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Maryland no match for UConn

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Maryland no match for UConn

    HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- UConn senior Kelly Faris' strong play doesn't always show up on the stat sheet. It was hard to miss her Monday night.

Faris had eight points, eight steals, seven rebounds and seven assists in No. 2 Connecticut's 63-48 victory over No. 9 Maryland in the Jimmy V Classic.

"I said it 100 times, I'm always amazed that none of the Big East coaches vote her for anything," UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. "They are stuck with the guys they have and we have the record we have because of her. Someone can dominate a game and take six shots. Kelly completely dominated the game. She has an impact that goes beyond the stat sheet. When you look at the stat sheet there's a whole bunch of stuff there, her impact is greater than that."

Stefanie Dolson scored 14 points and Breanna Stewart added 13 to lead the Huskies (7-0).

"She is by far our toughest player," Dolson said of Faris. "She does everything on the floor. Even if she doesn't get credit for a steal she most likely tipped the ball to make the play."

Trailing by 13 at halftime, Maryland whittled its deficit down to seven before UConn scored eight straight points, including a 3-pointer by Brianna Banks and a three-point play by Bria Hartley. Kiah Stokes capped the run with a lay-in midway through the second half. Faris had a hand in all eight points during the run with an assist, steal and rebound.

"Faris makes play after play," Maryland coach Brenda Frese said. "She's so tough and physical.

"That was a tough sequence. Banks was spectacular. That's what Connecticut does. They give you that knockout punch and you see teams never recover. I love the fact we were able to withstand a lot of those runs and were able to keep competing."

Maryland, which had a season-high 26 turnovers, couldn't get within single digits the rest of the way.

Tianna Hawkins scored 14 points and freshman Chloe Pavlech added a season-high 10 to lead the Terrapins (4-2), who have come the closest to UConn this season. No team had been within 30 points before Monday.

The Terrapins were playing without guards Laurin Mincy and Brene Moseley. Both suffered ACL injuries this season. Mincy tore the ACL in her right knee early in the second half of Maryland's win over Nebraska last Wednesday. Moseley injured her left knee on Oct. 21. Moseley was the third ACL injury for the Terps this season. Senior center Essence Townsend tore hers in an exhibition game in early October.

Without the guards, Maryland couldn't take care of the basketball. The Terps came into the game averaging only 16 turnovers a contest.

"That was one of the things I told our team in the locker room," Frese said. "I was most disappointed in how much we turned the ball over. A lot came in our press break."

UConn couldn't take advantage early of the miscues. Leading 17-8, Maryland scored seven straight points to make it a two-point game. Stewart finally ended a 5-minute drought scoring seven straight points during a 10-0 run by the Huskies. She started it with a 3-pointer and connected on a falling down layup, following up her own miss. Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis capped the burst with a 3-pointer that made it 27-15. The Huskies led 33-20 at halftime.

Mosqueda-Lewis didn't return for the second half after bruising a left quad. She missed the Huskies' previous game against Colgate after suffering a concussion against Purdue on Nov. 24.

Auriemma said his sophomore guard is "doubtful" for Thursday's game against No. 10 Penn State.

Monday's game had special meaning for Frese, whose 4-year-old son Tyler continues to battle leukemia.

"It means a lot," Frese said. "Obviously, there was no question when we got the invite that we knew we wanted to play in it. And, obviously, for me personally with my son, Tyler, going through leukemia and with his diagnosis and his treatment I think it just helps us to be able to with a national audience and on TV to bring even more awareness to all the people out there that are battling cancer. And, obviously, our family is one that's directly impacted, but the fact that we can play a game and bring exposure is really important and we're just really fortunate to be a part of it."

The teams will play again in the Jimmy V Classic next season at Maryland. This was the first meeting between the programs. UConn continued its domination of ACC opponents, winning its 20th straight over ACC teams, winning by an average of 28.0 points. 

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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.