By Zachary Wilson
An affair many thought to be a certain rout turned much scarier than anticipated for the Terps. A simple glance at the final score doesn’t represent the whole match.
Maryland began by playing sloppy basketball in the first half, giving up 12 turnovers in the first 10 minutes alone, 5 by Darryl Morsell. Both teams were very aggressive early on, securing technical fouls for arguing and bickering.
Besides the slight skirmishing between Rams and Terps, it seemed as though the Terps were trying to force lanes to the basket that Rams defenders were not easily giving up. Rhode Island forced the Terps into long range misses as Maryland was only 5-27 for the night from beyond the arc.
These turnovers and poor shooting, alongside the Ram`s initial ability to force the Terrapins away from the offense they intended to run, lead to a deficit as high as 12 points in the first half.
However, around 15 minutes into the game Maryland went to their 1-3-1 zone defense and eliminate some of those key perimeter looks and passes into the paint that Rhode Island enjoyed in building the lead. The Terrapins quickly closed the deficit and managed to obtain their first lead of the game with 1:15 left on the game clock. Maryland took a 3 point lead into the half.
The second half was much more typical of what many expected this game to turn into: a dominant Maryland defensive triumph using their size to make blocks and force shots. Anthony Cowan Jr, who did not score in the first half, returned to form in the second with 14 points. The matchup between Ram`s forward Cyril Langevine (who was really good with 16 rebounds) and Maryland`s Jalen Smith was fairly even, although down the stretch, Langevine faded a bit.
The Terps ran away with an 18 point victory on the fatigue of Rhode Island and the Rams woeful shooting in the second half.
Notable Statlines, The Good and The Not So Good:
Jalen Smith-19 Pts, 11 Rbs, and 2 Blocks-Strong board play here and the highest scoring Terp tonight.
Anthony Cowan Jr-14 Pts, 5 Assists, and 2 Steals-Showed great tenacity here, fighting past a first half slump and dishing the most assists out of anyone on the court.
Aaron Wiggins-13 Pts, 13 Rbs, and 3 Steals-Highest number of rebounds and steals for the team, and efficient shooting.
Eric Ayala-Great bench performance with 13 points in 5/10 shooting, very solid.
The Not So Good:
Darryl Morsell-5 Turnovers, 4 Pts, and 2 assists-Following a bit of controversy over Turgeon`s decision not to start him in the season opener, Morsell had a lackluster performance here tonight. He may have to ease back into a starting role with all the young and uprising talent, but it was certainly surprising to see after a strong showing against Holy Cross to start the season.
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