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Maryland blows out Rutgers: 5 things you need to know

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Maryland blows out Rutgers: 5 things you need to know

COLLEGE PARK -- Maryland never trailed and it was never really close in Wednesday night’s 88-63 victory over Rutgers at XFINITY Center in College Park.

Against an undermanned and undersized Scarlet Knights team, Maryland simply overpowered the opposition by focusing on the interior offensively while flexing its muscle defensively to hold Rutgers to just 39 percent shooting from the floor.

Freshman Diamond Stone, in the starting lineup for the first time in the Big Ten season, scored 15 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. Redshirt junior Robert Carter, Jr., added 12 points and seven rebounds.

In the second half, the game shifted toward the perimeter. In the absence of Melo Trimble for the final 20 minutes (more on that below), Jake Layman led the way with 18 points and Rasheed Sulaimon added 15.

Here are five things you need to know.

1) Diamond starts again

Reversing a trend that was set over the past seven games, star freshman Diamond Stone was re-inserted into the starting lineup for the Terrapins. Stone was a focal point early against an undersized Rutgers front line, but Maryland still ran into some of the issues it had the last time Stone started.

Maryland’s overall skill and size advantage covered up some of the issues, but the game was 13-9 when Stone exited the game at the 14:25 mark. A slow, drawn-out 10-0 run over the next five minutes or so of game time opened up the game, but it was more of the defense that carried the Terrapins than the offense.

Maryland ended the half on a 33-9 run after the point at which it was 13-9.

2) Using their size

Stone and Robert Carter, Jr. steered the ship in the first half. Even against a Rutgers zone, the Terrapins were able to get the ball into the middle of the floor. Stone had eight points in 11 minutes in the first half. Stone had 10 points in 14 minutes.

Rutgers really had no answer in the post, both offensively and on the glass. The Terrapins had a 31-12 edge in rebounding at the half. They finished +22 on the boards.

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3) Injury issue with Melo?

Trimble played 14 minutes in the first half, but was being worked on by trainers on the sidelines with what looked to be a leg injury. Before the start of the second half, he was talking with the team’s athletic trainer and continued to try to stretch.

He did not start the second half. Rasheed Sulaimon and Jared Nickens started in the backcourt. Trimble remained on the bench throughout the second half. Official word from a Maryland spokesperson was that Trimble was held out with hamstring tightness.

More information should be provided postgame.

4) Bench gets plenty of run

By the two-minute mark of the first half, the Terrapins backcourt consisted of Jaylen Brantley and Varun Ram. Michal Cekovsky and Damonte Dodd saw a lot of time on the floor. With Trimble sitting out, there were even more available.

5) Nice performance from Nickens

Maryland’s bench has had some issues in recent games. Perhaps Wednesday night’s performance, ignited by Nickens, may carry over.

The three-point shooter and New Jersey native fittingly approached a double-double against his home state’s biggest school, putting up nine points and 10 rebounds.

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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.

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"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.