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Cowan scores 30, No. 5 Maryland rallies to beat Temple

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Cowan scores 30, No. 5 Maryland rallies to beat Temple

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Anthony Cowan Jr. scored five of his career-high 30 points in the final three minutes, helping No. 5 Maryland overcome a slow start and beat Temple 76-69 in the opening game of the Orlando Invitational on Thursday.

Eric Ayala had 13 points and Jalen Smith finished with 12 points and nine rebounds for the Terrapins (6-0), who trailed by as many as nine in the first half. Cowan put them ahead for good with a long 3-pointer and added two free throws in the closing seconds for a five-point lead.

Ayala also came up big down the stretch with a 3-pointer, two free throws and a driving layup in the final 1:53. Smith capped the win -- Maryland's first by less than 18 points -- with two free throws that gave the Terps their biggest lead of the game with 2 seconds remaining.

Alani Moore II led Temple (4-1) with 22 points. J.P. Moorman II had 14 points and nine rebounds, while Owls leading scorer Nate Pierre-Louis was limited to three points -- nearly 13 below his average -- on 0-for-7 shooting from the field and 3 of 4 free throws.

BIG PICTURE:

Maryland: Falling behind early has been a recurring theme for the Terps, who led for just 16 seconds of the opening half using a 9-3 spurt to turn a 34-29 deficit into a 38-37 lead. Neither team could create much separation until Cowan's 3-pointer snapped a 62-62 tie.

Temple: The Owls pushed the Terps to the limit despite only shooting 34 percent from the field and not getting their usual production of the high-scoring backcourt of Pierre-Louis and Quinton Rose, who finished with nine points on 4-for-16 shooting. Jake Forrester had six points and two rebounds in his debut for the Owls, who earlier this week received approval from the NCAA to play the transfer from Indiana.

UP NEXT

Maryland: Friday's semifinals against the winner of Thursday's first-round matchup between Texas A&M and Harvard.

Temple: Friday in the consolation bracket vs. the loser of Texas A&M-Harvard.

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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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