Redshirt freshman Joshua Tomaic, one of three European players on the Maryland Terrapins’ roster, described the Canary Islands, his home country, as a little place.
But Tomaic and the Terps didn’t play small Saturday afternoon.
Tomaic scored nine of the Maryland bench’s 34 points, helping Maryland secure an 82-60 win over Gardner Webb.
“For us to be consistently good was pretty good to see,” Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon said after the game. “I thought we got better during the game. I thought our offense was terrific. We had a lot of guys play well.”
With sophomore Justin Jackson and freshman Bruno Fernando out with injuries, Tomaic got a chance to show what he could do, and he had a career night. Tomaic shot 3-of-5 in 16 minutes and grabbed six of the team’s 34 rebounds.
“He’s the hardest worker,” Turgeon said. “Those things don’t go unnoticed by me. The good thing is that Josh is just a freshman, and he’s getting better. He’s going to help our program a lot in the future.”
Sophomore Kevin Huerter and freshman Darryl Morsell led the team with 15 points each. Sophomore Anthony Cowan finished in double figures as well with 10 points and four assists.
“Darryl is getting the ball to the rim and defending and rebounding,” Turgeon said. “I haven’t had many like him. I think since the Purdue game, he’s really just tried to be Darryl. And it really helps.”
Maryland dominated the box score from the first minute of the game. In addition to shooting 54 percent, the team shot 50 percent from 3-point range and limited its turnovers to just 10 against the Bulldogs.
“Coach [Turgeon] kind of got on us after our game on Thursday,” Huerter said. “He said we have to get a lot better in [December]. He laid out a couple of things we needed to get better at, and turnovers were one of those things. Tonight was a step in the right direction.”
Maryland also had 21 assists against the Bulldogs.
“I expected it,” Turgeon said. “Because it starts with Anthony [Cowan]. Anthony’s been so unselfish, he’s doing everything to make sure guys are passing it and I was pretty adamant about the guys trying to play the right way offensively.”
The Terps just needed three minutes to take the lead over the Bulldogs. After nearly two minutes without a basket, Huerter ignited Maryland’s offense with a three. The Bulldogs were able to keep pace with Maryland for most of the first half, though, holding its deficit to single digits.
That changed with less than three minutes left in the first half. As part of an 8-0 run to end the half, Joshua Tomaic knocked down a three, putting the Terps up 35-24. By the time the buzzer sounded to end the first half, Maryland had built a 38-24 lead.
From that point on, the Terps weren’t threatened. Maryland took a 20-point lead with just under nine minutes left in the game with a three from Huerter. Maryland led by as many as 26 points in the second half.
Although Gardner-Webb outscored Maryland 6-1 in the final two minutes, it didn’t concern the Terps, as most of their starters had been benched in place of backups to finish out the game.
Maryland will be back in action on Tuesday when the Terps play Catholic University. Tipoff for that game will be at 7 p.m.
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