EditorsNote: Updates with Harvard as Maryland’s semifinal opponent
Anthony Cowan Jr. scored a game-high 30 points, and Eric Ayala notched seven in a row down the stretch as No. 5 Maryland defeated Temple 76-69 on Thursday in an Orlando Invitational quarterfinal.
Maryland (6-0) next plays Harvard in a semifinal Friday. The Crimson beat Texas A&M 62-51 later Thursday.
Cowan carried the Maryland offense for various stretches as not many other players could seem to get going. The senior guard finished 11-for-19 from the field and made 4 of 8 3-pointers to help the sluggish Terrapins pull out a victory.
Alani Moore II and J.P. Moorman II sparked Temple (4-1) throughout the game. Moore led the way with 22 points while Moorman finished with 14.
The game stayed tight the whole way and was tied at 62 with less than three minutes left when Cowan drilled a 3-pointer from the left corner that gave Maryland the lead for good.
After a Jake Forrester jumper cut the lead to one, Ayala made two free throws and then a 3-pointer for a 70-64 lead. The teams battled again and Temple sliced the lead to three when Moorman made two free throws with 18 seconds remaining.
But Cowan and Jalen Smith each made two free throws for the 76-69 final.
Ayala finished with 13 points while Smith added 12 in Maryland’s sixth straight victory.
Maryland’s had a history of starting slowly in games this season, and that problem showed up again on Thanksgiving morning. Temple jumped out early and led for most of the first half, taking a 34-29 lead into the break.
The Owls also got a bit of a lift on offense from the debut of Forrester, finally granted his transfer waiver by the NCAA and immediately eligible to play after leaving Indiana. He ended up with six points — including the key bucket late — and two rebounds in 12 minutes to help Temple in different ways.
It just wasn’t enough as Maryland shot 50 percent in the second half, hitting 6 of 13 (46.2 percent) of its 3-point shots in the process.
—Field Level Media