Maryland stays unbeaten with 104-67 rout of Marshall
For a change, Terrapins coach Mark Turgeon didn’t talk about what his young squad had to do to get better. There was no need for that after a 104-67 victory Friday night.
“I’ll state the obvious: This is the best we played this year,” Turgeon said. “It was a really good offensive team that we guarded really well. And when you make shots, everything looks better.”
“We’re getting better,” Turgeon said of a team with six freshmen and one scholarship senior. “This is great for us because it gives us confidence.”
The Terrapins closed the first half with a 15-4 run, then scored the opening 13 points after intermission to take a 66-38 lead. The margin swelled to 44 points with seven minutes left before Turgeon started pulling his starters.
Jannson Williams scored a career-high 24 for the Thundering Herd (4-1), who came in averaging 93.5 points per game.
“It wasn’t a game, it was a trouncing,” Marshall coach Dan D’Antoni said. “They played extremely well. You’ve got to give it to them. They punched us in the mouth. We didn’t get back up.”
Maryland finished with a 52-30 rebounding advantage and shot 57 percent, including 9 for 16 from beyond the arc.
After winning previously with strong inside play from Fernando and freshman Jalen Smith, Maryland received ample contributions from its guards. Cowan scored 19 in the first half by repeatedly driving the lane for easy shots, freshman Eric Ayala finished with 20 points — going 5 for 6 from 3-point range — and sophomore Darryl Morsell added 10 points on 5-for-8 shooting.
“We just played a really good game overall,” Cowan said. “Not only guards but the bigs as well.”
In their first five games, the Terps shot 27 percent (31 for 113) from beyond the arc and averaged 81 points.
“We’ve got good shooters. Guys are just getting more comfortable,” Turgeon said. “We didn’t take a lot of (3-point shots). We took good ones. It’s nice to make them.”
Maryland trailed 24-23 before moving in front for good with an 11-0 spurt. Williams answered with eight straight points, but the Herd could get no closer.
Cowan scored seven points in the final 18 seconds of the first half to put the Terrapins up 53-38 at the break.
“We lost our discipline. We quit running our stuff,” D’Antoni said. “We kind of went individually a little bit. Give them credit. They pushed it that way. But that’s when you’ve got to concentrate more.”
In a duel between a high-powered offense and a team determined to defend, Maryland won out.
“We know we can be a pretty good offensive team, but defense comes first,” Cowan said. “So we’re taking a lot of pride in it.”
Marshall guard Jon Elmore made his first two shots, then missed his final 12 to finish with 6 points. He had scored at least 10 points in 75 straight games and was averaging 23 points per game this season.
Despite his miserable night, Elmore became the third-leading scorer in Marshall history and moved within 14 points of scoring 2,000 for his career.
Marshall: After a solid start to the season, the Thundering Herd received a sobering reality check. “We’ll get back. It happens. It’s November,” D’Antoni said.
Maryland: The Terrapins finally got their offensive clicking from inside and out, and the timing couldn’t be better with games against Virginia and Penn State next week.
Marshall: The Herd hosts William & Mary on Wednesday.
Maryland: The Terrapins host No. 4 Virginia on Wednesday night in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.