By Sydney Fazio
Coming off a narrow victory against Illinois in overtime, the University of Maryland men’s basketball team capitalized on that energy to defeat the Ohio University Bobcats 87-62 at home Thursday.
Maryland started the game quickly, getting five unanswered points in the first minute. The Terps kept Ohio to their one and only layup for the first six minutes. Their momentum was strong in the first half.
Sophomore forward Justin Jackson wasn’t in the starting lineup due to an illness, according to the team, but that didn’t stop him from getting 10 of Maryland’s 41 points in the first half when he did eventually enter the game. Senior center Michal Cekovsky also added 10 points for the Terrapins in the first.
The Terps shot 51 percent from the field, and 33 percent from three in the first period. They also out-rebounded the Bobcats, something the team has improved on this season.
Coach Mark Turgeon said he thought his team played really well defensively.
“I thought we got better as the game went on defensively,” Turgeon said. “Our rim protection was great by our big guys.”
A massive alley-oop dunk by freshman forward Bruno Fernando from sophomore guard Anthony Cowan in the second half elicited a loud roar from an underwhelming crowd at Xfinity Center. That roar went eerily quiet when Fernando landed awkwardly and rolled his right ankle.
Sophomore guard Kevin Huerter noticed quiet when his teammate went down.
“I think just with our program, you know, it seems like injuries are just all-too familiar. I think any time someone goes down everyone holds their breath because no one knows how serious it’s going to be,” Huerter said. “Bruno brings energy to our team, and the building did get really quiet, but he should be okay in the long run.”
Despite Fernando’s discouraging right-ankle sprain, the momentum didn’t slow for Maryland in the second half. Cekovsky never missed, earning himself a perfect fifteen points for the Terrapins with an added eight rebounds. Huerter and Cowan also had successful games—Huerter picking up 17 points and six rebounds, and Cowan with 12 points and eight rebounds.
Cowan said coach Turgeon emphasizes the key role of being a team leader.
“He just really wants me to run the team,” Cowan said. “He wants me to be vocal, be as vocal as possible. He’s big on me making the right play on the offensive end. Just making sure when someone’s open, getting them the ball.”
The Terps will face Gardner-Webb and Catholic University in hopes to pick up two more home wins.