A Sluggish Start, but a Spectacular Finish for the Terrapins
Quarter-Finals vs Temple
Maryland’s first opponent of the mid-season tournament came in the Temple Owls, a team that gave the Terps a fit throughout the entire match. Temple would prove what many have speculated throughout the season for UMD, as they showed that teams with stronger talent will punish you for starting so sluggishly.
This win would be anchored by a beyond fantastic performance by Anthony Cowan, who scored a career high 30 points against the Owls with 11-19 total shooting and 4-8 3 pt shooting.
In what was the main mantra of this squad, Maryland would be down by 5 at halftime prior to coming to life in the second half. The Terps would end the day with an above average shooting performance of 38% beyond the arc.
The spotlight of this matchup would instead come from strong defensive play as UMD held Temple`s leading scorers Nate Pierre-Louis and Quinton Rose to only 3 and 9 points respectively. Pierre-Louis, however, would shoot an abysmal 0-7 in total shooting. While the game would remain contested through the whole affair, Cowan`s strong performance alongside a solid defensive stake would lead a Maryland quarter-final win.
Semi-Finals vs Harvard
The Terps Semi-Final performance started as an excruciating slogfest against the Harvard Crimson where they shot 1-10 from 3 in the first half on 33% total shooting. They would also notch in a well below average 58% of their foul shots (10-17).
Maryland would also struggle in covering Harvard guard Bryce Aiken, who rolled in 30 points throughout the course of the match. However, Harvard were unable to play a complete game here as their bench was unable to keep up with the size and talent of Maryland’s reserves. Eric Ayala is a standout here, as he poured in 13 points coming in as the sixth man-Ayala would score 2 more total points than the entirety of those who did not start with Harvard.
So, in what was quirk that has plagued Maryland for the year so far, the Terps would simply outlast an opponent who does not have the depth or talent to play the whole 40 minutes, a strategy that worries many as they continue forward into conference play.
Finals vs Marquette
This finals match was clearly the game of the year for Maryland so far and an affair many would deem representative of a top 5 team. They started off on fire from downtown (6-12) and, to the exact opposite of the previous two tournament matches, their hot start would allow UMD to just cruise to victory in the second half. Anthony Cowan would continue to show his skill in this tournament, netting 22 points from 50% total shooting. In fact, the Terrapins would shoot cumulatively 50% from the field and from three during the first half. Morsell would also step up big time and shoot 2-3 from beyond the arc to total up 17 points, his highest point total of the season to this point.
The result of this game is a snap shot of what this Maryland team can do when they effectively shoot from three early on. By being able to exert pressure with immense size in the paint combined with efficient long-range shooters, the zone defense of Marquette was unable to cover all aspects of this UMD offense. If this type of shooting and efficiency is what we can expect from the Terps on a night to night basis from here on out, a deep NCAA tournament run is sure to follow.
Terp of the Tournament: Anthony Cowan
Cowan was absolutely electric this tournament, averaging 24 points a game and using a combination of mid-range and 3 point shooting to completely disorient opposing defences through this 3 game tournament bracket. He would also completely represent the point guard position by averaging 4.3 assists per game, the highest of any terrapin during this 3 game stretch. In a team filled with a benchful of young talent, Cowan is showing exceptional leadership through unselfish play and efficient shooting.
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