Freshman guard DeShawn Harris-Smith fired a three that bounced off the rim towards the courtside seats to the left of the basket. His freshman counterpart, Jamie Kaiser Jr., came speeding in from the left corner and leaped for the miss. Kaiser Jr. got enough on the ball to bat it to Julian Reese who secured the rebound and laid it in.
That was one of 17 offensive rebounds for the Terps that resulted in 16 second chance points. Maryland men’s basketball used the extra opportunities to beat South Alabama, 68-55, Saturday night. Maryland improved to 3-3 with the win.
The Terps outrebounded the Jaguars 42 to 26. Reese led the Terps in total rebounds with 15 and scored 19 points, earning his third double-double of the season.
“When he is on the court, his presence is key for us,” said Donta Scott. “When he [is] on the court I feel like he helps us and makes us better, especially with the rebounding effort that he gives every night.”
The Terrapins started the second half with a three-point lead, but grew the advantage to as high as 22, after going into halftime leading by just three points.
“I thought we did a much better job of getting the ball side to side quickly, in the second half and then getting the ball inside,” said head coach Kevin Willard.
South Alabama was able to cut the Maryland lead to 11 due in part to five Maryland turnovers and the Jaguar defense holding the Terps without a score for over two minutes, but Maryland responded with five minutes left to go in the game.
The Terps scored seven straight points, four of them coming from the free throw line. Scott capped off the run with his third 3-pointer of the game, completing his scoring night at 19.
Maryland’s offense struggled to break through South Alabama’s zone through the first ten minutes of play. The Jaguars forced Maryland behind the arch and the Terps couldn’t get them to fall. The Terrapins shot 2-11 from deep in that time.
“I thought in the first half we didn’t shift the zone at all, the ball kind of stuck a lot,” said Willard.
The Terps turned it around in the final ten minutes of the half, finding ways to get the ball into the paint. Maryland went on an 8-0 run at the 7:40 mark getting all their points from inside the arc. Scott scored half of the eight points bringing his first half total to 13.
Scott and Reese accounted for 38 of the Terps 68 points. The other 30 came from Jahmir Young and Jordan Geronimo. Every other Terp that played went a combined 0-12 from the field, all of them from 3-point range.
“I have a lot of confidence in these guys for the amount of work, like I’ll go in, I can come into the gym tonight at 11 o’clock and guarantee there’s gonna be four guys in here shooting the basketball,” said Willard.
The Terrapins’ defense continued to play well forcing 11 turnovers and scoring 18 points off those turnovers. The Terps have yet to allow a team to score 70 this season.
Maryland will remain at Xfinity for a third straight game as they take on Rider on Tuesday.