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Defense finally shows up for Maryland in rout of Oakland

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Defense finally shows up for Maryland in rout of Oakland

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Darryl Morsell led a balanced attack with 14 points, and No. 7 Maryland used a strong defensive effort to power past Oakland 80-50 Saturday.

Anthony Cowan Jr. contributed 11 points, seven assists and six rebounds for the Terrapins, Aaron Wiggins scored 10 and Jalen Smith added eight points and seven rebounds.

After opening with lopsided victories at home against Holy Cross and Rhode Island, Maryland is off a 3-0 start for the sixth year in a row. The Terps are 33-6 at home over the past two-plus seasons.

Xavier Hill-Mais led Oakland (3-2) with 18 points. The Golden Grizzlies shot 36.5%, were outrebounded 40-30 and went 6 for 15 at the foul line.

The Terrapins used layups by Smith and Morsell to turn a 35-22 halftime lead into a 17-point cushion. Minutes later, Morsell contributed a pair of 3-pointers to a 12-3 run that made it 56-31 with 12:28 left.

Morsell, a 6-foot-5 junior guard, went 6 for 8 from the field and had seven rebounds in only 21 minutes.

Maryland coach Mark Turgeon used 15 players, nine of them for at least 10 minutes, and 13 different players scored.

The Golden Grizzlies broke to an early 16-12 lead and trailed only 24-22 before Maryland finished the first half with an 11-0 run -- including a dunk by Smith and a 3-pointer by Wiggins at the buzzer.

Oakland shot 37% from the floor before halftime, missing eight of nine from beyond the arc.

BIG PICTURE

Oakland made it interesting at the outset but withered under the weight of Maryland's depth. The Golden Grizzlies have 10 new players from last season, so need games like this to get ready for Horizon League play.

Maryland has far too much depth, height and talent for the opposition in these early mismatches. If there's any flaw worth noting, it's that the Terrapins have started slowly in each game before pulling away.

UP NEXT

Oakland: Hosts Hartford on Monday night.

Maryland: Continues its season-opening, five-game homestand against Fairfield on Tuesday night. In the only previous meeting, the Terps beat the Stags 71-42 in 2009.

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Jalen Smith's double-double helps Maryland rout Notre Dame

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Jalen Smith's double-double helps Maryland rout Notre Dame

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) -- Jalen Smith had 15 points and a career-high 16 rebounds as No. 3 Maryland cruised to a 72-51 victory over Notre Dame on Wednesday night in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

Eric Ayala scored 14 points and Aaron Wiggins added 11 for the Terrapins (9-0), who are off to their best start since winning 10 in a row to open the 1998-99 season.

John Mooney had 17 points and 12 rebounds for Notre Dame (6-2), which had won six in a row since opening the season with a loss at North Carolina.

It took some time for the Terps' offense to get going, but their defense was sharp for nearly the entire first half. After falling behind 9-4, Maryland allowed just four points over the next 12:31.

Ayala scored seven points in a row to turn a one-point game into a 21-13 lead, and later delivered a tomahawk slam a minute before the break. Aaron Wiggins capped the half by getting the carom from his missed 3-pointer and slamming it home for a 32-20 lead.

Notre Dame never cut the deficit to less than 10 in the second half as Maryland snapped a six-game skid in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, a streak that began when the Terps were still in the ACC.

Smith recorded his fifth double-double of the season, matching his total from all of last season.

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Terps close first half vs. Notre Dame with two emphatic dunks (WATCH)

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Terps close first half vs. Notre Dame with two emphatic dunks (WATCH)

The Maryland Terrapins, like they have many times in the Mark Turgeon era, started off slow Wednesday night against Notre Dame.

But the Terps closed the first half by making eight of their final nine shots, including two very emphatic dunks.

The first came from sophomore Eric Ayala, who took the lead pass from forward Jalen Smith following a turnover and finished with a right-hand tomahawk.

The latter came from guard Aaron Wiggins. The sophomore attempted a three-point shot with just a handful of seconds remaining in the half, but realized his shot was off as soon as his feet hit the floor. 

Likely making his AAU coach happy, Wiggins followed his shot perfectly, grabbed the rebound and threw down the putback dunk just a couple of seconds before time expired, giving the Terps a 12-point lead at the break.

If the No. 3 Terps can hang on to their lead, it will be Maryland's first time starting 9-0 in around two decades.

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