Story By: Andrew Lang
Photos By: Sol Tucker
College Park, MD–
Tonight, didn’t start as fast for the Terps as Head Coach Kevin Willard might have liked it to, but in the end, his squad was able to get things done and get their first victory of the 2023-24 season, 68-53 over the Mount.
Maryland had a great night from their freshman, where they saw true freshman DeShawn Harris-Smith finishing with 12 points on 4-of-6 shooting and four rebounds.
“I thought the freshman played phenomenal. I thought that was much better than anticipated. Jamie playing 15 minutes, DeShawn playing the minutes he did, even Mady in basically his first game. I thought they played fantastic, especially defensively.”
The Terps wasted no time getting started fast in this game and ran out to a 7-2 lead before the first media timeout. The run was fueled by Julian Reese’s quick five points, which would be part of his 18 point and eight boards on the night.
After that timeout it seemed that offenses went cold and had lengthy droughts without scoring. Mount St. Mary’s going 4:45 without a point and the Terps enduring a 4:07 skid.
Through the middle part of the half, Maryland couldn’t make anything happen to get the distance from the Mountaineers, who stayed within four points every time the Terps sought to make a run. Finally, they embarked on a 15-5 spurt in the last 6:23 to take a 33-19 lead into halftime. Harris-Smith scored eight of his points, including a driving layup with three seconds left, to fuel the offense in that stretch.
Junior shooting guard Joshua Reaves led Mount St. Mary’s with 10 points. But Leffew, the team’s returning leader in points (13.1 per game) and assists (1.7), managed just eight points on 3-of-14 shooting and had four turnovers to two assists.
The Terps have now won 47 home openers in a row dating to the 1977-78 season during the Lefty Driesell era. It is the third-longest active streak nationally and the longest in the Big Ten.