Maryland Terps

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'A feel that you can’t teach' -- On Melo Trimble's progression

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'A feel that you can’t teach' -- On Melo Trimble's progression

COLLEGE PARK -- Maryland guard Rasheed Sulaimon received a pass near the right corner and swung the ball toward teammate Melo Trimble on the right wing early in the second half of Saturday’s game against Maryland-Eastern Shore in College Park.

Even before receiving the pass, Trimble literally had a smile on his face. He took the feed from Sulaimon, rose, and fired -- nailing three of his team-high 18 points. That’s when you knew he was on.

That was the moment during which, in contrast to other games this season when he has taken it upon himself to be a distributor for his teammates, it was clear that Trimble would be a scorer in a 77-56 victory at XFINITY Center.

“He has a feel that you can’t teach. He knows what he needs to do when he needs to do it,” head coach Mark Turgeon said. “That’s what makes him who he is.”

What is most remarkable is that Trimble’s 18 points came on six shots from the floor -- yes, six -- as he finished 4-of-4 from three-point range and 4-of-4 from the free throw line. In a game where his team needed scoring after surrendering a late run that cut their lead to just six before halftime, he shifted into gear.

It is part of Trimble’s continued year-over-year progression, where he at times looks more like a traditional point guard, but can still flip the switch and become the elite scorer he proved himself to be last season.

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“For today, I was on, so I was on. That was for me to shoot a lot,” Trimble said. “That’s just part of being a point guard and also just the teammates around me are really good, just an upgrade from last year, and that’s why I can do what I do.”

The next two weeks or so leading up to conference play are crucial for Trimble, but not in the traditional sense.

Between now and Dec. 29, Maryland has two games -- Dec. 19 vs. Princeton and Dec. 27 vs. Marshall. He and Sulaimon lead the team in minutes played per game at 32 and 31.7, respectively. This time off will be about rest for those two.

Does Turgeon truly have trust in backup guard Jaylen Brantley? He played only seven minutes in a game where he likely could have gotten more run. When push comes to shove in conference play, will Turgeon be willing to turn to the junior college transfer or ride it out with his two star guards?

My bet is the latter, which means that plenty of ice baths and rest could be part of this holiday season for the Big Ten’s Preseason Player of the Year.

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Palmer's big 2nd half lifts Huskers past Maryland

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Palmer's big 2nd half lifts Huskers past Maryland

LINCOLN, Neb. -- James Palmer Jr. scored 24 of his 26 points in the second half, Isaiah Roby had all 11 of his after half, and Nebraska held off Maryland 70-66 on Tuesday night.

Palmer and Roby combined for 35 of the Cornhuskers' 40 second-half points, and they secured their first 20-win season since 2008. They won a sixth straight conference game for the first time in 20 years.

Palmer scored 15 straight points for the Huskers (20-8, 11-4 Big Ten) over a 10-minute span that ended when Roby hit one of two free throws with 2:57 left for a 64-59 lead. Roby had a double-double, with 10 rebounds, and he also blocked three shots.

The Terps (17-11, 6-9) had a chance to take the lead with a minute to play, but Glynn Watson Jr. blocked Anthony Cowan Jr.'s 3-point try, Evan Taylor came up with the loose ball and got it to Watson.

Watson missed a 3-pointer coming out of a timeout, and Roby got the rebound and was immediately fouled. He made both free throws for a 66-63 lead. Kevin Huerter's layin cut it to one point before Watson made two free throws.

Huerter went to the line with 2.8 seconds left, and after making the first free throw he intentionally missed the second. Palmer got the rebound, was fouled and put the game away with two free throws.

Bruno Fernando led the Terps with 21 points and nine rebounds. Huerter added 12 points and Darryl Morsell had 11.

BIG PICTURE

Maryland: The Terps' fading NCAA Tournament hopes might have been dashed with their seventh straight road loss.

Nebraska: The Huskers are resting firmly on the NCAA bubble and absolutely needed this win. They got it, thanks to Palmer and Roby's efforts in the second half.

UP NEXT

Maryland hosts Rutgers on Saturday. It's the teams' only meeting this season.

Nebraska visits Illinois. The Huskers beat the Illini 64-63 in Lincoln on Jan. 15.

RELATED: DMV College Basketball Power Rankings: Missed opportunities

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Maryland overwhelmed by Penn State in close loss

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USA TODAY Sports

Maryland overwhelmed by Penn State in close loss

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Lamar Stevens feels like he's playing his most consistent basketball right now, a bad omen for upcoming opponents considering Penn State expects its hybrid forward to do a little bit of everything.

Just like he did on Wednesday.

Stevens scored 25 points on 10-of-12 shooting with 14 in the second half to lift Penn State over Maryland 74-70.

RELATED: UPDATED DMV POWER RANKINGS

"Lamar really stepped up for us," Penn State coach Patrick Chambers said. "We needed every one of those points that he had tonight."

Tony Carr added 16 points, Josh Reaves scored 14, and Mike Watkins added 11 for the Nittany Lions (17-9, 7-6 Big Ten Conference), who equaled their previous best mark for conference victories under Chambers.

"The best teams always find ways to win," Stevens said. "We locked down when we had to, got huge stops, huge rebounds and I think that's a huge step for this team."

With Maryland (16-10, 5-8) up 20-14 midway through the first half, Stevens nailed his first of two 3-pointers to spark a quick 9-0 run that helped Penn State take control.

He rolled layups off his fingers and sank midrange jumpers on multiple back-to-back possessions in the second half, where he scored 11 of his team's first 20 points.

"He made some incredible, incredible shots," Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said. "He was terrific, he was so efficient."

Stevens added four rebounds, two assists and was 3-for-4 on free throws with all three makes coming in the final 5:48 as Maryland threatened.

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Anthony Cowan Jr. led Maryland with 15 points while Kevin Huerter and Bruno Fernando added 13 apiece.

Darryl Morsell had 10 points for the Terrapins, who cut a 10-point deficit with 8:11 to play to just three with 1:13 left.

"I didn't think we competed in the first half defensively," Turgeon said. "I thought in the second half, we were really trying hard."

BIG PICTURE

Maryland: The Terrapins' disappointing season continues and they have dropped to 7-7 since stalwart forward Justin Jackson's season was ended by a torn shoulder ligament in late December. Although they shot better than their season average, the Terrapins were badly outplayed in the paint, getting outscored 32-22 and outrebounded 27-23.

Penn State: The Nittany Lions are playing an exciting brand of basketball as of late. They have a combined 22 dunks over their last three home games and opponents are finding it hard to play fast against a team that thrives on speed.