LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Anthony Cowan Jr. scored 17 of his 20 points in the second half to help No. 5 Maryland overcome another slow start to remain unbeaten with an 80-73 victory over Harvard in the semifinals of the Orlando Invitational on Friday.
Cowan followed up on a 30-point performance in the previous day’s come-from-behind win over Temple with 10 points and an assist during a 12-4 burst that sparked a game-closing surge by the Terrapins (7-0), who have won seven straight to begin a season for the first time in three years.
Jalen Smith had 15 points and 10 rebounds and Aaron Wiggins, Darryl Morsell and Eric Ayala scored 13 apiece for Maryland, which will play Marquette or USC in Sunday’s championship game at Disney World.
Bryce Aiken led Harvard (5-3) with 30 points, but the Crimson missed 18 of 26 attempts from behind the 3-point arc and didn’t have enough muscle or firepower to hold off the Terps after leading by as many as 11 in the opening half. Noah Kirkwood finished with 12 points and Robert Baker had 11.
Maryland: The Terps fell behind 9-0 in the opening minutes and trailed 35-31 at halftime. They also overcame a slow start against Temple on Thursday, but found a way to win despite not shooting well from the foul line. In addition to turning the ball over 16 times, the Terps made just 25 of 40 free throws.
Harvard: The Crimson would have led by more at halftime if they hadn’t gone 1 of 10 on 3-point attempts. After going 22 for 22 from the line in beating Texas A&M in the first round, Harvard only shot 17 free throws against Maryland, making 10.
Maryland: Plays Marquette or USC in Sunday’s championship game.
Harvard: Plays the loser of the Marquette-USC semifinal for third place Sunday.