Maryland Terps

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Maryland is not No. 1 -- and maybe that's easier right now


Maryland is not No. 1 -- and maybe that's easier right now

COLLEGE PARK -- Maryland has never been the nation’s No. 1 team within a regular season. They narrowly missed out on Monday, outpaced by only Villanova as they settled into the No. 2 spot.

Head coach Mark Turgeon often reiterates the fact that he does not talk about rankings with his team and rarely goes very far in-depth with the media. Monday, he went deeper than he typically does.

“I think if we got to No. 1, we’d have to talk about it because it’s different,” he said. “I think No. 2 we don’t have to.

“I’m proud of our guys because it’s February … we’ve played 24 games, and we’re No. 2 in the country and we’ve had a lot on our plate and we’ve been able to handle it, which has been good.”

No. 2 in the country includes No. 2 in the Big Ten, trailing only Iowa in the conference -- a team they beat at home late last month. It’s almost as if No. 1 isn’t all that desirable a place to be this season, with so many top-ranked teams getting knocked off.


From North Carolina to Kansas to Oklahoma, the national race is wide open. Staying out of the spotlight is almost wise.

“We were [No.] 8 two weeks ago. That shows you how volatile it is,” Turgeon said. “Usually when you’re [No.] 8, in two weeks you can’t move up that much, but there’s just so many good basketball teams out there beating everybody, so we’ll see how we handle it, but I think it keeps the pressure off.

“We’ve learned to handle No. 3, No. 4, No. 5 because we never talk about it so [No.] 2 will be no different.”

Maryland resets and refocuses starting on Tuesday with a rare Division II matchup against Bowie State in the middle of the conference season.

From there, six more regular-season Big Ten games remain.

“Where we’re ranked now, where we’re ranked last week, where we’re ranked next week, it doesn’t matter,” the always-diplomatic Rasheed Sulaimon said. “The final ranking of the year matters and we’re trying to be one of those teams competing for the best spot at the end of the year.”

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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.


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.


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


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.


"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.


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."


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.