The Maryland Terrapins cruised their was to an easy win over the Fairfield Stags. Although the Terps began the game starting Jalen Smith, Anthony Cowan, Aaron Wiggins, Darryl Morsell, and Donta Scott, only two of their starters were rock solid on the offense. Smith led the team with 17 points while Cowan had 12 points. Sophomores Eric Ayala and Ricky Lindo Jr each had 13 points a piece, giving the Terps solid contributions from the bench.
The game was neck and neck at the 10 minute mark in the first half, until Maryland forced a turnover against Fairfield forward Vincent Eze. This led to a three-point conversion by Ayala with a great assist from Cowan, extending their lead 16-12. The Terps continued their accurate shooting and dominant defense, going into the half with a 41-27 lead. Jalen Smith's two blocked shots before the half truly made Fairfield fall apart.
Fairfield made a valiant effort in the second half, cutting their deficit into single digits thanks to sophomore forward Calvin Whipple's three-point jumper. At this point, the Stags were only down by nine points but that was as close as they could get it. The Terrapins pulled away in the end, going on a 19-9 run the rest of the way. Do not be fooled by the stat sheet. All of the Terps played good quality defense.
Everything was stacked against the Stags. Their top scorer this season is junior guard Jesus Cruz, who put up 13 points against the Terps. Senior guard Landon Taliaferro led the team with 15 points, but it was not enough against the No. 6 ranked Maryland team.
Maryland won in convincing fashion, despite Fairfield's attempt to mount a comeback. Maryland had the bigger roster, featuring five players that are at least 6-foot-10. The size gap between both teams was evident on the stat sheet, as Maryland out rebounded Fairfield by a ratio of 47:31. Mark Turgeon and his Terps did a good job limiting turnovers and forcing the Stags into making mistakes. The Stags had a staggering 21 fouls.
On Friday, the Maryland Terrapins (4-0) will host the undefeated George Mason Patriots (5-0) in what should be a great game.