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Jalen Smith's double-double helps Maryland rout Notre Dame

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) Maryland needed some time to get its offense going Wednesday night against Notre Dame. The third-ranked Terrapins’ defense, though, was never a problem.

Maryland held the Fighting Irish below 30 percent shooting in both halves, Jalen Smith had 15 points and a career-high 16 rebounds and the Terps cruised to a 72-51 victory in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

Notre Dame scored only four points in a span of 12:31 in the first half, struggling to find any decent looks against Maryland’s deep, lengthy, rangy rotation.

“I feel like it’s starting to become our identity,” sophomore guard Eric Ayala said. “We lock in defensively, our offense feeds off of that and we get out in transition and we make plays. It’s fun when we can just turn it on like that and everybody is just so into it on the defensive end.”

Ayala scored 14 points and Aaron Wiggins added 11 for the Terrapins (9-0), who are off to their best start since winning 10 in a row to open the 1998-99 season.

John Mooney had 17 points and 12 rebounds for Notre Dame (6-2), which had won six in a row since opening the season with a loss at North Carolina.

“That was varsity versus the JV tonight,” Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said. “We were the JV. The varsity toyed with us tonight. Hopefully we can rebound because we have a league game on Saturday, but I’m really impressed with them. The sky’s the limit for them.”

Maryland trailed 9-4 early on, but its defense ensured the Irish was never comfortable.

Ayala scored seven points in a row to turn a one-point game into a 21-13 lead, and later delivered a tomahawk slam a minute before the break. Wiggins capped the half by getting the carom from his missed 3-pointer and slamming it home for a 32-20 lead.

“We were kind of walking on eggshells offensively at the start,” Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said. “We weren’t aggressive enough, and we have to be a little bit more aggressive out of the chute.”

Smith recorded his fifth double-double of the season, matching his total from all of last season.

He was vital in the defensive effort, matching his career high with five blocks. Wiggins swatted three shots and helped harass Notre Dame guard T.J. Gibbs into a scoreless night with 11 missed field goals. Gibbs entered the night averaging 12 points.

“I think we’re much tougher than we were last year,” Turgeon said. “We could get pushed around last year and now we’re a much more physical team.”

Notre Dame never cut the deficit to less than 10 in the second half as Maryland snapped a six-game skid in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, a streak that began when the Terps were still in the ACC.

BIG PICTURE

Notre Dame: The Irish missed out on the first of their three chances for a noteworthy nonconference victory this month. Notre Dame will get chances at home against UCLA (Dec. 14) and in Indianapolis against Indiana (Dec. 21) for a brand-name triumph outside the ACC.

Maryland: The evidence continues to build that the Terps are an elite defensive team. Three days after holding Marquette star Markus Howard to just six points, Maryland smothered the Fighting Irish, limiting them to 29.0 percent from the floor.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

Maryland, which rose to No. 3 in this week’s poll after winning the Orlando Invitational, did nothing to dent its lofty ranking in the first of two games this week.

UP NEXT

Notre Dame: The Fighting Irish begin a three-game homestand Saturday, facing Boston College in their first ACC game in more than a month.

Maryland: The Terps open conference play on Saturday at home against Illinois, the first of two league games in a span of four days.

