Maryland’s rebounding, defense ignites home opener victory over UMES

Maryland basketball

By Eddie Hobbs

The Maryland Terrapins’ aggressive defense and strong bench performance sparked a second consecutive blowout victory on Sunday, as the Terps topped Maryland-Eastern Shore 96-43.

The last time these two teams met was on Dec. 12, 2015 when Melo Trimble led the way with 18 points and four assists in a 77-56 win in College Park.

Maryland-Eastern Shore was led by Cameron Bacote who had 18 points on 8-of-16 shooting. Maryland had a tremendous all-around performance Sunday night, led by sophomore Anthony Cowan, who recorded 16 points.

The Terps had a fresh face in the starting lineup against Maryland-Eastern Shore. Freshman Bruno Fernando, six points, made his first collegiate start while Ivan Bender came off the bench.

Maryland started off strong as Dion Wiley added a significant boost off the bench. Wiley added 13 points on 5-of-8 shooting in 26 minutes of play and helped lead the bench unit to 52 points.

“Dion is a good player guys, he was a top 50 player coming out of high school. He just had tough breaks,” head coach Mark Turgeon said. “I just really challenged him to be better defensively tonight than he was in the first game. He just really concentrated on that.”

The Hawks couldn’t get much going as a team and went through a rough patch on offense. Maryland-Eastern Shore was only 1-of-9 from the field over a seven minute stretch. In addition to the scoring drought, the Hawks could not get to the free throw line once, and did not generate any bench points. Maryland entered into the break with a comfortable 44-18 lead.

Against Stony Brook, the Terps were able to absorb any attempted comebacks by the Seawolves. On Sunday, Maryland had its focus on not losing momentum, and never let the Hawks get back into the game.

The Terps coasted in the second half, limiting the Hawks to just 36 percent shooting, while the offense continued its strong play adding 52 points on 55 percent shooting.

“We have guards like Anthony [Cowan] and Darryl [Morsell] pushing the tempo,” guard Jared Nickens said. “We are a really good team in transition so it provides us with more opportunities.”

Maryland was able to generate 33 free throws in the game, and let Maryland-Eastern Shore attempt only six free throws. The Hawks had two players foul out and committed 25 fouls as a team. Maryland was able to get inside easily, and it led to 42 points in the paint.

In the last three minutes of the game, Maryland put in an all bench lineup after the team was up by 51 points. The Terps will host Butler on Wednesday in a prime time 8:30 p.m. matchup. The Bulldogs have started off this season 2-0 with wins coming against Kennesaw State and Princeton.