Donta Scott Pivotal in Maryland’s Survival Against Nicholls

Maryland fought back after trailing earlier in the second half. The Terps held a three point lead with under two minutes remaining in the game. The Terps swung the ball around the perimeter with it finally ending up in the hands of Jahari Long. The senior guard pulled up from the corner, hitting his second 3-pointer of the game. 

“I feel like that was big,” said Jahmir Young. “He’s been having great practices so for him to knock down shots like that, it’s no surprise.”

Maryland men’s basketball (7-4) beat Nicholls (4-7), 73-67, Tuesday night at Xfinity Center. The win increases Maryland’s home winning streak to 18.

The win also spoiled Nicholls’ head coach Tevon Saddler’s return to College Park. Saddler spent last season with Maryland serving as the Terps Director of Player Personnel. Saddler took the Nicholls job this past offseason becoming the youngest head coach in the NCAA this season.

“Just happy for him,” said Young. “I’m happy for him to be in that position.”  

The Terps started fast coming out of halftime scoring the first four points of the second half. Nicholls answered with a 13-0 scoring run that lasted about three minutes. Most of the scoring during the run came from 3-point territory, leading to a Maryland timeout. Out of the timeout, Julian Reese broke the run with a layup, starting up a Maryland comeback. 

“I think the timeout was more or less just like hey guys, we got to grow up a little bit and just sit down and guard and stop letting our offense dictate our defense,” said head coach Kevin Willard. 

Maryland’s comeback effort was sparked by upperclassmen Donta Scott and Jahmir Young. Scott scored nine in the second half doing damage from deep making two 3-pointers in the half. Young scored 15 of his 23 points in the second half hitting just two shots, but making all ten of his free throw attempts. 

Maryland spent the first half trying to navigate the Nicholls’ zone defense. The Colonels made it a point to double team the post, especially on Reese. Reese was held to just three points, shooting one for five from the floor. As a team, Maryland shot 33.3% from the field scoring 12 points in the paint.

With the Colonels occupying the paint, the Terps were forced to shoot it from behind the arch. The Terrapins connected on five of their 15 attempts. Nicholls matched the effort, shooting a more efficient five of seven from 3-point range. Donta Scott hit Maryland’s fifth three right before halftime to give his team a one-point advantage heading into the break.

The Colonels’ good three point shooting continued into the second half, connecting on seven of their 15 attempts. The difference in the halves came at the free throw line for Maryland. The Terps shot just one of five from the charity stripe in the first half, but in the second half they shot 24 shots from the line making 18.

Scott and freshman DeShawn Harris-Smith both left the game for a small portion of time in the second half due to lower body injuries, but the pair came back to finish the game. Scott said that his absence was due to some cramping.  

Maryland will hit the road for a matchup with UCLA in California on Friday before coming back to College Park on December 28 to take on Coppin State.