COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — Jalen Smith had 17 points and eight rebounds, and No. 6 Maryland used depth and balance to wear down Fairfield in a 74-55 victory Tuesday might.
The Terrapins (4-0) took the lead for good at 9-8, increased the margin to 14 at halftime and cruised to the finish.
Anthony Cowan Jr. scored 12 points to pass James Gist and move into the Top 20 on Maryland’s career scoring list with 1,424.
Sophomore Ricky Lindo Jr. contributed a career-high 13 points, and Eric Ayala also scored 13.
Landon Taliaferro scored 15 for the Stags (1-4). Twelve of Fairfield’s 18 baskets were from beyond the arc.
Coming off an overtime loss to Loyola Maryland in which they committed 21 turnovers, the Stags had 16 against the Terrapins — at least one by nine different players.
Fairfield cut a 15-point deficit to 55-46 before baskets by Cowan and Smith began a 12-3 spurt that made it 67-49 with 6:12 left. The highlight of the run was a resounding dunk by Smith off an alley-oop pass from Hakim Hart following a Fairfield turnover.
The Stags made only one field goal over the final 8½ minutes.
Nine players scored in the first half for Maryland, and the Terrapins overcame an early deficit to take a 41-27 lead at the break.
Fairfield went 7 for 11 from beyond the arc before halftime, but committed 10 turnovers and was whistled for 12 fouls.
Maryland led 13-12 before a 3-pointer by Ayala and a dunk off a steal by Darryl Morsell sparked a 12-2 run that put the Terrapins up by 11.
Despite getting off to another slow start, the Terrapins completed the opening 20 minutes with their largest halftime lead of the season.
Fairfield: The Stags aren’t as bad as their 1-4 record might indicate. They’ve got plenty of hustle and some solid outside shooting, but the turnovers are too much to overcome.
Maryland: The Terrapins appear to have reached the point where they need to be challenged. Though the outcome was never in doubt, Maryland seemed content to play just good enough to stay comfortably in front.
Fairfield faces Southern California on Nov. 28 in the Orlando Classic.
Maryland concludes a five-game homestand Friday night against neighboring George Mason.
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