No. 7 Maryland takes on injury-plagued Seton Hall

NCAA Men's Basketball
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No. 7 Maryland will be trying to bounce back from its first loss of the season when it travels to play Seton Hall on Thursday in Newark, N.J.

Maryland (10-1) hasn’t played since it lost 76-69 at Penn State on Dec. 10. Anthony Cowan Jr. scored 16 in that game, while Eric Ayala (15), Aaron Wiggins (13) and Jalen Smith (12) all helped.

The problem was that the Terrapins finished with 20 turnovers, which the Nittany Lions turned into 22 points.

Maryland will hope to take better care of the ball and shake off the rust from the nine-day layoff against the injury-riddled Pirates.

The big question for Seton Hall (6-4) is whether Myles Powell is going to play. Powell, the team’s leading scorer at 21.2 points per game, suffered a concussion on Saturday against Rutgers and is out “indefinitely,” the school announced Tuesday morning. He was still in concussion protocol at that time.

“Myles’ health and well-being is of the utmost importance as he goes through concussion protocol,” Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard said in a statement earlier this week. “This is an unfortunate injury for Myles, who was in the middle of a special season.”

Earlier this season, Powell sprained his ankle against Stony Brook, and Willard said at that time that Powell would have a “prolonged absence.” But the Big East preseason Player of the Year returned five days later to score 37 points in a three-point loss to Michigan State.

That seems to be why Maryland is getting ready for him.

“We’re preparing like he’s playing until they officially announce he’s not playing,” Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said to NJ Advance Media. “We think he’s going to play, but I’m not up there, I’m not at practice, I don’t know what their protocol is and all that kind of thing.”

The loss of Powell would leave the Pirates without two starters. Sandro Mamukelashvili — the team’s second-leading scorer at 10.9 points per game — is on the shelf for six to eight weeks due to a fractured right wrist.

Seton Hall slipped out of the rankings this week but still has players like Quincy McKnight (9.6 points per game), plus Jared Rhoden (7.4) and more.

“They still got really good players,” Turgeon told NJ Advance Media. “And I looked at their roster, the guys that are playing without Sandro, and then the second half against Rutgers without Myles, they still got really good players out there. So we’re approaching it like we’re playing a really good Big East team that’s really well-coached in their building.”

Seton Hall is coming off a 68-48 loss to Rutgers last weekend, its second consecutive defeat.

Maryland is led by Cowan, a senior guard who is averaging 16.6 points per game and is strong defensively. He has made 37.9 percent of his 3-point shots (22 of 58), although long distance shooting has not been a team strength, as the Terrapins are hitting only 30.8 percent.

Smith is second on the team with 13.5 points while leading the team in rebounds (10.2 per game) and blocked shots (27).

–Field Level Media

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