Maryland Terps

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Maryland-Michigan State Preview: 5 things you need to know


Maryland-Michigan State Preview: 5 things you need to know

After beating Nebraska on Friday night, Maryland has something of a short turnaround when it faces Michigan State at approximately 3:30 p.m. in Indianapolis in one of the two Big Ten tournament semifinal games.

Here are 5 things you need to know.

1) Rematch on a neutral floor

Maryland did not get Michigan State in College Park this year, instead only going to East Lansing to face the Spartans. Head coach Mark Turgeon has been casually pointing out every once in a while the fact that his team, in general, had tough road opponents this conference season.

Now the Terrapins get their chance to avenge that loss on a neutral floor, this time with a spot in the Big Ten tournament title game on the line.

It will likely be a Michigan State-heavy crowd just because of Indianapolis’ proximity to East Lansing, but Turgeon said before the team left for the trip that there is something about neutral site games that give both teams the feeling they can win when they walk onto the floor.

2) The Denzel Problem

The National Player of the Year race is the kind of two-man battle that we don’t often see. Oklahoma’s Buddy Hield has continued his unbelievably efficient scoring season in the Big 12 tournament, while Michigan State’s Denzel Valentine continues to do a lot of a lot of different things for the Spartans.

Maryland’s focus on Saturday is Valentine, who enters the game averaging 19.6 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 7.5 assists per game while shooting 45 percent from three-point range. He nearly posted a triple-double the last time these two teams met.

Valentine makes the entire Michigan State machine work by both taking it himself and helping to get others involved. Maryland could throw different looks at him, whether that be an athletic, long wing like Jake Layman, or a fast perimeter defender like Rasheed Sulaimon.


3) The rebounding battle

Michigan State was +10 on the glass last time out against Maryland and grabbed 17 offensive rebounds. Aside from Valentine, center Matt Costello was the biggest reason for that. His relentlessness on the boards helped him to tally 12 in total, with six on each end of the floor.

Even if first-shot defense is good for Maryland, that can all be negated by allowing an offensive rebound. Allowing an offensive rebound forces a team to either defend for another exhausting 30 seconds, or they find themselves so far out of position that second-chance points for the opposition come easily.

A positive sign for Maryland? Freshman Diamond Stone looked as engaged and active against Nebraska as he has been all season.

4) Have to improve defensively

Turgeon even admitted it after Friday night’s win over Nebraska. Maryland will need to defend better if it wants to beat Michigan State. The Huskers managed to shoot 47 percent from the floor and make 11 threes on Friday, despite losing.

Allow that against the Spartans and you’ll be buried.

Too often Maryland seemed lost on the perimeter defensively, usually when smaller lineups got loose behind the arc. That falls on players like Robert Carter, Jr. and Melo Trimble to close out on shooters. The Spartans are the nation’s No. 1 team when it comes to three-point shooting at 43.6 percent -- an entire percentage point higher than the nation’s No. 2 team in that category, Oklahoma.

5) Seeding implications

Maryland is somewhere on the line between a No. 4 and No. 5 seed in the NCAA tournament heading into Saturday’s game. A win would be a signature victory -- one it needs since the team’s victory over Iowa has lost its luster with the way the Hawkeyes finished the season.

It would also add Top 25 and Top 50 wins, which Maryland desperately needs as it trails other teams in the country in those categories. The Terps also missed out on the chance at a Top 50 RPI win because Nebraska upset Wisconsin, making Saturday’s game even more critical.

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Maryland women's shooting struggles lead to second-round loss vs. N.C. State


Maryland women's shooting struggles lead to second-round loss vs. N.C. State

RALEIGH, N.C.  — Kiara Leslie had 21 points and 11 rebounds against her former team, and North Carolina State beat Maryland 74-60 on Sunday in the second round of the women's NCAA Tournament.

Leslie, who spent three seasons at Maryland before graduating and transferring to N.C. State, finished one point shy of a career high.

Kalia Ealey and Chelsea Nelson added 12 points apiece while Akela Maize scored 11 to help the fourth-seeded Wolfpack (26-8) earn their first Sweet 16 appearance since the late Kay Yow led an inspirational run in 2007.


N.C. State, which shot 45 percent and was 7 of 14 from 3-point range, will play the Oklahoma State-Mississippi State winner on Friday night in the Kansas City Regional semifinals.

