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Takeaways from Maryland men’s basketball’s win over Rider

Here’s what stood out from the Terps’ convincing win over the Broncs.

Photo courtesy of Maryland Athletics.

Maryland men’s basketball stayed perfect at home Tuesday with a 103-76 victory over Rider.

The Terps led 54-26 at the half, backed by 32 trips to the free-throw line. Jahmir Young, Julian Reese and Jordan Geronimo each scored at least 15 points, with the two former eclipsing 20.

Here are some takeaways from the resounding victory.

Rider couldn’t stop fouling

Maryland scored 21 points from the free-throw line in the first half; Rider scored 26 points total. Rider put Maryland in the bonus with 9:49 to go in the half, and the double bonus just two minutes later.

The Broncs struggled to contain Maryland’s size and athleticism, evidenced by 24 of Maryland’s 50 first-half points coming in the paint.

Julian Reese and Jordan Geronimo especially had their way inside, with Reese getting to the line an astonishing 17 times — making a career-high 14. When asked about Reese’s impressive day from the line, head coach Kevin Willard credited Reese’s work ethic.

“He’s put a lot of work on it,” Willard said. “We continue to put a lot of work in ... it’s something me and him have been grinding since May.”

Geronimo, meanwhile, had a career-high 15 points on 6-of-6 shooting. He recorded three and-ones in the opening 10 minutes of the game, but went just 3-of-5 from the line.

Despite the Terps getting to the line 45 times, they missed 16 free throws, just under their season clip of 69.1 percent. DeShawn Harris-Smith especially struggled from the charity stripe, going 1-of-5.

Maryland’s offense looked crisp

Maryland has struggled deeply to score the ball this year. Before Tuesday’s game, it had shot 39.3 percent from the field and made just 30 of its 140 3-point attempts.

While the Terps’ past three wins have come against Rider, South Alabama and UMBC, it’s still encouraging to see some fluidity on the offensive end. And against Rider, the offense clicked.

In the first half, they scored 15 points off turnovers.

“I thought our defense gave us a lot of opportunities, fast-break points,” Willard said of the team’s first-half play.

The Terps shot close to 60 percent from the field and went 8-of-20 from distance. It could provide a confidence boost — especially for Jamie Kaiser Jr., who made two of his three 3-pointers after missing 16 of his last 17 threes entering Tuesday’s contest.

The Terps were also able to sustain their offensive rhythm, scoring 49 second-half points after posting 54 in the opening 20 minutes. After having just four players score last game, 12 found the scoresheet against Rider. Young and Reese led the way with 22 points each, with Young going 4-of-7 from three.

“We’re all good shooters,” Young said. “Just having the confidence in ourselves.”

Julian Reese took advantage of an inferior opponent again

There was a lot to like about Reese’s 22-point, 12-rebound performance. He also added four blocks.

His outstanding night from the line tops the list, but it must be noted that he recorded a double-double before the end of the first half — his first time ever doing so.

It was also the third performance of his career with at least 20 points and 10 rebounds.

After tough showings against UAB and Villanova, Reese has put together three straight strong performances, improving each time. Albeit the competition hasn’t been great in this three-game home stand, it’s positive to see him dominate ahead of Big Ten play.

Reese admitted that he struggled to adjust to different defenses earlier in the season, but has continued to find his rhythm.

“I’m really just learning as I go and stepping into that role as one of the key scores for our team,” he said.