Maryland leaves La Salle searching for answers winning 84 – 71
Maryland expelled the Explorers of La Salle this evening with a victory. The Terps entered the game with a 3 – 0 record all time against La Salle and with the victory, the Terps increased their winning streak to four against the A10 opponent winning 84 – 71.
Maryland spend all season looking for a consistent scoring threat and Eric Ayala navigated the Terps with a career high twenty three points and six assists as Maryland righted its own course after suffering back-to-back losses.
The journey began when Maryland forward Jairus Hamilton gladly joining the fight by firing eight early points in his duel with Jhamir Bricks as La Salle found itself down 30 — 22 with 5:06 left to play in the first half.
Aaron Wiggins found his rhythm with 2:02 to go in the first half, collecting a steal and breakaway dunk and hitting a three pointer for only the second time in the last four games.
As mentioned earlier, Maryland has been looking for another scoring option besides Donta Scott and Jairus Hamilton put himself back in the narrative leading the first half in scoring with ten points and adding two rebounds.
Coach Ashely Howard, son of former Terp Mo Howard, searched for options as his team was down in the contest. Jack Clark scored early baskets in the second half, pulling La Salle back within ten points but Maryland’s combination of Scott, Ayala, and Hamilton were more than what they were searching for tonight. Leading scorer at the time Jack Clark picked up his fourth foul with over thirteen minutes to play.
After losing Clark, the Explorers went on a 7 – 0 run to bring the game with seven, but Hakim Hart got some space and answered with a three of his own to put the Terps back up by double digits.
La Salle guard David Beatty was a beast early for the Explorers circumnavigating his team with three points, four rebounds, and three assists, but could not find his path in the second half. Mark Turgeon looked to his bench in which Hakim Hart made his presence known with several second half rebounds and an emphatic dunk from an mid court lob from Eric Ayala halting any further attempts by the Explorers. Not to be outdone, Donta Scott finished with a one handed slam off of a missed attempt that seemed to put the final touches of the game.
After two poor shooting games for Maryland, the Terps responded by having five players finish with double digit points in Ayala, Scott, Hamilton, Wiggins, and Hart. As a team, they hoisting 65 shots and sinking 30 of them for a 46.2% from the field. They did not shoot well from distance only shooting 25% as a team, but their overall play allowed them to sit comfortablly from the drivers seat. Eric Ayala scored 23 points, and Aaron Wiggins added 15 in the victory.
Maryland’s journey continues as they face Purdue 2:30, Christmas day at Mackey Complex.