The Terrapins, coming off their 24-7, Big Ten regular season championship campaign, are 1-0 after an impressive 85-67 home win over Old Dominion on Wednesday.
Navy (1-0) and the Terps last tangled two years ago with Maryland pulling away in the second half for a 78-57 victory. Before that, though, the two teams hadn't met since 1985 when Len Bias brought Maryland from behind for a 64-59 win over David Robinson and Navy in the NCAA Tournament.
Navy opened 2020-21 Wednesday with a 78-71 home win over George Washington when four Midshipmen scored in double figures, led by junior guard John Carter Jr. with 17, and senior point guard Cam Davis with 15. With four starters and 10 lettermen back from a 14-16 squad a year ago, the Mids should be a major threat in the Patriot League and perhaps beyond.
"We have some talented returning players and we're deeper than in the past," coach Ed DeChellis said. "I think we'll be a good defensive team and a good rebounding team and I think we've got the ability to be effective offensively."
The Terrapins got a superlative effort from new starting point guard Eric Ayala, who had 19 points on 6-for-6 shooting with five rebounds, three assists and no turnovers against ODU. Ayala is stepping in for graduated All-Big Ten guard Anthony Cowan.
Forward Donta Scott came off the bench to score 14 points, and guards Aaron Wiggins and Darryl Morsell both chipped in 12. The Terps shot 47.6 percent and had just nine turnovers in winning their 44th consecutive home opener.
"I thought we played really well," said Maryland coach Mark Turgeon. "So we played 10 guys early and everybody's nervous. It's hard to get a rhythm. We played the guys we wanted to play and then we got our press going. Playing a game this early, (ODU) had no idea we're going to run that press so they struggled with it. Our next opponent will be more ready for it."
Maryland holds a slim 31-28 edge in the all-time series with Navy that initiated 101 years ago. The two schools are just 30 miles apart.
Mount St. Mary's will be both of these teams' next opponent: Navy plays The Mount Saturday in College Park at 3 p.m., and the Terrapins host The Mount at 2 p.m. Sunday.
Maryland's following game Dec. 1 with Monmouth has already been canceled because the Hawks had a player or staff member test positive for COVID-19.
--Field Level Media
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