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Maryland advances to Sweet 16 with win over Hawaii: 5 things to know

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Maryland advances to Sweet 16 with win over Hawaii: 5 things to know

SPOKANE, Wash. -- This was right where Maryland was last season, with one game to win to send themselves to the Sweet 16 and a matchup against the No. 1 overall seed in the bracket.

Maryland didn’t let this chance slip away.

Thanks to a monster 17-2 run in the second half that broke open a game that had been a defensive battle up to that point, Maryland pulled away from a pesky and upset-minded Hawaii team, 73-60, on Sunday night in Spokane. They now advance to the Sweet 16 to face Kansas.

Melo Trimble led the way with 24 points. Rasheed Sulaimon and Diamond Stone each had 14. Here are five things you need to know.

1) Ice cold out of the gate

Maryland was 1-of-9 from the floor to start, including its first six shots from three. Hawaii outrebounded them 10-3 early. The Rainbow Warriors had multiple possessions where they had two or even three opportunities off of offensive rebounds. Diamond Stone dropped a rebound off his foot and it went out of bounds.

Hawaii played off of that tentativeness to get its small but vocal section of the crowd into the game.

2) Getting back into it

After getting the initial jitters out of their system, Maryland started to pound the ball on the inside. Stone was a massive part of that. Maryland fed the ball into the paint and went right at Hawaii star Stefan Jankovic. That forced him to make a decision -- lock down on Stone or risk committing a foul?

When trailing 13-6, Maryland used a 12-2 run to flip the game into an 18-15 lead.

3) Playing to near-even at the half

For all of the mistakes and problems that plagued Maryland in the first half, to lead by one point should be a minor victory for the Terrapins. They got the jitters out of their system. They understood what Hawaii would throw at them. They got a feel for how Jankovic would attack.

The game essentially reset at halftime.

4) The answer is in transition -- with a catalyst

Hawaii’s half-court defense is suffocating. They rank 11th in the country in defensive efficiency for a reason. The Terrapins were not hitting threes. The best way to attack aggressive defense is to get out on the break and give yourself numbers, which means a mismatch in your favor and easier points.

The only way to do that is to force turnovers or close out defensive possessions with rebounds and run out quickly the other way. With Trimble or Sulaimon leading the break, Maryland attacked the rim and got points they badly needed.

5) The difference makers

Robert Carter, Jr. had about as sensational a defensive game on Hawaii star Stefan Jankovic as the Terrapins could have hoped for. Before fouling out with 1:55 to play, Jankovic had 13 points on 5-of-16 shooting from the floor. Of his three threes, one was a stepback over Diamond Stone. Another was from near the start of the mid-court logo at the top of the key.

Hawaii came into this game ranked 214th in the country in foul shooting at 69 percent. Maryland ranked 11th at 76.5 percent. Hawaii tried to press, but Maryland kept its head on straight and for the most part did not turn the basketball over.

Those all combined to allow Maryland to seal the deal late.

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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.

MORE TERPS: MARYLAND STILL CONSIDERED BY MANY BRACKETOLOGISTS

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.