COLLEGE PARK, Md. (WDVM) – After Aaron Wiggins missed practice all week, head coach Mark Turgeon called on his sophomore guard Hakim Hart to start Friday against St. Peter’s. Hart delivered.
“He’s gotten tougher and he’s playing well so I’m just happy for him,” Turgeon said. “He’s a good player. We knew he was a good player when we got him. And he’s kind of growing into maturity wise and feeling more comfortable on the court.”
The sophomore from Philadelphia dropped 33 points, shattering his previous career high of 7 points and leading Maryland to a 90-57 win. Hart made 11-of-13 shots from the field and 5-of-7 from three. His 33 point mark is the most points scored in a game for the program since Diamond Stone scored 39 points in 2015 against Penn State.
“It felt great just after all the hard work I did in the summer,” Hart said. “It excites me a lot. Just proves I can do it. Just more and more games I’m gonna be out there.”
Hart scored 13 points in the first half, which was already a career high. Late in the second half, Hart scored 12 more points in a less than two minute span to help Maryland seal the game.
“He always had the confidence,” sophomore forward Donta Scott said. “He just had to go out there and show us that he can go do what he is capable of doing.”
Scott added 14 points and 12 rebounds.
Despite the 33-point performance, Turgeon says Hart will come off the bench for Wiggins going forward.
Maryland was previously scheduled to face James Madison on Saturday, but that game has been canceled due to positive COVID-19 cases in the JMU program. Maryland’s next scheduled game as of Friday evening, is Wednesday, December 9 at Clemson for the Big Ten/ACC challenge.