Welcome back to the Testudo Times film room. No. 7 Maryland men’s basketball won its ninth straight game Tuesday as it took down Northwestern, 76-67.
While this game was not Maryland’s most convincing win of the season, particularly on the defensive end, the Terps looked solid throughout and absolutely defeated the Wildcats on the glass.
Jalen Smith had another monster game, recording his ninth straight double-double with 22 points and a career-high 19 rebounds. The Terps also received strong contributions from Anthony Cowan Jr., who got to the line with ease, Donta Scott and the birthday boy Darryl Morsell.
Let’s take a look at all the impact plays from the win here.
Play of the game
This was the sequence of the game for the Terps and probably the moment when it was safe to say that they had just about put this game away.
With the shot clock winding down, Cowan pulled up from three-point range for a decent look that he often hits, but his shot did not go in. Smith pulled in an extremely tough offensive rebound, which allowed the Terps to reset the offense.
After the reset, Cowan immediately took it to the hole and blew past his man with ease. Smith’s man came over to help on Cowan, which allowed for the duo to complete one of its many alley-oops in this one.
Smith hauled in six offensive rebounds, and his ability to extend possessions was a major reason why the Terps were able to win this game.
Northwestern had no answer for Jalen Smith
Smith did not shoot the ball particularly well from downtown in this game, only going 1-for-5 from deep, but he was extremely effective in getting buckets in the low post.
On this play, the Terps got out in transition and Smith immediately got in great position for an easy bucket down low. Cowan delivered a perfect pass to Smith, who was then able to dunk all over his defender and draw a foul in the process.
Maryland really pushed the tempo in this game and did great work in transition throughout. On this play, the Terps played great defense on the other end, which led to an easy steal by Cowan.
After the steal, Cowan led the break was able to find to Smith for the easy alley-oop finish. Smith ran the lane really well on this play and did a great job of slipping behind his defenders to get free for the big finish.
In the second half, Northwestern started throwing double teams and tougher defense at Smith, but it was no match for the superstar big man. On this play, Northwestern actually did a good job on the initial guarding of Smith and was able to get a block after it brought help over.
However, Smith would not be denied on this play. He got the ball back after the block and was able to somehow finish with two guys on him. It cannot be understated how much Smith has improved at finishing strong around the rim, and this play was a perfect example of his incredible progress this season.
Smith finished the game with 22 points on 8-for-14 shooting from the field, a career-high 19 rebounds, two blocks and two steals.
Anthony Cowan Jr. continued to show consistency
Cowan was solid during this game and did a great job of getting to the free-throw line throughout. On this play, both Cowan and Morsell excelled at reading the defense of Northwestern for an easy corner three.
Morsell began to drive to the hoop, which led to Northwestern’s defenders converging on the rim. When Cowan’s man decided to help out at the rim, the senior guard made the smart move of drifting to the corner, where he was wide open for the three. Morsell showed great vision here and was able to find Cowan for one of his seven assists in this game.
It seems every game now, Cowan will convert a contested layup at the rim that leaves the entire crowd in awe, and this was that play.
Smith grabbed one of his six offensive rebounds here and gave it up to Cowan to reset the offense. Cowan went right to the rim, but did not exactly blow by his defender. He got to the rim and was met by another Northwestern defender, but was somehow able to get the ball up high off the glass and convert the layup.
Cowan finished the night with 19 points on 4-for-10 shooting from the field and 9-for-11 shooting from the free-throw line. He also dished out five assists and moved up to eighth all-time in points in Maryland’s program history.
Donta Scott is starting to break out
Scott has shown a lot of potential for the Terps throughout his freshman year, but has yet to do anything significant consistently until the past few games. In this game Scott put up 12 points, and the freshman is averaging 9.5 points per game over his past four games.
On this play, Aaron Wiggins took it to the hoop, but ended up getting stuck on the block. Scott recognized the heavy defensive presence in the paint and quickly faded out to the three-point line. Wiggins was then able to find Scott for the open three, which he converted.
On this play, Scott showed off his toughness in the post and his strong ability to convert under pressure. Maryland ran some motion and dribble handoffs around the perimeter on this play before Morsell decided to drive to the hoop.
Scott’s man stepped up in an attempt to stop Morsell and maybe draw a charge, but the junior guard was able to to find the open Scott, who finished the layup with contact.
Darryl Morsell capped off his 21st birthday with a great offensive showing
Morsell made a number of great plays against Northwestern, but this was probably his best. The junior wing got the ball on the low block and went right up with a shot. He missed his first attempt, but was somehow able to recover in traffic and convert the extremely tough second chance opportunity.
Morsell finished the game with 13 points, seven rebounds, seven assists and a steal.