In a second half that exposed the perils of Maryland’s inexperience, senior guard Sean Mosley provided the steadying influence, well-timed points and key rebounds that helped the Terrapins edge Cornell on Tuesday night.
And Mosley, Maryland’s only fourth-year player, did it despite re-aggravating the right ankle injury that hasn’t fully healed after he tore two ligaments during summer-league play.
Mosley led all players with 19 points while adding six assists, two steals and two blocks. And, as Maryland frittered away what had been a 23-point lead with six turnovers and 0-of-9 shooting to open the second half, Mosley provided a huge psychological boost by finally hitting the shot (a three-pointer) that snapped the drought with 8 minutes 34 seconds remaining.
All told, it was a terrific night for Mosley, whose last double-digit scoring performance was Dec. 14, when he scored 12 points against Florida International. The senior guard had practiced sparingly of late after re-injuring his ankle and sat out the last 10 minutes of Maryland’s 75-63 victory over Samford on New Year’s Eve in hopes of healing for the start of ACC play Sunday, when Maryland travels to North Carolina State.
On the bench for much of the Terrapins’ most dismal second-half stretch against Cornell (which outscored Maryland 36-29 in the period), Mosley got an earful of Coach Mark Turgeon’s frustration over his young team’s rash shot selection and spotty defense.
“He kept saying: ‘I’m not going to call a timeout. They’re going to have to figure it out,’ ” Mosley recounted after Maryland’s 70-62 victory. “He wanted us to mature as young men and figure out things on our own because sometimes when things are bad on the road, you can’t keep burning every time. Some timeouts you’re going to need down the stretch when games are close.”
What Turgeon wanted his players to do was quit tossing up the off-balance jump-shots that weren’t falling (freshman Nick Faust was 1 of 11 from the field, missing all five of his three-point attempts) and start driving the ball for higher-percentage shots and, ideally, trips to the free throw line.
“We got frustrated down the stretch and tried to score too quick and make some fancy plays,” Mosley said. “It cost us. But we came out with a win, and that’s the only thing we can ask for.”