Freshman guard Darryl Morsell delivered when needed by fueling Maryland’s 80-78 comeback victory over Bucknell on Saturday evening.
“We just made adjustments and they worked. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t. And we just played harder,” head coach Mark Turgeon said after the game. “Those guys were good. For the most part we’re getting better.”
The Terps (3-0) were down 50-35 at the end of the first half. Bucknell (0-4) was taking advantage of Maryland’s defense, shooting 64 percent from the floor and 70 percent from behind the arc.
“We were just soft. So, our game plan was wrong,” Turgeon said. “I thought they made everything in the first half no matter what we tried.”
The Terps came out strong in the second half as they went on a 10-3 with the help of Morsell, who scored 12 of his 15 points in the second half.
“I felt that as a team we need to spot. We were just down fifteen and we allowed fifty points in the first half,” Morsell said. “Coach Turgeon talked about getting a lot of stops in the second half so that was something I focused on.”
Maryland took its first lead of the second half when sophomore guard Kevin Huerter, who finished with 16 points and four assists, knocked down a three-pointer to put the Terps up 63-61 with 10 minutes remaining.
The game came down to the wire, but Maryland sophomore guard Anthony Cowan Jr. converted a pair of free throws to close things out. Cowan finished with 17 points, four rebounds and five assists.
“That’s one thing I tried to do last year was to hit all my free throws,” Cowan said. “That’s been my thing is just getting to the line and getting people into foul trouble.”
Terps’ freshman Bruno Fernando tallied 14 points and nine rebounds. Fernando was solid on the defensive end, registering three blocks.
Bucknell had three players to score in double figures. Stephen Brown tallied a team-high 23 points, Zach Brown scored 17 points and Nana Foulland registered 15 points and seven boards.
Maryland held Bucknell to under 30 percent shooting in the second half.
“We guarded everything much more aggressively, and that’s who we are,” Turgeon said. “[Bucknell] missed some shots for us because we sped them up a bit and then we were much better offensively.”
Maryland’s next game will be against Jackson State at home on Monday night.