COLLEGE PARK, Md. (WDVM) – In their third game of the season, the Maryland Terrapins faced their toughest test yet, beating the Mount St. Mary’s Mountaineers, 79-61. The Terrapins trailed by as much as nine points in the first half; before strong performances off the bench from Donta Scott, and Hakim Hart, pushed the Terps forward.
Donta Scott finished with 17 points on the night, a team high; while junior guard Eric Ayala finished with 15 points, including an eight point run towards the end of the second half.
For the Mountaineers, Jalen Gibbs led the way with 19 points, including a quick 12 points within the first 10 minute frame of the game, shooting 4-of-5 from three point range. Baltimore native, Damian Chong Qui had seven assists in the first half; which contributed to a nine point lead for the Mountaineers.
“I welcome a game like that where we are actually behind in the second half, and have to gut it out.” said Head Coach Mark Turgeon, “Which was great to see our guys did it, we got in foul trouble with Galin (Smith) , and we kind of figured it out. So its a good experience for us, it’s gonna help us down the road.”
This is the third game in a row that the Terrapins have shot 60 percent from the field or better, with different players contributing to the scoresheet; including five players that scored 10 points or more.
“Well we had three veteran guards out there, and Donta felt comfortable, and Jairus has played a lot.” said Coach Turgeon, “They made a tough three against our zone, and that tied it, and that was frustrating because they were making a lot of those shots today. So that got me out of the zone again, started pressuring again, I didn’t like the energy that we were playing with, and we did a good job of guarding the ball late in the shot clock.”
Speaking of energy, Donta Scott had mentioned that to Eric Ayala coming off the bench, saying “I was telling Eric that I needed him to help me out, and pick his energy up.”
“I needed everybody to talk, and then it was just like ‘Be one of our energy guys’ and then I had to step up too.” said Donta Scott, “I had to take that role and step up, and push my guys out there.”
“Yeah it was definitely good for us, you know to experience something like that.” said Eric Ayala, in regards to playing in a high pressure situation. “Especially early in the season, we haven’t had any scrimmages, or the most of the time were usually together. And credit to Mount St. Mary, they were phenomenal tonight, or today. Just hitting jump shots, and they played really well. It forced us to play the best of our abilities.”
The Terrapins are back this Tuesday, December 1st, against Towson University.