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Maryland knocked out of Big Ten regular-season title race

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Maryland knocked out of Big Ten regular-season title race

By LUKE MEREDITH, AP Sports Writer

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) -- The thought of Indiana winning even a sliver of the Big Ten title seemed far-fetched in January.

After two months of inspired and unexpectedly stellar play, the Hoosiers have claimed the crown all for themselves.

Yogi Ferrell had 20 points, including a crucial 3 with 37 seconds, and No. 12 Indiana clinched its second outright Big Ten title in four years by holding off No. 16 Iowa 81-78 on Tuesday night.

Troy Williams had 15 points for the Hoosiers (24-6, 14-3), who will be the No. 1 seed in next week's conference tournament.

Iowa fell behind by as many as 14 points before a 24-8 run put it back in front 74-72. The Hawkeyes then got the ball back with 6 seconds left down 3, but Peter Jok's potential game-tying 3 grazed the rim.

Jarrod Uthoff had 18 points to lead the reeling Hawkeyes (20-9, 11-6), who have lost five of six after a 10-1 start in the Big Ten.

Iowa's recent slide paved the way for Indiana, a surprise for much of this season following a shaky nonconference showing, to surge into first.

The Hoosiers closed out Iowa and the rest of the league with their most impressive road win to date.

Indiana hit seven of their first eight 3-point attempts for a 40-34 lead. Ferrell then hit a 3 that made it 58-46 -- flashing his jersey to the crowd afterward -- and buried a step-back jumper to put the Hoosiers up 14 with 13 minutes left.

Iowa appeared on the verge of collapsing.

It didn't.

A spirited late run, capped by consecutive 3s by Nicholas Baer, tied it at 70. Jok's scoop shot finally put the Hawkeyes back in front with 4:27 left.

But the Hawkeyes went cold down the stretch yet again, missing nine straight shots at one point. A 3 by Clemmons and a steal by Christian Williams gave them a shot at overtime, but Clemmons air-balled a 3 and Jok missed an open look from the corner.

Clemmons had 14 points for Iowa.

TIP-INS

Indiana: The Hoosiers won 13 of their first 16 Big Ten games for just the third time in 20 years (2008, 2013). ... Indiana played without guard Robert Johnson, who sprained his left ankle against Purdue on Feb. 20.

Iowa: The Hawkeyes were outscored by just 23 points in recent losses to Indiana, Penn State, Wisconsin and Ohio State. ... Williams, a freshman who rarely plays, had eight points in the first half -- four more than he had scored in all previous Big Ten games. Williams was subbing for Mike Gesell, who picked up two early fouls.

UP NEXT

Indiana hosts No. 14 Maryland on Sunday.

Iowa plays at Michigan on Saturday.

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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.

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.