Julian Reese Shines Once Again As Maryland Defeats Coppin State 95-79

After a hot start to the year, No. 23 Maryland welcomed program legend and Coppin State head coach Juan Dixon and company to College Park for a 4pm bout.

Maryland opened up with a Thanksgiving hangover, playing lazy defense and shooting the ball poorly. After five minutes, Maryland held a slight one-point advantage despite four different scorers. Kevin Willard was quick to make changes, checking in Noah Batchelor, Jahari Long and Ian Martinez as he looked for a spark off the bench. Maryland found its groove with eight minutes left in the first half, though, as the offense’s ball movement created space to find a slashing Martinez for the easy basket which was backed up by an open Donta Scott three that gave Maryland a 19-13 lead. Coppin State was quick to respond, knocking down three straight uncontested threes and five of their last seven from the field to take a three-point lead.

Coming out of the under-eight-minute timeout, there was a notable difference in the Maryland’s intensity. While still trailing by one, 24-23, Julian Reese began to catapult the offense with a nice spinning baseline lay-in as he opened the game 9-of-9 from the field.

Maryland was able to hold Coppin State without a field goal for four minutes which allowed them to create a seven point lead, but Coppin State guard Sam Sessoms knocked down his third three of the game to slow up the Terps’ momentum. As Maryland began to step on the gas pedal, they went into the half with an eleven-point lead. Despite starting 1-7 from three, the Terps knocked down two of their last three going into the break. Reese was by far the most impressive and dominant player on the floor. With 22 points, he shot 9-9 from the field to go along with 8 rebounds, six being offensive, 2 blocks and a steal. He and Hakim Hart combined for 36 of the team’s first-half points and were the only Maryland scorers to shoot the ball above 33%.

Coppin State came out of the half with more energy than Maryland as Sessoms picked up two early baskets before a Justin Winston three. After cutting the lead to six, Sessoms picks up two fouls, one being technical, which allowed Maryland to push their lead right back out to double digits.

Five minutes into the half, Coppin State was able to cut the lead back to six, but a tempers flared after a flagrant foul review halted momentum once again. Assistants Tony Skinn and Grant Billmeier were ejected from the game and technicals were given out to Reese, the Maryland bench, and Isiah Gross for Coppin State, but Maryland made their next five shots to give the Terps a thirteen point lead with just under twelve minutes left in the game.

Out in transition, Jahmir Young was able to find Martinez for an emphatic alley-oop which was the play of the game. With a fourteen-point lead and a 7-0 run, Maryland looked to run away, but a defensive lapse allowed Coppin State to get three easy baskets in the paint. Despite the stagnant offense and the poor shooting, Long finally knocked down a corner three to give Maryland a bit of momentum as they reached the final eight minutes of play.

With four minutes left in the game, Maryland finally began to separate itself from Coppin State. The physicality wore down on the Eagles and Maryland stretched their lead to eighteen. Reese sitting on the bench with four fouls for the majority of the half allowed Donta Scott and Young to get going, while Hart continued to impress on both sides of the ball.

With two minutes left in the game, Reese fouled out with a team-high 24 points. It wasn’t pretty, but Maryland cruised through the final minutes to take down Coppin State 95-79. The Terps shot just 4-21 from three and allowed the Eagles to shoot 55% from the field. On the bright side, Maryland had three players over 20 points for the first time since the last game inside Cole Field House back in 2002.

After moving to 6-0, Maryland will travel to Louisville on Tuesday in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

Top Performers:

Julian Reese: 24 points, 10 rebounds, 2 blocks

Jahmir Young: 21 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists

Hakim Hart: 22 points, 8 rebounds