Maryland shot efficiently and turned the ball just once in the opening nine minutes of Tuesday’s game against Rider, but the Terps couldn’t break open an early lead.
Maryland shot 8-for-12 to start the game but led by just four points. The Broncs couldn’t hang around for much longer.
Less than four minutes later, the Terps’ lead expanded to 20. Maryland closed the half on a 34-11 run, giving it a lead it’d firmly hold onto the rest of the way.
Maryland obliterated Rider, 103-76, on Tuesday night, winning its third consecutive home contest following a three-game losing skid away from Xfinity Center. The Terps shot a season-best 57.9 percent from the field and 40 percent from deep in the winning effort, capping off a bounce-back stretch before they head to play at Indiana on Friday.
The Terps also hadn’t had more assists than turnovers in a game this year prior to Tuesday’s victory. Maryland’s ball movement was an area Willard said needed drastic improvement ahead of the game, and his squad delivered in that regard.
“Seventeen assists, six turnovers, I think we’re trending in the right direction in that way. You look at two of our losses early, turnovers killers in both games,” Willard said. “I think these guys understanding, taking care of the basketball and getting the shot up every time.”
It was the first time that Maryland scored 100 points in a game since January 2021 against Wingate, and the first time it has hit that mark against a Division I opponent since a 104-67 win against Marshall in 2018.
Three Terps scored at least 15 points against the Broncs, with 22 from Julian Reese, 22 from Jahmir Young and a joint career-high 15 from Jordan Geronimo, his most in a Maryland uniform. Young has scored at least 15 points in each of Maryand’s last three games and has recorded double-digits in all but one game this season. His four makes from beyond the arc tied his single-game best as a Terp.
Reese also grabbed 12 rebounds to notch a double-double in his third consecutive contest, a span in which he averaged 18.7 points and 13.3 rebounds.
Geronimo, a transfer from Indiana, was coming off of a 14-point outing against South Alabama on Saturday and continued his hot streak after struggling to begin the season.
After entering the game with perimeter shooting and ball movement as major deficiencies, that wasn’t the case for Maryland early on against Rider. The Terps made three of their first five three-point attempts and tallied eight assists before recording their second turnover.
But the most glaring aspect of the first half was from the free-throw line. Maryland attempted 32 free throws in the first half — nearly ten more than they average per game — and sank 21. The Terps went 8-for-13 from the line in the second half, shooting 64.4 percent from the charity stripe on a season-high 45 attempts on the day.
Julian Reese was 8-for-10 from the free-throw line in the first half and completed his double-double before the break. Reese, a career 60.4 percent free throw shooter, finished 14-of-17 from the line in one of the best statistical games of his collegiate career. Reese doubled his previous career high of seven makes from the line in the game.
“It was definitely a great feeling,” Reese said. “I gotta thank coach a lot, him getting in there early … we’ve just been working on things and building that confidence from the line and to see it work off is amazing.”
Twelve of the 13 players that saw the floor on Tuesday scored as the Terps got back on track during their three-game homestand after a rough start to the season. The Terps are now tasked with carrying that momentum on the road against a conference foe in Indiana on Friday.