By: Eddie Hobbs
The final seconds ticked off the clock in an uninspiring first half as Maryland was looking at a 15-point deficit to an 0-3 Bucknell Bison team. The Terps were unable to protect the paint and let the six foot four Bucknell center, Nana Foulland, set an early tone with 13 points.
It did not help that Bucknell was flashing brilliance from beyond the arch. Zach Brown led the Bison to two of the seven three-pointers made in the first half.
Maryland would make zero three-pointers in the first 20 minutes of play en route to a 50-35 halftime deficit. Terps head coach Mark Turgeon made sure that the team made the necessary changes in order to climb back into the game.
“We just changed everything in the second half, we changed the way we guarded everything, much more aggressive, that is who we are,” Turgeon said. “We changed our offense, really something we haven’t practiced to be honest with you, and it worked for us.”
Maryland started off the game with a small-ball line up with freshman Bruno Fernando starting along with sophomore guards Anthony Cowan and Kevin Huerter, sophomore forward Justin Jackson, and junior Dion Wiley. Bucknell attacked the rim, leading to 20 points in the paint in the first half.
Turgeon inserted freshman Darryl Morsell into the lineup to start the second half. Morsell made his presence felt as he scored 12 of his 15 points in the half, and played 29 minutes overall.
Fernando was steady on offense throughout the game (14 points, 7-10 FG), but turned up the intensity in the second half. He grabbed seven rebounds and fueled the Terps fans in the form of three blocks in the final 20 minutes.
Just as it looked as if Maryland lacked the grit to answer the bell, the two freshmen were able to lead the team down the right path.
“I think they did a really good job, they did a lot for us,” Cowan said on the freshman. “Whenever Bruno is in you can always hear him,”
“Whenever he does a play, you know he is going to the crowd he’s getting people loud,” Cowan continued. “That always gives us a good boost of energy, just how hard Darryl [Morsell] plays also all the time on the defensive end, going to rebound. That was really helpful tonight.”
The star-studded freshmen duo have been making waves ever since their paths crossed on their official visits to Maryland. They have been the spark that provides the fire for Maryland basketball and they know that providing that will help create something special.
“Me and Bruno, like y’all know on our official visit, we clicked right away that is who we are as individuals,” Morsell said. “As a team we are very competitive, that’s really it.”
This is not the first time that the two have helped Maryland get over the hump. It was just last Wednesday that Morsell and Fernando were providing Turgeon with players to turn to against Butler. Morsell chipped in 13 points, while Fernando added eight of his own. The two had all 21 bench points in the win.
Morsell and Fernando have provided big plays for Turgeon this season, and the coach has answered by providing them with more opportunities. Morsell is averaging 23 min per game, while Fernando is averaging 18.
If the two keep up the thrilling play, Turgeon will be able to deploy many different lineups throughout the season.