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Maryland basketball handles Loyola (Md.), 94-71

The Terps led for just about the whole night and cruised to victory.

Maryland basketball Jalen Smith vs. Loyola MD Lila Bromberg / Testudo Times

In the final game before final exams, Maryland men’s basketball had little trouble with Loyola (Md.), dispatching the Greyhounds, 94-71.

Thanks to a monster second half, Anthony Cowan Jr. paced Maryland (9-2) with 23 points, five rebounds and five assists. Jalen Smith added a career-high 20 points, eight rebounds and two blocks, while Eric Ayala, Aaron Wiggins, Bruno Fernando and Serrel Smith Jr. also scored in double figures. Ayala had 13, Wiggins and Fernando notched 11 each and Smith Jr. scored all 10 of his points in the first half.

The Terps’ offense had no problem dicing Loyola’s defense, shooting 48.5 percent from the field and over 50 percent for much of the game. Maryland also had its best three-point shooting game of the season, hitting 11 threes on a 52.4 percent clip. The Greyhounds (4-7) had a solid offensive night as well, shooting 47 percent from the field and matching Maryland’s 11-of-21 mark on three-pointers. Germantown native Andrew Kostecka scored a team-high 18 points, and hit all four of his shots from beyond the arc.

After a few minutes of back-and-forth play, Maryland’s length on defense and hot three-point shooting started to make a difference. The Greyhounds were bothered by the Terps’ big lineup with both Fernando and Smith, missing seven straight shots at one point in the half and going the final 2:36 of the half without a point.

Loyola still shot well when not in a long scoring drought, and the Greyhounds’ 42.9 percent first-half shooting was offset by Maryland’s hot first-half three-point shooting. The Terps entered Tuesday hitting just 32.1 percent of shots from beyond the arc coming into this game, but shot 7-of-11 in the first half.

Maryland pushed the lead to 17-7 with back-to-back threes from Smith Jr. and Cowan with 11:59 remaining in the first half, and never let Loyola get within more than five points the rest of the way. The Terps ended the half on a 7-0 run, taking a 46-28 lead into the locker room after a buzzer beater three from Wiggins.

A 10-0 second half Loyola run trimmed Maryland’s lead to 10 with 11:22 remaining, but the Terps answered with an 19-0 run of their own after the teams traded baskets following a Mark Turgeon timeout. Maryland cruised from there, leading by as many as 30 down the stretch.

After an 11-day break for final exams, the Terps will be back on action on Dec. 22 when they host Seton Hall.

Three things to know

1. Maryland had its best three-point shooting game of the season. The Terps’ 11 threes were a season high, and helped them pull away in key moments in the first and second half. Cowan was particularly impressive, hitting all four he attempted after shooting 28 percent on three-pointers in Maryland’s first 10 games.

2. Loyola had no answer for either of the Smiths. The first half was the Serrel and Jalen show, with the freshman duo combining for 22 of Maryland’s 46 points in the first 20 minutes. Jalen continued his strong performance in the second half, finishing with 20 points and eight boards.

3. Darryl Morsell missed the game with an ankle injury. After tweaking his ankle in warmups and playing just 12 minutes against Loyola-Chicago on Saturday, the sophomore didn’t even dress for Tuesday’s game. Wiggins started in his place, and Smith Jr. and Reese Mona provided some solid minutes off the bench to make up for his absence.

Via StatBroadcast