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Key Players
J. Mooney
33 F
A. Cowan Jr.
1 G
31.1 Min. Per Game 31.1
17.1 Pts. Per Game 17.1
4.5 Ast. Per Game 4.5
3.3 Reb. Per Game 3.3
41.7 Field Goal % 45.0
32.1 Three Point % 40.5
48.3 Free Throw % 75.0
  Defensive rebound by Makhi Mitchell 21.0
  Dane Goodwin missed jump shot 23.0
  Defensive rebound by Nate Laszewski 35.0
  Joshua Tomaic missed 3-pt. jump shot 37.0
+ 1 Nikola Djogo made 2nd of 2 free throws 50.0
  Nikola Djogo missed 1st of 2 free throws 50.0
  Shooting foul on Makhi Mitchell 50.0
  Defensive rebound by Nate Laszewski 53.0
  Makhi Mitchell missed tip-in 55.0
  Offensive rebound by Makhi Mitchell 1:02
  Joshua Tomaic missed jump shot 1:04
Team Stats
Points 51 72
Field Goals 18-62 (29.0%) 27-67 (40.3%)
3-Pointers 7-25 (28.0%) 8-29 (27.6%)
Free Throws 8-13 (61.5%) 10-14 (71.4%)
Total Rebounds 39 48
Offensive 7 10
Defensive 30 35
Team 2 3
Assists 11 18
Steals 2 4
Blocks 2 10
Turnovers 10 7
Fouls 14 11
Technicals 0 0
17 PTS, 12 REB, 2 AST
15 PTS, 16 REB, 3 AST
12T
away team logo Notre Dame 6-2 203151
home team logo 3 Maryland 9-0 324072
Team Stats
away team logo Notre Dame 6-2 72.3 PPG 43.9 RPG 16.3 APG
home team logo 3 Maryland 9-0 77.9 PPG 44.1 RPG 13.7 APG
Key Players
33
J. Mooney F 14.9 PPG 13.5 RPG 2.1 APG 41.7 FG%
25
J. Smith F 13.6 PPG 10.1 RPG 1.1 APG 48.5 FG%
Top Scorers
J. Mooney F 17 PTS 12 REB 2 AST
J. Smith F 15 PTS 16 REB 3 AST
29.0 FG% 40.3
28.0 3PT FG% 27.6
61.5 FT% 71.4
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
J. Mooney 17 12 2 5/12 3/6 4/6 2 31 1 0 1 2 10
P. Hubb 13 5 3 5/15 3/8 0/0 2 35 0 0 1 1 4
J. Durham 9 5 1 4/7 0/0 1/2 2 21 0 2 1 2 3
R. Pflueger 0 1 2 0/2 0/2 0/0 4 24 0 0 5 0 1
T. Gibbs 0 2 1 0/11 0/4 0/0 1 29 0 0 0 0 2
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
J. Mooney 17 12 2 5/12 3/6 4/6 2 31 1 0 1 2 10
P. Hubb 13 5 3 5/15 3/8 0/0 2 35 0 0 1 1 4
J. Durham 9 5 1 4/7 0/0 1/2 2 21 0 2 1 2 3
R. Pflueger 0 1 2 0/2 0/2 0/0 4 24 0 0 5 0 1
T. Gibbs 0 2 1 0/11 0/4 0/0 1 29 0 0 0 0 2
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
D. Goodwin 6 3 1 2/8 1/3 1/1 1 25 0 0 0 1 2
R. Carmody 5 2 1 2/4 0/1 1/2 2 13 1 0 1 0 2
N. Djogo 1 1 0 0/0 0/0 1/2 0 3 0 0 0 1 0
N. Laszewski 0 6 0 0/3 0/1 0/0 0 18 0 0 1 0 6
E. Morgan 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0
C. Ryan - - - - - - - - - - - - -
C. Doherty - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 51 37 11 18/62 7/25 8/13 14 200 2 2 10 7 30
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
J. Smith 15 16 3 5/12 2/3 3/6 2 28 0 5 1 4 12
E. Ayala 14 5 5 6/9 2/5 0/0 1 32 2 0 0 1 4
A. Wiggins 11 7 0 3/11 2/6 3/4 1 29 0 3 2 2 5
D. Morsell 10 7 4 4/8 0/2 2/2 2 27 1 0 3 1 6
A. Cowan Jr. 9 2 2 3/9 1/4 2/2 1 31 0 1 1 0 2
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
J. Smith 15 16 3 5/12 2/3 3/6 2 28 0 5 1 4 12
E. Ayala 14 5 5 6/9 2/5 0/0 1 32 2 0 0 1 4
A. Wiggins 11 7 0 3/11 2/6 3/4 1 29 0 3 2 2 5
D. Morsell 10 7 4 4/8 0/2 2/2 2 27 1 0 3 1 6
A. Cowan Jr. 9 2 2 3/9 1/4 2/2 1 31 0 1 1 0 2
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
D. Scott 4 3 2 2/5 0/3 0/0 1 16 0 0 0 1 2
H. Hart 3 0 1 1/4 1/4 0/0 0 11 0 0 0 0 0
J. Tomaic 2 0 0 1/3 0/1 0/0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0
R. Lindo Jr. 2 1 0 1/1 0/0 0/0 0 2 0 0 0 0 1
Ma. Mitchell 2 0 0 1/1 0/0 0/0 0 3 0 0 0 0 0
T. Valmon 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0
R. Mona 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 1 2 0 0 0 0 0
S. Smith Jr. 0 0 1 0/1 0/1 0/0 0 7 1 0 0 0 0
Ma. Mitchell 0 4 0 0/3 0/0 0/0 2 9 0 1 0 1 3
W. Clark - - - - - - - - - - - - -
C. Marial - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 72 45 18 27/67 8/29 10/14 11 200 4 10 7 10 35