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Maryland closes out Michigan: 5 things you need to know

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Maryland closes out Michigan: 5 things you need to know

COLLEGE PARK -- After losing Thursday to a Minnesota team that was previously winless in Big Ten play, Sunday against Michigan was about as close to a must-win game as Maryland has had this season.

They got it.

After a second-half battle that saw momentum swing back and forth, Maryland was able to close out the Wolverines down the stretch in a crucial 86-82 victory on Sunday in College Park.

Four Terrapins were in double figures, led by 17 points from Robert Carter, Jr. on 8-of-13 shooting. Jake Layman had 16. Melo Trimble found his offensive groove again with 14.

Junior Mark Donnal was the unlikely offensive centerpiece for the Wolverines, stretching the floor to score 25 points.

Here are 5 things you need to know.

1) Absorbing early punches

On Thursday, Minnesota was hot from the perimeter and Maryland could not respond. On Sunday, Michigan hit two threes in the first four minutes but the Terrapins did not lay down. Credit Jake Layman in part for that.

He hit a three off great ball movement to the corner, then blocked a shot, ran back the other direction and laid the ball in plus the foul. That set the tone.

Ball movement was on another level. Damonte Dodd put a lid on the rim in the first eight minutes. The defense turned into offense in transition. After the game was tied, 12-12, Maryland ripped off a 14-0 run to take command. Michigan went more than seven minutes without a made field goal during that stretch.

2) Hello from the bench

Over the last two games, Maryland bench as a whole had produced six points. On Sunday against Michigan, they were integral to the hot start. With Diamond Stone back in the lineup, Dodd could go back to what he excels at -- playing defense and rebounding.

It should be considered a win if Jaylen Brantley can simply hold the fort while Melo Trimble gets a breather. Sunday, he was an asset. While Trimble went to the bench in the first half, Brantley stepped in and played with confidence. He had five straight points in a key early stretch.

In the first half, Jared Nickens equaled his point total from the previous four games combined (6).

3) Persistent problems let Michigan back into it

If there were two issues that continually allow teams to stay in game against Maryland, those problems would be turnovers and the opponent’s ability to shoot from the outside. After that 14-0 run that swung momentum in Maryland’s favor, the Wolverines started hitting shots.

Michigan hit five threes in the final six minutes of the first half and closed the halftime gap to five after trailing by as many as 16. The Wolverines finished 13-of-27 from deep.

Diamond Stone’s return was clearly important to the overall offensive flow, though, and his 10 points in the first helped to stem the tide.

4) Shootout out of halftime, so enter Jake Layman.

The way the early part of the second half was playing out, it seemed like neither team would ever get a stop. Defense was such a catalyst in the first half for Maryland that the lack of it affected its offense in the second half.

Then Maryland, with help from Jake Layman, pushed back. The Terrapins led by as many as eight with 8:59 to go before that outside shooting and turnover conversion got the Wolverines back into it.

5) The final stretch

Maryland led by one point at the under-four timeout of this game. Over the past two years, this is where the poise and control of guard Melo Trimble has helped the Terrapins close games. Of late, though, this turnover bug and uncharacteristic bout of shot selection have plagued him.

Robert Carter, Jr. was the difference maker in the final minutes. He had six points in the final 4:46, including an effort to crash the board. Rasheed Sulaimon hit two big free throws to extend the lead to five with less than 20 seconds to play before Duncan Robinson’s three cut it two with 6.9 left.

Who else but Melo Trimble hit two free throws to make it a four-point game and seal the deal.

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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.