Mount St. Mary’s will face Maryland in a Sunday matinee in College Park, Md., as the coronavirus pandemic makes for some unusual scheduling.
The Mountaineers (1-1) lost 73-67 in a neutral-site game with Navy on Saturday in College Park’s Xfinity Center, and now get a crack at the weekend’s hosts, a matchup that historically has not gone well for The Mount. The visitors are 0-9 all-time against the Terrapins, including 0-8 in College Park, heading toward Sunday’s 2 p.m. ET tipoff.
Maryland (2-0) beat Navy 82-52 Friday, shooting 68.2 percent (30 of 44) from the field, the highest single-game percentage for the Terrapins since 1986. Guards Darryl Morsell and Eric Ayala led the attack with 15 points apiece, and another guard, Aaron Wiggins had 14 — all in the second half — as the Terrapins pulled away from pesky Navy.
“The second half I thought our energy level was just terrific,” Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said. “We started to make shots and separate ourselves. I thought the first half we got tired, to be honest. We got a 30-20 lead and they had a couple of turnovers against the press, but we’d get a turnover or take a bad shot and just weren’t very efficient.”
The Terrapins will look to clean their game up on Sunday, and they’re bigger and deeper than the Mountaineers, who were tabbed to finish third in the Northeast Conference preseason poll.
The Mount won a season opener for the first time since 2008 with the 62-55 victory over Morgan State on Wednesday. A quartet of returning starters led the way with a combined 53 points, including 18 from Jalen Gibbs and 13 apiece from Damian Chong Qui and Malik Jefferson.
Against Navy, Chong Qui, a preseason all-conference selection, had 18 points and Gibbs added 16, the duo fueling a comeback that nearly overcame a 16-point lead for the Midshipmen.
“This is a talented team and the thing that stands out about this group is we have leadership now,” Mountaineers coach Dan Engelstad said. “We have guys that have logged a lot of minutes, guys that have played and know what expectations are. They’ve laid a really good foundation.”
Maryland opened Wednesday, beating Old Dominion 85-67 in its 44th straight win in a home opener.
Maryland returns to action with another home contest on Tuesday, hosting Towson, a late replacement for Monmouth, which had to shut down basketball activities due to COVID-19. The Mountaineers are next scheduled to play Dec. 5 at Virginia Commonwealth.
–Field Level Media