No. 13 Maryland shakes off slow start, handles Bryant 84-70

Bryant University head coach Jared Grasso directs his team during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Maryland, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019, in College Park, Md. (AP Photo/Brien Aho)
Maryland freshman center Chol Marial (15) works the floor during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Bryant University, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019, in College Park, Md. (AP Photo/Brien Aho)
Bryant University guard Ikenna Ndugba (0) drives down the court during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Maryland, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019, in College Park, Md. (AP Photo/Brien Aho)

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Anthony Cowan Jr. scored 19 points and No. 13 Maryland beat Bryant 84-70 Sunday to end a two-game slide in the nonconference finale for both teams.

Aaron Wiggins added 15 points and Jalen Smith had 11 points and 10 rebounds for his eighth double-double of the season.

The Terrapins (11-2) struggled with turnovers in losses at Penn State and Seton Hall and committed 16 giveaways Sunday. They overcame them this time and pulled away late to improve to 8-0 at home.

Adam Grant scored 25 points for the Bulldogs (8-5), who had won four in a row and have never beaten a ranked team.

Maryland led 36-31 at the break, but Bryant was still within six points with less than 12 minutes to play. The Terps rattled off eight consecutive points, and the Bulldogs never got within 10 the rest of the way.

The game marked the debut of Maryland’s 7-foot-2 freshman Chol Marial, who was beset by injuries late in his high school career and had yet to play after undergoing surgery on stress fractures in both legs in September. Marial finished with six points and five rebounds in 14 minutes.

Maryland was playing for the first time since freshman twins Makhi and Makhel Mitchell opted to transfer Friday.

BIG PICTURE

Bryant: The Bulldogs have made a habit of pestering Big Ten teams under second-year coach Jared Grasso, and Sunday was no different. Bryant lost by five at Iowa exactly a year earlier, and dropped a two-point decision at Rutgers on Nov. 7. The Bulldogs fell to 0-13 all-time against the Big Ten.

Maryland: The Terps’ trademark slow start was somewhat understandable since they had played just twice in the previous three weeks. Still, Maryland will need to be sharper from the beginning of games as it dives into the bulk of its Big Ten schedule in the coming weeks.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

With such a light week across the country, Maryland is unlikely to move much in either direction after snapping its two-game skid.

UP NEXT

Bryant: The Bulldogs play five of their first six Northeast Conference games at home, starting with Thursday’s visit from Saint Francis (Pa.).

Maryland: The Terrapins resume league play Saturday when they face 11-1 Indiana. The home team has won all six regular season meetings since Maryland joined the Big Ten.

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More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

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