NCAA

Smith, Morsell carry No. 7 Maryland past Holy Cross 95-71

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Smith, Morsell carry No. 7 Maryland past Holy Cross 95-71

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) -- Jalen Smith had 16 points and 11 rebounds, Darryl Morsell scored 15 and No. 7 Maryland launched a season of high hopes by defeating Holy Cross 95-71 Tuesday night.

Taking full advantage of their height and depth, the Terrapins placed four players in double figures, finished with a 47-33 rebounding advantage and scored 64 points in the paint.

Despite trailing early, Maryland forged ahead by 12 at halftime and won its 43rd consecutive home opener.

Freshman guard Drew Lowder scored 24 for Holy Cross, playing its first game under coach Brett Nelson. The Crusaders took only five foul shots compared to 24 for Maryland.

Holy Cross trailed by just seven before Maryland went on a 16-4 run that made it 68-49. Smith and Eric Ayala each had six points in the surge, and Anthony Cowan Jr. contributed a pair of free throws and a breakaway layup.

The Terrapins returned seven players from a team that went to the Sweet 16 last season and have added a pair of 6-foot-10 twins to the mix. This team has a chance to be coach Mark Turgeon's best during his nine-year tenure at Maryland, but the Terps will have to prove it on the court.

Perhaps the clearest glimpse of this squad's potential came in the final seconds of the first half. After Smith blocked a layup, Cowan got hold of the loose ball and raced up court. He drove the lane and flipped the ball to Morsell, who capped the sequence with a powerful dunk.

Nine players scored for Maryland during a first half in which the Terrapins started slow but finished with a flourish.

Holy Cross was ahead 22-21 before the Terrapins used an 8-0 run to take the lead for good.

It was 35-28 before a layup by Smith and a 3-pointer by Serrel Smith Jr. upped the margin to double figures.

Maryland is 6-0 against Holy Cross in a series that began in 1971. The teams last met in 2008.

BIG PICTURE

Holy Cross: The Crusaders look as though they will benefit from working under Nelson, who spent the previous five years on the staff at Marquette. Holy Cross ran its offense well and hustled back on defense, qualities that should be helpful when conference play begins in the Patriot League.

Maryland: The Terrapins got off to a solid start by using their height, but the outside game needs work. Maryland was 5 for 27 from beyond the arc, missing 11 of 13 in the first half.

UP NEXT

Holy Cross stays on the road, facing New Hampshire on Saturday before playing three straight at home.

Maryland hosts Rhode Island on Saturday night, the second of five straight home games to open the season. The Rams were 18-15 last season, 9-9 in the Atlantic 10.

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Virginia Tech spoils halftime lead, falls to No. 10 Duke

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Virginia Tech spoils halftime lead, falls to No. 10 Duke

BLACKSBURG, Va. -- Tre Jones was pleased that when No. 10 Duke fell behind early at Virginia Tech, the Blue Devils showed composure and gradually worked their way back.

Coach Mike Krzyzewski was glad he had Jones to lead the way.

“They follow his lead,” Krzyzewski said after Jones scored 10 of his 15 points in the second half as Duke rallied to beat the Hokies 77-63 Friday night.

On a team with many prominent freshman, the sophomore point guard said seeing his teammates respond in the right way was “huge for us tonight just like on Tuesday" when the Blue Devils won 87-75 at Michigan State. “Another big road game. A big crowd. In past years we've struggled here.”

Freshmen Vernon Carey Jr. and Wendell Moore Jr. added 12 points each for the Blue Devils (9-1, 1-0 Atlantic Coast Conference), who had lost three in a row in Cassell Coliseum. They used runs of 12-2 just after halftime and 12-3 a short time later to take command after trailing for almost the entire first half.

“We played an outstanding 18 minutes in the second half,” Krzyzewski said, “although I'll say this: We played an outstanding 12 minutes in the first half to stay in the game.”

P.J. Horne scored 15 points to lead the Hokies (6-3, 1-1), who lost their third in a row and ended their three-game home winning streak against the Blue Devils. Wabisa Bede and Tyrece Radford added 12 points each.

The Hokies made 10 of their first 14 shots and led by 12 early, but Duke slowly climbed back. The early 12-2 run in the second half gave them their first lead, 50-47, since the opening minute. After Virginia Tech pulled even at 52 on Horne's 3-pointer with 11:10 remaining, the Blue Devils scored 12 of the next 15 points and gradually pulled away.

Jones had four in that latter burst, which ended with the Blue Devils ahead 62-55.

“Tre Jones is so disruptive. He's made great progress with his game offensively but he is a mean dude defensively,” Hokies first-year coach Mike Young said.

BIG PICTURE

Duke: The Blue Devils came in averaging seven 3-pointers and had three by the time Carey scored his first point (9:24 into the game) and six by halftime. Virginia Tech had 10 field goals before the game was 10 minutes old, and it took Duke 15 minutes to make 10 shots. Five of them were 3s, though, to keep the score close.

Virginia Tech: Landers Nolley II is the Hokies' leading scorer (20 ppg) and is second on the team in assists. He had three first-half assists, each time feeding a teammate for an easy lay-in when the defense came toward him. But Nolley had an otherwise pedestrian night, finishing with seven points, eight rebounds, four assists and nine of their 14 turnovers. He also was called for a flagrant foul with the Hokies trailing 66-57 with 4:34 to play.

“I think they got up under his chin, and I didn't think he handled it very well,” Young said.

STREAK ENDS

Carey arrived on a streak of seven double-doubles but played just 15 minutes and grabbed only five rebounds as Duke went with a smaller lineup.

UP NEXT

The Blue Devils don't play again until Dec. 19 at home against Wofford.

The Hokies are at home against next Wednesday against Chattanooga.

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Howard football coach Ron Prince resigns amid investigation into verbal abuse allegations

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Howard football coach Ron Prince resigns amid investigation into verbal abuse allegations

Ron Prince resigned from his position as head coach at Howard University on Friday. Prince had been on administrative leave since November after allegations of verbal abuse and mistreatment of players.

“Coach Ron Prince has resigned as head coach of Howard’s football program, effective immediately,” Howard athletics director Kery Davis said in a statement to ESPN. “The university and Coach Prince have agreed to mutually part ways. A national search for a replacement will begin immediately."

The allegations came to light after HBCU Gameday reported that Davis received a letter from a parent with the accusations against Price. The university put Price on administrative leave and launched an investigation into the matter.

Four Howard players joined the transfer portal in October, the most notable being quarterback Caylin Newton, the brother of former NFL MVP Cam Newton. Prince joined Howard after the 2018 season and has had 17 players enter the transfer portal during his tenure.

Price's previous experience includes coaching in the NCAA for Rutgers University and Michigan University, and in the NFL for the Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars and Indianapolis Colts. He was the head coach at Kansas State from 2006-08. 

Howard assigned interim responsibilities to director of football operations Aaron Kelton, who will continue on in that role until a new coach is hired.

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