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Maryland overcomes sloppy start, rally past Rhode Island

Maryland overcomes sloppy start, rally past Rhode Island

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Jalen Smith had 19 points and 11 rebounds, Anthony Cowan Jr. scored all 14 of his points in the second half and turnover-prone No. 7 Maryland overcame a sloppy start and a double-digit deficit, beating Rhode Island 73-55 on Saturday night.

Eric Ayala added 13 points and Aaron Wiggins (13 points, 13 rebounds) posted his first career double-double for the Terrapins, who trailed 24-12 with eight minutes left in the first half, but ultimately breezed to a 2-0 start with a dominant second half.

Jeff Dowtin led the Rams (1-1) with 14 points.

Maryland committed 14 of its 17 turnovers in the first half, allowing Rhode Island to lead for more than 18 minutes. But Wiggins' 3-pointer less than a minute before the break secured the Terps a 35-32 lead.

While the Rams briefly tied it early in the second half, Maryland controlled the final 20 minutes. Cowan scored nine points in a row for the Terps during one stretch, and his layup with 10:52 to go gave Maryland its first double-digit lead at 53-42. Rhode Island never got any closer.

Maryland improved to 4-1 all-time against the Rams, claiming the teams' first meeting since 2015.

BIG PICTURE

Rhode Island: The Rams were picked fourth in the Atlantic 10, and their first-half showing at Maryland suggests they could be a handful for anyone in their conference. The same is true of their ambitious nonconference schedule, which includes Alabama, Louisiana State, Providence and West Virginia.

Maryland: Turnovers have haunted the Terps in recent years, and the return of that problem after committing only eight in Tuesday's season opener against Holy Cross is a concern. Expect that to be a focus in the coming week as Maryland goes seven days between games.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

With a pair of victories in the season's first week, Maryland is unlikely to drop when the next poll is released Monday.

UP NEXT

Rhode Island: The Rams face their second consecutive power conference opponent Friday when they host Alabama.

Maryland: The Terps' season-opening five-game homestand continues Nov. 16 against Oakland.

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Virginia Tech transfer Josh Jackson wins Maryland's starting QB job

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Virginia Tech transfer Josh Jackson wins Maryland's starting QB job

When the Maryland Terrapins take the field on Saturday in their opener against Howard, it will be a former Hokie who leads them. Virginia Tech transfer quarterback Josh Jackson was named the starter by head coach Mike Locksley on Monday as he fended off stiff competition from redshirt junior Tyrrell Pigrome.

"After an extremely tight camp battle, we felt that Josh earned the starting role," Locksley said in a statement. "Josh and Piggy (Tyrrell Pigrome) pushed each other throughout the summer and into camp. We are excited about the talent in the quarterback room and strongly feel that we can win with both guys. We'll find ways to utilize each of their talents, but are confident with Josh leading the team."

The fact that Pigrome was able to keep things close bodes well for a Maryland team that always seems to need an abundance of quarterbacks every season.

Jackson transferred to Maryland in May and has immediate eligibility as a graduate after earning his degree from Virginia Tech. He was the starter for the Hokies in each of the past two seasons playing in 16 games and completing 59.9-percent of his passes while throwing for 3,566 yards 25 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. His season was limited to just three games in 2018 after he suffered a broken leg in October in a stunning upset against Old Dominion.

Jackson set Virginia Tech freshman records for touchdown passes (20), passing yards (2,991) and 200+ yard passing games (9). Yet, despite his early success he was seemingly never embraced by the fans in Blacksburg and his transfer was ultimately no surprise.

Locksley is now hoping Virginia Tech’s loss will be Maryland’s gain.

Saturday’s kickoff against Howard is scheduled for 12 p.m.

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Terrapins lose WR Jeshaun Jones for the season with torn ACL

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Terrapins lose WR Jeshaun Jones for the season with torn ACL

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Maryland sophomore receiver Jeshaun Jones will miss the season after suffering a knee injury during the first practice of training camp.

Jones, who was hoping to build on a solid freshman season, tore his left ACL on Monday. He will redshirt this season.

Jones played in all 12 games for the Terrapins last year. He had 22 catches for 288 yards and ran 18 times for 173 yards.

His five touchdown catches were most by a Maryland freshman since Stefon Diggs in 2012.

Last season he garnered national headlines when he completed a football 'hat trick' by catching, throwing, and rushing for a touchdown against the Texas Longhorns.

NBC Sports Washington's Tyler Byrum contributed to this report.

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