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Cowan has 16 points as No. 6 Maryland beats George Mason

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Cowan has 16 points as No. 6 Maryland beats George Mason

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Anthony Cowan Jr. scored 16 points, Jalen Smith had 12 points and 10 rebounds and No. 6 Maryland overwhelmed previously unbeaten George Mason 86-63 on Friday night.

The Terrapins (5-0) closed the first half with a 19-2 run to go up by 12 and coasted to the finish against the Patriots, who went 8 for 30 (27 percent) from the floor after halftime.

This was the last of five straight home games for the Terps to open the season, and they won all of them by at least 18 points. The last time Maryland won five in a row by double figures was in the 1998-99 season.

Smith was held scoreless over the first 16 minutes but ended up with his third double-double of the season. Aaron Wiggins scored 15 and 6-foot-10 freshman Makhi Mitchell had 12 points and eight rebounds -- all in the second half.

AJ Wilson scored 19 for the Patriots (5-1), who were off to the most successful start in school history.

George Mason's campus in Fairfax, Virginia, is only 34 miles south of College Park. But the difference in the programs can be measured by Maryland's 9-0 record against the Patriots.

After getting off to a slow in what has become a potentially worrisome pattern, the Terrapins ended the first half with a flourish to take a 43-31 lead.

Maryland trailed by as many as seven points early and was down 29-24 before turning it around with a flurry of shots from a variety of spots.

Cowan and Wiggins each connected from beyond the arc, Smith popped a 15-footer and Cowan, Eric Ayala and Smith contributed layups. Maryland also made five free throws during the pivotal surge.

BIG PICTURE

George Mason: The Patriots have too many injuries to keep pace with the deep Terrapins, but this squad does appear to have enough talent to make some noise in the Atlantic-10.

Maryland: Playing at home against lesser foes wasn't much of a challenge for the Terps, who should receive more of a test at the upcoming Orlando Invitational.

SHORT-HANDED

The Patriots played without senior guard Justin Kier, who will miss the first few weeks of the season with a stress fracture in his right foot. Kier and senior guard Ian Boyd, who's out for the year after undergoing wrist surgery, have combined for 1,632 points and 799 rebounds. In addition, freshman Bahaide Haidara (wrist) is out 4-6 weeks.

UP NEXT

George Mason faces Old Dominion on Monday in the Cayman Islands Classic.

Maryland gets a five-day break before facing Temple on Thanksgiving morning in Orlando, Florida.

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Former Maryland WRs had NFL success only 2 programs matched in 2019

Former Maryland WRs had NFL success only 2 programs matched in 2019

LSU players and fans like to call the Tigers 'DBU,' based on all the success former LSU defensive backs have had in the NFL. The same goes with Clemson for 'WRU,' or the University of Southern California for 'QBU.'

Maryland has never been considered to be 'WRU,' but after this one stat, they certainly deserve to be in the conversation.

The Terrapins were one of three programs that had two former players top 1,100 receiving yards in the NFL this year. Second-year pro D.J. Moore finished with 1,175 receiving yards for the Carolina Panthers, while Stefon Diggs has 1,130 yards for the Minnesota Vikings. 

Besides Maryland, only Penn State and Alabama had two players accomplish the same feat.

For the Crimson Tide, both former All-Americans Julio Jones and Amari Cooper finished with over 1,100 receiving yards. As far as former Nittany Lions, both Chris Godwin and Allen Robinson reached the mark. Godwin enjoyed a breakout season in 2019, finishing with 1,333 receiving yards, the NFL's third-best. Robinson, in his second season with the Bears, finished with 1,147 yards.

What makes this feat impressive for Maryland is that Diggs and Moore were the only two former Terrapin wide receivers on NFL rosters in 2019. To compare, the Crimson Tide had seven, while Penn State had four.

The 22-year-old Moore just finished the first breakout season of his career and Diggs is just entering his prime, so expect plenty of production from these two for years to come.

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Jalen Smith slams home a powerful put-back dunk against Northwestern

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Jalen Smith slams home a powerful put-back dunk against Northwestern

Jalen Smith gets a lot of slack for leaving points on the board inside the paint. Against Northwestern, he made sure these two points would count. 

Following an Anthony Cowan Jr. missed layup in transition, Smith followed in with an authoritative slam dunk. 

After a sluggish start in the first half for the Terps offense, this slam dunk got Maryland's juices flowing as they looked poised to scrap together a comeback. 

The slam came just 30 seconds following another Smith flush, showing an added intensity for the Terps. 

Those four straight points got Maryland back within 10 points of Big Ten foes Northwestern, whose zone defense befuddled the Terrapin offense in the opening 20 minutes. 

If the Terps hope to complete the comeback, more momentum-swinging points like these will be necessary. 

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