Maryland opens Willard era with 71-49 win over Niagara

Maryland forward Donta Scott dribbles up court against Michigan State during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2022, in College Park, Md. Michigan State won 65-63. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — Donta Scott scored 18 points, Jahmir Young added 14 and coach Kevin Willard won in his debut at Maryland with a 71-49 victory over Niagara in a season opener on Monday night.

Willard was named coach on March 21, 2022 after coaching Seton Hall the previous 12 seasons.

Scott was 7 of 13 from the floor and made 4 of 5 3-pointers. It was his 95th career game and he is now 56 points shy of a career 1,000. Young was 5-of-10 shooting, grabbed seven rebounds and had four assists. Maryland shot 49% overall and made 9 of 20 from 3-point range.

Braxton Bayless scored 14 points to lead Niagara. Sam Iorio added 12 points, six rebounds and six assists.

A Julian Reese layup midway through the second half sparked a 12-4 surge, and Maryland led 60-43 with 4:39 remaining. Scott made a pair of 3-pointers during the stretch.

Maryland has won 46 consecutive home openers dating to the 1977-78 season during the Lefty Driesell era. It was also the teams first meeting since Maryland beat Niagara 86-70 in the opening round of the 2013 NIT.

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