President/GM Danny Ainge was seated courtside.
The Terrapins had a pair of Massachusetts kids (Evan Smotrycz and Layman) in the starting lineup.