By Jack Rothenberg
Maryland came into Friday’s game looking to build off of their 1-0 start. They took on the Navy Midshipmen who defeated George Washington to begin their season, 78-71. Coming in, Maryland was 25-9 all-time against Navy, beating them most recently back in 2018 according to sports-reference.com.
The Midshipmen were able to keep it relatively close with the Terps early, starting 7-13 from the field. Only up 32-25 at the half, Maryland hoped to expand the lead coming out of the break. They were able to do exactly that with an 11-3 run, and pushed the lead to 15. The lead continued to swell in the second half with the addition of an Aaron Wiggins’ personal 8-0 run. Wiggins finished the day with 14 points. The Terps outscored Navy in the final 28 minutes of the game 62-32, which led to a final of 82-52.
Sophomore forward Donta Scott was inserted into the starting lineup for the first time this season in place of transfer Jarius Hamilton and totaled two points and five rebounds. Another starter who had a tremendous day was guard Darryl Morsell. Also going a perfect 6-6 from the field, Morsell had 15 points along with four assists and was very active on the defensive side of the ball with five rebounds.
Size wise, the Terps matched up well with Navy, which allowed forward Galen Smith to have a stellar day, tallying 12 points and going 6-6 from the field. This was his first double-digit scoring game as a Terp. Eric Ayala added 15 points, and nine of those came from behind the arc. Through two games, Ayala seems to have regained his shooting abilities that he displayed during his freshman campaign. After a down year, shooting just over 27% from three-point range last season, the junior guard is off to a hot start in 2020.
The team will need Ayala to continue to hit shots from deep and hope that it carries into conference play. It looks as if most of the starting lineup is set, but that final spot will come down to Jarius Hamilton or Donta Scott. Expect head coach Mark Turgeon to keep alternating who is in the starting five for at least the next few games.
Finally, Maryland fans should be concerned for when the Terps have to face a legit center. The lone player over six-nine that gets meaningful minutes is sophomore center Chol Mariol, who has yet to prove himself early in his career. While Smith has played well so far, he’ll have a tough time matching up with Iowa center Luka Garza or Illinois’ Kofi Cockburn.
Mount St. Mary’s at Maryland – Sunday, November 27th – 2:00 p.m. on BTN
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