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How Layman 'probably won the game' for Maryland vs. SDSU


How Layman 'probably won the game' for Maryland vs. SDSU

SPOKANE, Wash. -- Maybe it was the Jordan-esque shrug as he got hot in the Big Ten tournament against Nebraska. Maybe it was the jawing with Eron Harris and Denzel Valentine in a hard-fought defeat the next night at the hands of Michigan State.

Whatever it was, you should know by now that something is different about Jake Layman of late. He showed it again on Friday, tying a career high by pouring in 27 points on 7-of-11 shooting and hitting all eight of his free throws to keep a foul-burdened Maryland team afloat in a 79-74 victory over South Dakota State in the first round of the NCAA tournament in Spokane.

As the Jackrabbits did all they could to shut down point guard Melo Trimble and throw bodies at big men Robert Carter, Jr. and Diamond Stone, they simply could not handle every single offensive threat that Maryland puts on the floor.

“Let’s face it,” South Dakota State coach Scott Nagy said after the game. “I mean, here we are leaving a 6-9 tremendous shooter, great body, great athlete, we’re having to leave him open because their post are unbelievable, their point guard is unbelievable.

“So, yeah, it is pick your poison and he’s the one who probably won the game for them. He hit some big shots and made big plays for them.”


Off of guard penetration or kickouts from bigs, Layman made his living in the corner. Both he and sophomore Jared Nickens feasted from three in a spot that turned out to be one of the few weak spots on the floor for the Jackrabbits defensively.

But Layman still had to take the shots once he caught the passes. And make the shots. For comparison, in last year's first-round game against Valparaiso, Layman attempted just one shot from the field. He missed it.

Friday? Twenty-seven points on just 11 shots from the field.

“I got to give Melo and Rasheed a lot of credit for that,” Layman said of the guards' ability to set him up. “They did a great job of driving and finding me on the wing in the corner. I was playing with confidence today, shot felt good.”

On a night when both Stone and Carter had four fouls and Trimble fouled out in the second half, someone had to steer the ship to port late as South Dakota State made tough shot after tough shot or was bailed out by careless Maryland fouls on the perimeter.

It was Layman.

His two free throws with 0:42 to play made a two-point game into a four-point game. Two more with 0:18 to play made a three-point game into a five-point game. Maryland would eventually close it out.

Layman said earlier this week that he wanted to leave Maryland after his senior season with no regrets. He shouldn’t have any after Friday’s performance.

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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.


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.


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


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.


"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.


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."


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.