Morsell scores 18 to lead Maryland past Gardner-Webb 82-60
COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — Playing without two key players, Maryland used depth and teamwork to make up the difference against Gardner-Webb.
Freshman Darryl Morsell scored a career-high 18 points, Kevin Huerter added 15 and the Terrapins methodically rolled to an 82-60 victory Saturday.
Maryland (9-3) had 21 assists on its 30 baskets, committed only 11 turnovers and got 33 points from its bench.
“I thought our offense was terrific, sharing the ball and passing the ball,” coach Mark Turgeon said. “We had a lot of guys play well.”
Maryland was playing for the second time in three days and was without forwards Justin Jackson (illness) and Bruno Fernando (ankle sprain).
If this was a Big Ten game, that might have been a problem. Against Gardner-Webb, it was not.
“To win easily and play everybody was good,” Turgeon said.
Michal Cekovsky had 12 points, Anthony Cowan Jr. contributed 10 and 6-foot-9 freshman forward Joshua Tomaic had nine points and six rebounds. Tomaic played 16 minutes after logging a total of 17 in Maryland’s first 11 games.
DJ Laster scored 21 and David Efianayi had 18 for the Runnin’ Bulldogs (3-8), who faded after getting within 12 points with 11 minutes to go.
“Playing on the road is always hard,” coach Tim Craft said. “We’ve played at Florida, we’ve played at Miami and Auburn, and this one is similar to those.”
The Terrapins led 42-29 early in the second half before Dion Wiley hit successive 3-pointers to push the lead to 19 points.
After Gardner-Webb closed to 50-36, Morsell scored on a drive, Cekovsky converted an alley-oop pass and Morsell added a dunk to give the Terps a 20-point cushion with 13 minutes left.
Not long after the final buzzer, Turgeon beamed about the unselfish fashion in which his team performed.
“I was pretty adamant about the guys trying to play the right way offensively,” the coach said.
Morsell scored 11 points and Huerter had 10 to help the Terrapins take a 38-24 lead at halftime.
Morsell came off the bench with Maryland up 7-6 and immediately made a difference, hitting a jumper and 3-point play to spark a 10-2 spurt.
“We didn’t have a lot going. We were a little bit flat offensively at the start, and I thought Darryl just gave us a huge lift,” Turgeon said.
Though the Runnin’ Bulldogs shot only 33 percent and were 1 for 7 from beyond the arc in the first half, they trailed by only 32-24 before Maryland got successive 3-pointers from Tomaic and Cowan.
Gardner-Webb: The Runnin’ Bulldogs probably won’t face competition this stiff in the Big South, so a game like this can only help when it comes time to hit the road for conference play.
Maryland: With Jackson and Fernando out, Turgeon experimented with different combinations.
“I’ve got good players I can’t get on the floor unless there’s an injury,” Turgeon said.
Morsell made an early entry, forward Ivan Bender got his second start, 6-foot-9 freshman Sean Obi was placed in the mix before halftime and Tomaic played in the first half for the first time this season.
Craft lamented his team’s 4-for-17 performance from beyond the arc.
“We ran pretty good offense; we just struggled to finish plays,” he said. “You are not going to be many good teams when you shoot the ball that poorly.”
Fernando hurt his ankle against Ohio on Thursday and watched in uniform Saturday. “We’re not going to rush him back for Tuesday night’s game (against Catholic),” said Turgeon, who expects to have Jackson back by then.
Gardner-Webb: On the road against Hampton on Dec. 17.
Maryland: Tuesday night’s matchup against Catholic will be the third of five straight non-conference home games for the Terrapins.
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