COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — Jalen Smith had 19 points and 13 rebounds in his college debut, Bruno Fernando and Anthony Cowan each scored 15 and Maryland opened its 100th season by squeezing past Delaware 73-67 Tuesday night.
The Terrapins let a 22-point lead shrink to 70-67 before Cowan made three free throws to stifle the comeback bid.
Maryland (1-0) won with a roster that contains six freshmen, four sophomores and one scholarship senior.
Fernando, a 6-foot-10 sophomore, went 5 for 5 from the floor and tallied 11 points to help Maryland take a 44-27 halftime lead.
Senior Eric Carter scored 22 of his career-high 29 points in the second half for the Blue Hens (0-1), now 0-10 against Big Ten foes. Carter went 12 for 14 from the floor and had a team-high nine rebounds.
Smith, a highly touted 6-10 forward out of Baltimore, teamed with Fernando to give Maryland a formidable presence in the frontcourt. The Terps snagged 15 offensive rebounds and finished with a 44-33 rebounding advantage.
Delaware led only once, 20-19 with 10 minutes elapsed, before successive dunks by Fernando and Joshua Tomaic put the Terps in charge.
After the Blue Hens closed to 29-26, a dunk by Fernando launched a 15-1 spree. Delaware did not make a basket over the final 5 minutes of the half.
Delaware: The Blue Hens are picked to finish seventh in the Colonial Athletic Association, but it was hard to tell by their performance on the road against a Big Ten squad. Delaware failed to wilt after falling behind by 22 with just under 15 minutes to go.
Maryland: The Terrapins should improve as they mature, and Smith appears on his way to a terrific freshman season.
Delaware takes another shot at a road victory, facing St. Peter’s of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference on Saturday night.
Maryland takes a short trip to Annapolis on Friday night to take on Navy in the Veteran’s Classic.
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