Patrick Semansky
November 20, 2014

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) On a night when Maryland struggled to make shots, Terrapins coach Mark Turgeon leaned on his defense to take over the game.

Freshman Jared Nickens scored 13 points and Maryland won its third straight matchup to open the season with a 66-50 victory over Fordham on Thursday night. Jake Layman added 12 points for the Terrapins (3-0).

Maryland limited Fordham to just 19 of 62 (30.6 percent) from the field and scored 18 points off 16 Rams turnovers.

''I thought we were terrific defensively tonight,'' Turgeon said. ''I thought we guarded and we guarded and we guarded some more. We haven't really practiced switching screens very much, but we did it in the game tonight. It really helped us.''

Mandell Thomas and Ryan Rhoomes each had 14 points for Fordham (1-2).

Layman hit a pair of 3-pointers, and Dez Wells added another, to give the Terps an 11-5 lead with 14:16 left in the first half. Each team then struggled to make shots before a layup by Rhoomes pulled Fordham to within 16-15 with 4:47 left.

After shooting over 50 percent in its first two games, Maryland was just 21 of 47 (44.7 percent) against Fordham.

''We've been shooting the lights out in every game,'' Layman said. ''In the first half tonight, we didn't. I think defensively all game we were locked in.''

After Nickens provided Maryland with a 23-16 lead with 2 minutes remaining, Fordham's Jon Severe had a steal and layup at the buzzer to cut the margin to five at the break.

''I was just trying to come in and have an impact on the game,'' Nickens said. ''We had a mindset of trying to spread the `D.''' So, I came in and tried to knock down a couple of shots.''

The Terps then made their first three shots of the second half, including 3-pointers by Melo Trimble and Richaud Pack, that extended the lead to 34-24 with 15:54 left in the game. Maryland stayed in control and a pair of dunks by Layman and a jumper by Nickens provided a 15-point margin with 11:39 left.

Fordham continued to miss shots and Maryland took advantage. Another layup by Pack increased the lead to 53-34 with 4:18 remaining and the Terps had no trouble closing out the game.

''I think they're very impressive by the way that they all play to their strengths and nobody is trying to do things they can't do,'' Fordham coach Tom Pecora said of Maryland.

TIP-INS

Maryland: After losing to Fordham in their first matchup in 1956, the Terps have won nine consecutive games in the series.

Fordham: Eric Paschall, who was the Atlantic 10's Rookie of the Week after averaging 19.5 in his first two games, did not play after doctors detected an irregular heartbeat during a physical. Paschall underwent further tests and was cleared to resume practice Friday. Paschall scored 31 points in the season-opener against NYIT - a school record for most points scored by a freshman in his debut.

UP NEXT

Maryland takes on Arizona State in the CBE Hall of Fame Classic in Kansas City, Missouri, on Monday.

Fordham hosts UMass Lowell on Sunday.

BOUNCE BACK

Maryland was 8 of 22 from the field and made just 2 of 10 of its free throws in the first half. The Terps were much better after the break, going 13 of 25 from the field and converting 14 of 17 from the line.

CONFIDENCE GROWING

Maryland freshman Michal Cekovsky, a 7-foot-1 center from Slovakia, had his best game so far, going 3 of 4 from the field for six points and grabbing five rebounds.

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