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Strong second half propels Maryland past Lehigh

Sportsnaut
Dec 5, 2021; College Park, Maryland, USA; Maryland Terrapins forward Donta Scott (24) runs down the court during the first half against the Northwestern Wildcats  at Xfinity Center. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 5, 2021; College Park, Maryland, USA; Maryland Terrapins forward Donta Scott (24) runs down the court during the first half against the Northwestern Wildcats at Xfinity Center. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

In the first game after the Christmas break, Maryland used a dominating second half to defeat Lehigh, 76-55, Tuesday night in College Park, Md.

Eric Ayala put up a game-high 20 points in the win, shooting 8-for-13 from the field and 3-for-6 from three. Ayala was one of five Maryland (7-4) players who scored in double-figures, including 17 points from Donta Scott and 12 points from Julian Reese, tying a career-high.

Unfortunately for the Terps, the biggest news in the win was the loss of point guard Fatts Russell, who sustained a knee injury with nine minutes left in the second half and didn’t return to the floor.

The Terps hadn’t played a game in two weeks and nearly had to wait several more days after COVID canceled its initial matchup against Loyola (MD). However, Lehigh was found as a replacement and played Maryland tough in the first half.

It was just a three-point game at halftime as the Mountain Hawks (1-10) shot 45.2 percent from the floor and had two players, Jeameril Wilson and Evan Taylor, in double figures in scoring at the half.

Taylor led all scorers with 12 points in the first half and Lehigh led as late as 19-16 with just under 10 minutes left in the first half.

Lehigh went on an 11-3 run from the 2:30 mark in the half to make it 37-34 at halftime, but a 15-2 run for the Terps to start the second half put the game away for good.

Maryland shot 42.1 percent in the game and outscored Lehigh 39-21 in the second half, holding the Mountain Hawks to 17.9 percent shooting in the half.

Lehigh finished with three scorers in double-figures as Wilson finished with a team-high 17 points in the loss.

The Terps dominated from the free-throw line, shooting 23-for-26 and getting into the double bonus before the 10-minute mark in the second half. Maryland also won the battle of the boards, 47-27 and outscored Lehigh, 36-20, in the paint.

–Field Level Media