Maryland has been plagued with slow starts throughout the season. After Mark Turgeon decided to change his lineup, starting Eric Ayala over Makhi Mitchell, the Terrapins came out flying in the first half.
Through the first two games of the Orlando Invitational, Maryland trailed going into half. Temple had a 35-29 lead in their quarterfinals game, while Harvard had a 35-31 lead in the semifinals. Today, the Terrapins had a 42-21 lead by halftime, thanks to a 33-12 run against the Golden Eagles.
One of the keys to defeating Marquette was to slow down the top scorer in college basketball. Markus Howard combined for 91 points in his previous two games. Against the Terrapins, he struggled all day converting 1-of-12 of his shots and finished the day with only six points.
The Terrapins' defense not only made Howard ineffective, almost every player on the Golden Eagles' struggled to get in rhythm. The bench made only one field goal shot and was limited to four points.
Jalen Smith did not do much offensively, but did all the dirty work as a defender. He blocked three shots and made it difficult for the Golden Eagles to score on the inside. Marquette turned the ball over 16 times, making it very easy for the Terrapins in the win.
Senior guard Anthony Cowan had another good performance for Maryland. He had 50 points in his first two outs of the Orlando Invitational and added another 22 points in the championship game. The team knows that if they can get Cowan going early in all their games, no one will be able to stop them. He is the biggest reason why the Terrapins remain undefeated.
Maryland improves to 8-0 on the season for the first time since 2006 and win the Orlando Invitational championship.