Maryland basketball lost 63-61 to St. Bonaventure in the semifinals of the Emerald Coast Classic on Friday night, dropping its first game of the season and falling to 5-1.
Courtney Stockard made a driving layup between Bruno Fernando and Justin Jackson with just 3.2 seconds remaining, which was ultimately enough to down the Terps. Cowan juggled the inbounds pass on the ensuing possession and got tripped on his way up the floor, but it wasn’t a foul, and the ball bounced away as the clock hit all zeroes.
The Terps attempted to pull away several times late in the game, but just couldn’t get it done. St. Bonaventure had the ball with the score tied at 59-59 with 37.4 seconds left. Josh Ayeni hit two free throws to put the Bonnies up 61-59, but Anthony Cowan Jr. hit two of his own with 25.8 seconds remaining to tie the game at 61 right before Stockard’s layup.
This was an ugly game, but Maryland fans got good news in the first half, when freshman guard Darryl Morsell came in early and didn’t look too hobbled by the hamstring strain he suffered in Maryland’s game against Jackson State. On the Bonnies’ side, leading scorer Matt Mobley was benched for part of the first half, but was a factor the rest of the game, scoring a team-high 16 points on the night. He’d foul out with less than a minute left, but it didn’t matter.
The one highlight of the first half was when Ladarien Griffin threw down a monster dunk on an alley-oop to tie the game at 18 about halfway through the first half.
CLIMB THAT LADDER!!!@BonniesMBB's LaDarien Griffin with the HUGE dunk! pic.twitter.com/G6IlVu0C1N— CBS Sports Network (@CBSSportsNet) November 25, 2017
The Terps looked like they weren’t ready to play in the first half, but still led 31-30 at the break. Michal Cekovsky had a game-high nine first-half points. It was an ugly, sloppy first half in which the Terps committed 11 turnovers and made just one of their 10 3-point attempts.
The early part of the second half was hardly any different. And then Sean Obi checked in. In his first few minutes, Maryland went on a 14-4 run, sparked by Obi taking a charge. Cowan hit a 3-pointer on the next possession to put Maryland ahead 41-40. Obi followed it up with a block, then ran the floor to pull in a rebound on a missed layup before putting it back up and in while getting fouled. Huerter and Cowan hit threes on Marylands next two possessions and the Terps had their largest lead of the night.
But the Bonnies hung around, and came through when Maryland didn’t at the end. Maryland will face off with New Mexico in the tournament’s consolation game Nov. 26 at 4 p.m. ET.
Three things to know
1. Maryland needs to take better care of the ball. Twenty turnovers is too many, and the Terps aren’t going to win many games against better competition giving it away that many times.
2. The zone offense needs work. There was a small stretch in the second half when the Terps went on a 14-4 run and took an eight-point lead, but the rest of the game was frustrating to watch, as they could hardly get anything going on the offensive end. It didn’t help that Maryland went 5-of-23 from beyond the arc.
3. Somebody find Kevin Huerter. The sophomore guard was 2-9 from the field, scoring only five points and turning it over three times. He was expected to be one of the leaders of the team this season, but his play thus far has been rather uninspiring, and this game didn’t help.