NCAA

No. 5 Maryland beats Marquette to win Orlando Invitational

No. 5 Maryland beats Marquette to win Orlando Invitational

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Anthony Cowan Jr. scored 22 points and backcourt mate Darryl Morsell helped fifth-ranked Maryland limit Marquette star Markus Howard to six points as the Terrapins remained unbeaten with an 84-63 victory over the Golden Eagles on Sunday in the championship game of the Orlando Invitational.

Howard scored 91 points in his first two games of the eight-team tournament at Disney World. However, Marquette's all-time scoring leader was just 1 of 12 from the field in this one, including 0 for 6 on 3-point attempts, after scorching Davidson for 40 points in the opening round and topping 50 for the third in his career with 51 against Southern California in the semifinals.

Cowan captured tournament MVP honors with 72 points in three games, including a career-best 30 against Temple on Thanksgiving. Morsell had 17 points and 10 rebounds, while guarding the 5-foot-11 Howard most of the afternoon Sunday.

Maryland (8-0) is off to its best start since the 2006-07 season, and coach Mark Turgeon finally got the complete performance he's been looking for from the Terrapins, who overcame slow starts to beat Temple and Harvard in the first two rounds.

Aaron Wiggins scored 15 points and often wound up guarding Howard when Morsell wasn't on the high-scoring guard.

Brendan Bailey led Marquette (5-2) with a career-high 27 points, including seven 3-pointers. Sacar Anim added 21.

BIG PICTURE

Maryland: Slow starts have been a recurring theme during the team first 8-0 start in 13 years. No such problem this time. Cowan had 13 points early, the Terps led 42-21 at halftime and answered a couple of runs Marquette put together to pull within 13 on one occasion and 12 on another with bursts of their own.

Marquette: With Howard struggling, the rest of the Golden Eagles were unable to pick up the slack. While Bailey had 13 points in the first half and 14 more after halftime, Anim was the only other Marquette player to finish in double figures.

UP NEXT

Maryland: Returns home to face Notre Dame on Wednesday.

Marquette: Hosts Jacksonville on Wednesday.

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Richmond Spiders lose leading scorer Blake Francis for 4-6 weeks

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Richmond Spiders lose leading scorer Blake Francis for 4-6 weeks

Richmond Spiders' Blake Francis will miss four to six weeks after fracturing his sternum, the team announced on Thursday.

The injury occurred at the end of the Spiders' contest against Saint Louis on Jan. 11. Francis fell to the floor to save a loose ball when opposing Bilikins dove onto a dogpile to recover the possession themselves. 

If Francis is out for the full six weeks, he would return during the final week of the regular season. It would give the guard a tuneup game before they play in the Atlantic 10 Tournament. 

The loss of Francis for the majority of the Atlantic 10 conference season cannot be overstated. A transfer from Wagner, Francis is the No. 2 guard in the Spiders lineup and putting out 17 points a game. Immediately he had an impact for the Spiders and was named a starter for his first game in Richmond. 

His scoring threat has allowed other stars Jacob Gilyard and Grant Golden to flourish. An aspect of the offense that was missing last year. 

At 13-4, the Spiders were still in NCAA Tournament consideration before the injury. They have one of the better records in the league and tough road victories at Rhode Island and Davidson to their credit. However, there is no wiggle room for the Spiders and they probably cannot afford another loss to anyone not named Dayton or VCU. 

Without Francis, they'll have to supplement the offense elsewhere if they want any chance to return to the big dance in March. 

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Virginia Tech head coach Justin Fuente takes himself out of running for Baylor job

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Virginia Tech head coach Justin Fuente takes himself out of running for Baylor job

Virginia Tech fans can breathe a sigh of relief today, as head coach football coach Justin Fuente has decided to stay in Blacksburg, according to Andrea Adelson

Fuente had emerged as a top candidate to replace Matt Rhule at Baylor, but he took himself out of the running and will look to improve on a strong close to the 2019 season for the Hokies. 

Fuente just finished replacing a number of defensive assistants. He hired a new cornerbacks coach Tuesday and promoted Justin Hamilton to defensive coordinator after Bud Foster retired. 

While a bad loss to Virginia at the end of the regular season and a heartbreaking loss in the bowl game to Kentucky could paint the season as a failure, finishing 8-5 after early-season struggles is a victory in and of itself.

Heading into next season, Virginia Tech fans have to feel good about the state of their team. The head coach is back and they seemed to find a rising star at quarterback in Hendon Hooker. 

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