Story By: Sol Tucker
Photos By: Sol Tucker
College Park, MD–
Usually when you return to the place you put on the map with a National Championship, it’s not as a Head Coach right up the I95. Tonight, was the return of the Juan Dixon led Coppin State program, who has been making some noise against bigger schools. Unfortunately for Dixon, the noise was made by his alma mater in a 95-79 victory over the Eagles.
Julian Reese scored 22 of his 24 points in the first half, Hakim Hart added 22 points. This was the Terps first victory as a ranked team under the Kevin Willard era.
While the box score may have looked a bit lopsided at the end, Dixon kept his squad in the game in the first half and it wasn’t until the final 5:00 of the first half that the Terps were able to really start to pull away and put the game into a double-digit lead.
The Terps trailed 22-19 in the middle of the first half, then relied on Reese when it became clear the Eagles had no answer for the 6-foot-9 sophomore forward. Reese scored 18 of Maryland’s next 22 points to help the Terps build a 47-36 halftime lead.
After the game Juan Dixon was asked about his return to College Park.
“It felt great coming back to Maryland, but it wasn’t about me today,” Dixon said. “It was about a group of young men that understand they’re playing for something bigger than just one game.”
Sam Sessoms scored 28 points for the Eagles. They have lost three in a row which included a overtime game to Georgetown just two weeks ago.
Today marked the first time Coppin State made the 32-mile trip down I95 to College Park since it stunned Maryland 70-63 on Dec. 12, 1989, during former Terrapin coach Gary Williams’ first season.
Terps Head Coach Kevin Willard was asked about that 1989 loss to Coppin State after the game. “I was doing everything to make sure history didn’t repeat itself tonight for another first timer.”
For the Terps, this game comes a really good warm up before heading to Louisville on November 29th to face the Cardinals in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.