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Career night propels Melo Trimble to another Big Ten Player of the Week award

Career night propels Melo Trimble to another Big Ten Player of the Week award

Melo Trimble is the straw that stirs the No. 24 Maryland Terrapins' drink, and during the team's most important week of the regular season, we saw just how important he is.

The junior guard scored a career-high 32 points in a pivotal road victory against a NCAA Tournament-bound Northwestern team, and followed it up with 27 points in a tough road loss against then No. 11 Wisconsin.

The two-game performance was enough for the Big Ten to award Trimble with Player of the Week honors, the fourth time he has received the award.

Trimble made 12 of his 17 field goal attempts against the Wildcats, including 4-of-5 from beyond the arc. He also contributed three assists and grabbed four rebounds. Against Wisconsin, he scored the bulk of his 27 points in the second half, but struggled from the free throw line, making just 5 of his 10 attempts.

Against the Wildcats, Trimble carried the load, putting the team on his back, and it was more than enough.

He attempted to do the same against the Badgers, but needed some extra help. That's where the Terps have struggled this season. Freshman Justin Jackson, Kevin Huerter and Anthony Cowan have the ability to do so, but they are still just freshman, meaning consistent output on the road late in the season is far from a guarantee.

But one thing is for sure, Melo Trimble continues to prove that he is the type of player that can single-handily carry a team to the NCAA Tournament's second weekend.

The Big Ten knows this, and it won't be long before the rest of the country does too.

RELATED: TERPS CONTINUE TO SLIDE DOWN AP TOP 25 POLL

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Maryland survives injury scare in blowout home win

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USA TODAY Sports

Maryland survives injury scare in blowout home win

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Michal Cekovsky made every shot he took, scoring 15 points to go with eight rebounds, and Maryland breezed past Ohio 87-62 Thursday night.

Cekovsky went 6 for 6 from floor and sank all three of his free throws. The 7-foot-1 sophomore from Slovakia was pulled with 7:22 left and finished one point short of his career high.

Kevin Huerter scored 17 points for Maryland (8-3), and Anthony Cowan Jr. contributed 12 points, eight rebounds and seven assists.

Coming off three straight tough games -- narrow losses to Syracuse and Purdue, followed by an overtime victory at Illinois -- the Terrapins never trailed.

The victory was marred by an injury to 6-10 freshman forward Bruno Fernando, who sprained his right ankle with 11:21 remaining and was helped off the court.

Mike Laster scored 14 for the Bobcats (4-4). Ohio, a member of the Mid-American Conference, previously lost to Clemson, Dayton and Iona.

Maryland sophomore forward Justin Jackson missed part of Wednesday's practice with an illness and was absent from the starting lineup for only the fourth time in 43 games. He played 19 minutes and scored 10 points.

The Terps made their first five shots and got six points from Cekovsky in grabbing to a 15-2 lead. Maryland then missed six of nine attempts before Jackson peeled off nine straight points to make it 30-14.

Huerter had only six points in the first half, which ended with Maryland up 41-28. The sophomore guard scored eight points in the first eight minutes after halftime, including a soft jump shot that made it 51-31 with 16:55 left.

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Anthony Cowan leads Maryland over Illinois 92-91 in OT

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USA Today Sports

Anthony Cowan leads Maryland over Illinois 92-91 in OT

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Maryland stopped a furious Illinois second-half comeback to steal a 92-91 overtime win in Big Ten conference action Sunday night.

Either team could have won the game in the final minutes and seconds, trading shots and fouls like heavyweight boxers.

"That was a big-time college basketball game," Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said. "We were terrific in the first half, and they were terrific in the second half. It's a game we probably shouldn't have won, but we'll take it."

Anthony Cowan scored 27 points to lead Maryland (7-3, 1-1 Big Ten). Justin Jackson scored 20 and Kevin Huerter added 17 for the Terrapins.

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Leron Black led Illinois (6-3, 1-1 Big Ten), while Mark Alstork scored 17 and Aaron Jordan added 15.

Maryland held a commanding 45-26 lead at the half, led by Cowan's 16 points, nine from outside the 3-point line.

Illinois mounted a furious comeback in the second half, taking its first lead of the game 74-73 with 1:51 left in regulation. Maryland's Bruno Fernando tipped in a shot at the buzzer to send the game into overtime with the score tied 75-75. Cowan sank a free throw with six-tenths of a second left in overtime for the win.

"Bruno's tip was amazing," Turgeon said. "The basketball gods were with us tonight."

It was the third loss in a row for the Illini, after losing at Wake Forest and in overtime at Northwestern in its conference opener. Maryland also was coming off two losses, at Syracuse and to Purdue at home.

First-year Illinois coach Brad Underwood was nearly speechless after the game. "I really don't even know what to say. I mean, we didn't lose the game, but we did. We had it and gave it away. It was very disappointing."

After both teams turned over the ball to open the game. Maryland went on a 10-0 run before Underwood went to the Illinois bench early, pulling all five starters and essentially rotating two teams the remainder of the game.

"I can't say enough for our bench tonight," Underwood said. "They were amazing."

Illinois slowly crept back, at one point pulling to within three points, 14-11, before the Terrapins began to systematically pound the ball inside and outside against a smaller Illinois team for its commanding halftime lead.

Illinois opened the second half slowly but picked up steam on a Michael Finke dunk with 12:25 left in regulation to pull the Illini to within 11. Aaron Jordan hit three consecutive three-pointers to tie the score at 69 with four minutes left in regulation.

"They are so fast and quick," Turgeon said. "Illinois is just a different kind of animal. They come at you in waves. They made some incredible shots. We're still learning and I'm really glad we won tonight."

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