Senior center Michal Cekovsky goes up and over Catholic defenders for a dunk (Owen Hynes/ The Left Bench)

Cowan scores 18 in Maryland’s rout against Catholic University

The Maryland men’s basketball team was littered with injuries and illness against Catholic University, and the lack of firepower allowed the Cardinals to keep the game close throughout the first half.

But that didn’t seem to bother Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon and his players.

Cowan led the Terps in scoring with 18 points to help beat Catholic University 76-59 in its last game before a nine-day break.

“I thought Catholic was terrific all night,” Turgeon said. “I thought they were dialed in with their changing of zones and presses. Give them all the credit.”

Maryland (10-3) were limited with Bruno Fernando, Justin Jackson and Dion Wiley all out with a combination of injuries and illness. It didn’t phase the Terps, though, as the team took over in the second half.

The Cardinals (2-5) kept the score close through the first 20 minutes, but Maryland finished the game shooting 51 percent and had a comfortable lead for the remainder of the game.

“We didn’t come ready to play in the first four minutes of the game,” said Jared Nickens. “We did a better job of that in the second half, but that’s one of our weaknesses. We just have to come out and respect our opponents.”

Maryland secured its fourth consecutive win since losing back-to-back games in November. The four-game win streak is the second-longest of the season so far.

Trailing early in the first half, Maryland took back the lead add when they did this for the first time since the opening basket. And though Catholic attempted to rally and retake the lead, Maryland held the Cardinals off for a 37-31 lead at the half.

“We just always have to come out [strong],” said sophomore Anthony Cowan. “Coach [Turgeon] always says if we want to be a championship team, we have to play like it. That’s on us. We have to take care of that.”

After the Terps came out for the second half, the team was rolling.

An 8-0 run, fueled by two three-pointers from Huerter and Ivan Bender, put the Terps up 47-33 — its first double-digit lead of the night. Through the first 10 minutes of the second half, Maryland outscored the Cardinals 23-9.From that point on, the team cruised to the win.

“I thought we had 10 good minutes to start the second half,” Turgeon said. “We really played well. We shared the ball and defended a little bit.”

Huerter finished with 14 points and shot 50 percent from the 3-point line. Nickens came off the bench and also had 14 points, shooting 4–7 from the field.

Catholic University had two players finish in double figures. Jay Howard led all scorers with 20 points, while Riley Hayes finished with 14 points. Together, the duo combined for 57 percent of the Cardinals’ offense.

After Maryland’s extended break, the team will be back in the Xfinity Center to play Fairleigh Dickinson on Dec. 21. Tipoff will be at 7 p.m.