Maryland Knocked Off by Penn State 76-69
Penn State Refuses to Quit as UMD Slumps to Their First Loss
12/11/2019 – In their first game away from home and not on a neutral court the Terps headed to Happy Valley to play the unranked Nittany Lions.
Yet another rocky start for the Terrapins here with 11 turnovers in the first 13 minutes. This would really hurt Maryland early as PSU were able to notch in 17 points off of turnovers in the first half, and Maryland would not convert a single point off of TO`s in the beginning 20 minutes.
Maryland also had a lot of trouble scoring in the first half, as Cowan would not score any points in the first 13 mins (he would make a 3 pointer with 5:32 remaining for his first FG in the game). The Terps would further have issues taking advantage of fast break opportunities. Maryland was incredibly sloppy in their execution here, and, as the turnovers piled up, so did the deficit. Despite Eric Ayala stepping up to start 4-5 from the field, UMD would enter the locker room down 10 at the half.
While Maryland was able to cut the lead to only 2 points (52-50) at one stage in the second half behind Anthony Cowan starting to wake up shooting wise. PSU would not lay down and allow UMD to take the W. Penn State was able to outperform Maryland at one of the Terps key strengths-the bench. PSU, like Illinois, would outscore the Terrapin bench 16-13, and that’s with Darryl Morsell coming off the bench as a player who would typically start. UMD ended the game on an 0-9 shooting streak, but the Terps were solid from the line, exchanging foul shots to try to overcome the Penn State lead.
To their advantage, Maryland will have more than a week to digest this first loss before they travel to New Jersey to take on the 6-3 Seton Hall Pirates.
Notable Statlines, The Good and The Not So Good:
Eric Ayala-As one of the only Terrapins effective on the offensive end in the first half, Ayala scored 15 points here on perfect free throw shooting alongside 6 rebounds. While having a less than stellar second half, his contributions in the first were well needed o at least keep Maryland in the game.
Jalen Smith-With another double-double, 12 pts and 11 rebounds, Jalen Smith has a streak of 3 straight with all occurring against strong opponents. He would shoot very efficiently here, going 3-5 from the field and making his one attempted three point shot.
The Not So Good:
Makhi Mitchell-Undeterred by Darryl Morsell’s recent solid performances starting, Turgeon decided that Makhi Mitchell would be the starter for this game. Mitchell would only play 16 minutes and score 0 points with 3 turnovers. Morsell would play more minutes off the bench then Mitchell would in this start, but hopefully Makhai can find his role on this team to play effectively.
Maryland`s Defense in the Paint-Maryland was handled in the paint against the PSU offense. In a lethargic defensive performance down low, Penn State scored 36 in the paint as compared to Maryland`s 16. It was this consistent success in driving the lane that allowed the Nittany Lions to keep their lead through the majority of the game and find scoring opportunities when it mattered.
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