DeShawn Harris-Smith caught a pass underneath the net and turned to put up the ball, but waiting for him in the paint was Rider guard Anthony McCall who conceded his fifth and final personal foul. Rider, now with two disqualified players, earned its 27th personal foul of the night as it struggled to come back from a hefty point deficit late in the game.
The 3-3 Maryland Terrapins hosted the 1-4 Rider Broncs on Tuesday night in Xfinity Center to end their three-game home stand ahead of a road match against Indiana. The Terps came off of a 68-55 win over South Alabama, while Rider entered with a 55-48 loss to Stony Brook.
“[Finishing with] 17 assists and six turnovers, I think we’re trending in the right direction that way,” head coach Kevin Willard said post-game. “I think these guys are understanding how to take care of the basketball, getting the shot up every time and not giving the other team easy buckets.”
Maryland’s starters included forwards Jordan Geronimo, DeShawn Harris-Smith, Julian Reese, Donta Scott and guard Jahmir Young.
The first few possessions from both Rider and Maryland maintained a neck-and-neck battle as the lead switched back and forth. By the fifth minute in, Maryland made five of its six field goals to double Rider’s score, with the majority of points coming from Geronimo, Kaiser and Reese.
Maryland’s lead held true for the remainder of the half with the trio of Geronimo, Kaiser and Reese continuing to lead the offensive production for the majority. Shooting 71% midway through the first period, a 15-point scoring run advanced the Terps further while the Broncs faced a scoring drought to stay put at 16 points.
Rider faced foul trouble early in the game, earning 10 personal fouls in the first 12 minutes which included a technical foul on head coach Kevin Baggett. Maryland only received four in that time.
In the final minutes of the half, Maryland managed a 19-4 run against Rider to get ahead by almost 30 points while the majority of the starters (aside from Donta Scott) remained on the bench. Reese, Young and Kaiser were subbed in at the last minute to close the half, helping the Terps go into halftime once again doubling Rider, 54-27.
Point leaders for Maryland at the half were Geronimo (13 points), Reese (12 points) and Jahmir Young (10 points). Reese managed a double-double by the half with 10 rebounds, and Geronimo finished the period shooting five for five. Twenty-one of Maryland’s points came from foul shots.
“Obviously it feels good to be able to put up those numbers, but I’m just out there trying to play hard and do the best I can,” Geronimo said during his post-game presser.
Forward Mervin James was the clear point leader for Rider at the half with 11 points, followed by forward Tariq Ingraham with six. The Broncs accumulated 19 fouls versus Maryland’s nine.
Five minutes into the second period, Maryland increased its lead by 30 over Rider mainly due to the offensive efforts of Jahmir Young who advanced to 16 points to lead the team.
“[We’re] going on the road with the mentality that we‘re just trying to build on three wins,” Young said post-game. “We just need to catch our rhythm, and I feel like we’re doing that now.”
Soon after, Caelum Swanton-Rodger exited from the game after earning his fifth foul. In seven minutes of playing time, he accounted for five points and three rebounds.
Midway through the final half, Maryland hit a brief scoring drought that allowed Rider to crawl back within 20 points. But after being fouled on a made layup and making his free-throw shot, Julian Reese got the gears turning for Maryland again on offense. At that point, he had made his 14th free throw shot out of 17 attempts.
“It was definitely a great feeling,” Reese said post-game, reflecting on his free throw percentage. “I gotta thank coach a lot for getting in there with me early in the morning to work through things and build that confidence up.”
With five minutes left, Mervin James received his fifth personal foul after drastically outproducing his teammates with 30 points and eight rebounds. James was the third Bronc to be disqualified alongside JT Langston Jr. and Anthony McCall.
Before time expired, walk-on freshman Lukas Sotell earned his first basket of the season with a layup underneath the basket to give Maryland its final points of the night.
Maryland dominated Rider, 103-76.
Point leaders for Maryland were Julian Reese (22 points, 12 rebounds), Jahmir Young (22 points) and Jordan Geronimo (15 points).