Brianna Fraser had 17 points for the fifth-seeded Terrapins (26-8), who were held to 37 percent shooting.

Leading scorer Kaila Charles, plagued all day by foul trouble, finished with four points -- 14 fewer than her average -- on 2-of-8 shooting before fouling out with 2:29 left. She had scored in double figures in 30 of her previous 33 games.

Maryland's offense, which averages 80 points, had trouble scoring against one of the nation's stingiest defenses.

N.C. State allows 56.7 points per game and only one team in the past two months -- top-seeded Notre Dame -- has reached 70 against the Wolfpack.


Maryland: The Terrapins were denied their sixth Sweet 16 in seven years in part because their potent perimeter game was nonexistent. Maryland, at 39.1 percent the nation's seventh-most accurate team, missed all five of its 3s. Kristen Confroy, who's third in the nation from long range at 40.3 percent, didn't attempt one.

N.C. State: Leslie kept tormenting her former teammates by turning steals into layups. Big brother C.J. Leslie led the N.C. State men's program to a Sweet 16 in 2012, and now she's headed to one, too.


N.C. State will play either top-seeded Mississippi State or ninth-seeded Oklahoma State on Friday night in the Kansas City Regional semifinals.


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Big Ten season comes to a close for Maryland in final seconds of second round


Big Ten season comes to a close for Maryland in final seconds of second round

NEW YORK -- After struggling with injuries and poor play most of the season, Wisconsin is peaking at the right time.

Brevin Pritzl broke a tie with a foul-line jumper with 28 seconds left and Khalil Iverson secured the win with a steal in the waning seconds, leading Wisconsin past Maryland 59-54 on Thursday in the second round of the Big Ten Tournament.


Brad Davison and Iverson each made two free throws in the final nine seconds, and the ninth-seeded Badgers (15-17) advanced to the quarterfinals against top-seeded Michigan on Friday at Madison Square Garden after winning for the fifth time in seven games.

"It's a credit to these guys to my right and also the guys back in the locker room, how they've grown over the last month," Wisconsin coach Greg Gard said. "It has been fun to watch and hopefully we've got a lot more basketball yet to play."

The win wasn't pretty, but the Badgers made all the key plays down the stretch and eight-seeded Maryland (19-13) didn't.

The biggest plays were offensive rebounds by Iverson and Ethan Happ after Pritzl and Davison missed 3-point shots with the game tied at 53.

After the second miss with 40.3 seconds to go, Wisconsin called timeout and Pritzl got the game-winner 12 seconds later.

"I think, especially at the end of this game, the possessions are magnified," Davison said. "When you do things right those final possessions, you can really turn things around."

Maryland had a chance to tie the game when Kevin Huerter was fouled by Happ with 9.2 seconds to go, but he missed the first of two free throws and the Terps came up short for the seventh time in 11 games.

"I feel like we were fighting uphill all night," Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said. "We had the lead 24-23. It's the one time we had the lead. We tied it a bunch of times. It really came down to two things. We fouled too much and we couldn't get a rebound when we needed a rebound."


Happ had 14 points and seven rebounds for Wisconsin, which lost to Michigan State 68-63 less than a week ago. Davison finished with 13 points while Iverson had 11 and six rebounds and Pritzl 10 points. The Badgers, who lost starting point guard D'Mitrik Trice and reserve Kobe King to injuries in December, won despite shooting 36 percent.

"I personally figure we just have to string together an entire game for 40 minutes and just staying toe to toe with them like we did last game," Iverson said. "I know we'll be ready for them."

Huerter had 20 points to lead Maryland. Anthony Cowan Jr. added 16 points and Bruno Fernando had 12 points and nine rebounds.

Wisconsin never trailed in the second half, but it never led by more than three points in the final 11:40 until the closing seconds.

Pritzl's jumper broke a 53-all tie. Huerter then missed the first free throw and made the second. Maryland fouled Davison on the inbounds pass and he made both shots with 8.5 seconds to go for a 57-54 lead.

Wisconsin fouled Cowan rather than let him attempt a game-tying 3-pointer. Since it was a nonshooting foul, the Terps had to inbound with 5 seconds to go and Iverson stole Dion Wiley's pass and then closed the game with two free throws.

"He has evolved into our defensive end stopped," Gard said. "For him to come in and make a play like that at the end to seal it was great."