The Maryland Terrapins returned to College Park from Long Island, and Terps fans were hoping freshman Bruno Fernando to have a similar outing to his 10-point performance against Stony Brook.
What they got instead was a big game from Anthony Cowan, who put on a show in the home opener in front of 13,914 fans against Maryland Eastern Shore.
Cowan finished with 16 points as Maryland cruised to an easy home-opener against the Hawks, 96-43.
Maryland (2-0) started fast and kept its foot on the pedal against the Hawks. The team only trailed once in the game, but that deficit quickly disappeared with a 3-pointer from Dion Wiley. The Terps led the rest of the way.
“I was real proud of my guys for concentrating, trying to do the right things,” said Terrapins head coach Mark Turgeon. “We did a lot of things well. We did good against the zone, we rebounded well, we shared the ball.”
Cowan led an efficient Maryland offense that shot 61 percent from the field and 47.3 percent from the 3-point line. Cowan had 12 points by the end of the first half, and he nearly had a double-double by the game’s end grabbing 9 rebounds.
More importantly, Maryland held the Hawks’ offense, which was fresh off a 95-point performance against Valley Forge, relatively in check for more of the night. The Hawks struggled in every scoring category against the Terps, shooting 33.9 percent and they pulled in just 21 rebounds for the entire game.
The Hawks were down three starters against the Terps, and Turgeon said head coach Bobby Collins has done a good job with the program.
“I think they have some really good players, and they’ll be good down the road,” he said.
For the second time this season, Maryland controlled the game with rebounds. The Terps out rebounded Maryland Eastern Shore 46-21.
Cowan, who also got two steals and a block while giving up just one turnover, said the team is finding its chemistry early.
“I think the whole team is looking good right now,” Cowan said. “I think we’re really gelling. You can tell we’ve had a year under our belt. We’ve just been playing really good basketball so far.”
Once again, Maryland had a host of players finish in double figures. Jared Nickens and Dion Wiley highlighted Maryland’s best shooting performance from the 3-point line of the season.
Nickens finished with 15 points, while Wiley had 13 points and shot 50 percent from the 3-point line.
“I just went out there and played my style of basketball and Coach Turgeon’s style of basketball,” Wiley said. “I’ve really been working on just trying to play harder.”
Cowan said having Wiley play the way he has in the past two games has been crucial.
“It’s super important,” he added. “We can’t always rely on me. So when Wiley and Nickens come off the bench…it helps a lot. Hopefully that keeps their confidence up.”
Wiley’s first three of the night got the Terps started on a 12-0 run. Cowan then took over the first half, juking his way past the Hawks’ defenders and showing off his athleticism with a reverse layup that put the Terps up 43-15.
By halftime, Maryland had the game in hand with a 44-18 lead. The Terps were effective in the first half, shooting 70 percent in field goals and 61.9 percent from the free throw line.
Maryland didn’t lose a beat in the second half, quickly extending its lead past 40 —its largest lead of the season thus far.
As Maryland emptied its bench late in the second half, it continued to hold the Hawks at bay with 52 points coming from the bench. Travis Valmon hit a jumper with just under two minutes left in the game, putting the Terps up by 53 points and effectively ending the game.
Next, Maryland will be back in the Xfinity Center with an increase in competition against Butler. Butler is also 2-0, having beaten the Princeton Tigers 85-75. Tipoff for the Terps’ game against the Bulldogs will be at 8:30 p.m. on Nov. 15.