Maryland ends Belmont’s Cinderella Hopes – Can the Terrapins go further?
After coming to a close call toward the end of the game, Maryland defeated No. 11-seed Belmont 79-77 on Thursday, March 21st.
Belmont took a 40-34 lead into halftime and led 67-60 with just 7 minutes left of the game. They played their second tournament game in less than 48 hours and the determination was rising. Belmont had the chance to take the lead within the final moments by being within a point of victory but the Terrapins were quick to take their place on the court.
Maryland’s Anthony Cowan Jr.’s three-pointer tied the game at 71-71 and even though Eric Ayala deflected a pass, Darryl Morsell stole the ball that lead to victory.
Although Maryland had a rough opening, they found their grounds in the second half of the game. The Terps were carried by Bruno Fernando and Jalen Smith. Smith scored 19 points with 12 rebounds and Fernando scored 14 points with 13 rebounds. Darryl Morsell scored 18 while Eric Ayala added 12 points to the game. After losing three out of the four previous games, Maryland came back in full swing.
The Bruins were missing one of their top backups, Caleb Hollander, yet backup center, Seth Adelsperger gave Belmont some of his dunk action.
Belmont was carried by Dylan Windler who scored 35 points, including seven 3-pointers. The senior went 11-of-23 from the floor and 7-of-14 from long range. Kevin McClain added 19 yet no other Bruins reached double figures throughout the game.
The Terps are heading forward with their first postseason win for every player except Ivan Bender and Andrew Terrell.
Maryland will be advancing to the Round of 32 when they face LSU on Saturday, March 23.