Maryland basketball pulled away late to beat Towson at Xfinity Center Sunday afternoon, winning 71-66 after trailing for much of the second half.
Towson led 36-34 at halftime, and things snowballed to begin the second period. Maryland couldn’t knock down open shots and was out-rebounded, but narrowed the margin down the stretch and escaped with a win.
Melo Trimble and Justin Jackson carried the Terps, who have never lost to the Tigers in 13 meetings between the two programs. Jackson had 21 points and was the team’s most efficient scorer from the field, hitting five threes. Trimble only shot 4-of-15 from the field, but got 16 of his 27 points at the free throw line.
Mike Morman was Towson’s most efficient scorer, getting 15 points on 10 shots.
Mike Morsell and Arnaud William Adala Moto, Towson’s leading scorers this season, accounted for 28 of Towson’s points, though they did so on just 7-for-26 shooting from the field.
Dion Wiley missed the game with a stomach virus, and to compensate, Maryland coach Mark Turgeon used a three-guard lineup consisting of Trimble, Anthony Cowan and Jaylen Brantley more than he had in any previous game this season. The Tigers exploited the Terps’ small lineups by out-rebounding them, 46-33. Center Michal Cekovsky was also on the bench for this one but he warmed up for the second straight game. He hasn’t played yet this season due to a foot injury.
Towson hung around for the entirety of the first half, leading 36-34 going into the break.
The Tigers extended that lead to 45-36 to start the second half, but Maryland eventually started making shots three quarters of the way through the game to get back in it.
After trailing for all of the second half, Maryland finally took a lead with six minutes to go. Jackson hit a jumper from the key and followed it up with a block to keep the game knotted at 58. Cowan then found Trimble, who hit a three from the corner to give the Terps their first lead of the second half.
Things remained close until the very end, as the score was tied at 66 with a minute left. Trimble broke the tie with two free throws, and Cowan added one more. Morman couldn’t hit a three, and Towson wouldn’t get another chance.
Three things to know
- Maryland beat an underwhelming Division I opponent by a smaller margin than it should have. The Terps still aren’t technically at full strength, but this should have been a comfortable victory.
- Maryland actually does play another game before Thanksgiving. You may not know this, but the Terps are hosting Stony Brook on Tuesday night. Student attendance will probably be real low for this one, as many students will have already headed home for the holiday.
- The Terps are a young team, and they struggled. Turgeon’s still trying to fit together the pieces of this team, but they just did not play cohesively on Sunday. As with any team starting three freshman, there will be struggles. Cowan wasn’t a great distributor and Huerter missed some open shots. That’s going to happen, and it doesn’t mean doom for the future.