By: Brittney Bridges
The Maryland Terrapins (9-2, 1-1 Big Ten) took down the Loyola Greyhounds (4-6) on Tuesday night by a final score of 94-71. The Terps played without sophomore guard Darryl Morsell, who sat out with an ankle injury.
The matchup came just one day after Maryland dropped out of the Associated Press Poll after being ranked No. 23 before their most recent loss against Purdue and win against Loyola Chicago.
Maryland had Loyola on their heels for the majority of the game, but it was most apparent throughout the first half. The notable size difference down low startled the Greyhounds early. Both Bruno Fernando and Jalen Smith had their way in the paint, as most of their shots simply came from shooting a jumper over their defender.
But most of the early production came from freshman Serrel Smith Jr. who set the tone for the rest of the game. He checked in five minutes into the first half and had 10 points, shooting 4-of-4 from the field.
“We have great point guards that feed me the ball,” said Serrel Smith on his performance. “I’m playing with more confidence, just playing my game,”
Though he would only get one more shot attempt the rest of the game, his contribution didn’t go unnoticed.
“It’s good to see, but I wish the second half would’ve started better so he could’ve played more,” said head coach Mark Turgeon. “I think he could’ve had 16 or 18 points.”
Maryland’s length and quickness proved to be too much for Loyola, as they quickly put a halt to the 1-2-2 press they had implemented at the start of the game. Defensively, the Terps managed to keep their two leading scorers, Andrew Kostecka and Chuck Champion, who average 19.7 and 12.7 points respectively, to just six and five points in the first half. Despite being up by no more than 10 for most of the first half, Maryland took a 46-28 lead into halftime with a late run.
But even with that, Maryland didn’t play the perfect game. Maryland had eight missed layups in the first half and finished with 14 total; most of which came from Anthony Cowan. He would finish with 23 points after a strong second half performance.
Cowan managed to stop a 10-0 run towards the beginning of the second half when he knocked down a wide open three.
Loyola was still able to make a extend their comeback by bringing the lead back down to 10 after starting the half 6-of-6 from the three-point line. That’s when Cowan sidestepped his defender and drained another three. Cowan and the rest of the team continued to deliver from there.
“We weren’t into it mentally…as you could tell by our defense,” said Turgeon. “But we did a lot of good things also.”
Multiple Maryland players scored in double figures and they only committed eight turnovers overall, which is something Turgeon has stressed as the team has committed double digit turnovers in each prior game this season.
The Terrapins get a 10-day break to focus on finals, but will resume play when they welcome Seton Hall to the Xfinity Center on Saturday, Dec. 10.