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

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

Maryland travels to Columbus on Sunday to face an Ohio State team that they have seen once already this season.

Here are 5 things you need to know about the 1 p.m. matchup.

1) Diamond Stone will start

Maryland freshman Diamond Stone was a starter against Iowa for the first (intentional) time in Big Ten play against Iowa. Mark Turgeon said on Saturday that he has done enough to keep himself in that role.

To be honest, Stone struggled to begin the game against the Hawkeyes and many of the reasons Turgeon had moved Stone to the sixth man role showed up again. Iowa pushed the ball inside to center Adam Woodbury and he scored five points in four minutes. Stone got into foul trouble.

But, now, Turgeon says the only way for Stone to get better is by going through those experiences. He’s probably right. Teams need to shift into another gear at the end of the January and the best players need to be on the floor more consistently.

He is averaging 13 points and five rebounds in just 20 minutes per game. If his minutes get bumped up and he maintains that efficiency, we might be talking about not only the conference’s Freshman of the Year, but an All-Big Ten selection.

2) Second time around

It is never easy to play a team a second time around. You can ask Maryland about facing Northwestern again. Sure, Maryland put 100 points on the Buckeyes in their first matchup, but much of the issue on the Ohio State side was effort.

Back on their home floor and with that previous matchup in mind, effort shouldn’t be an issue.

So now Maryland has to look at the talent on the roster. JaQuan Lyle has been coming off the bench of late for the Buckeyes and is down numerically by a significant clip since the Maryland game. Instead, the scoring has been concentrated in the frontcourt.

MORE TERPS: WHY STONE WILL START (AGAIN) FOR MARYLAND

3) Still able to win without “Scoring Melo”

Maryland has shown this season that, because of their balance, they can win games without Melo Trimble being hot or in a scoring mindset. That’s a major positive and a reason to believe that the Terrapins’ ceiling is as high or higher than anyone else in the country’s.

Offensively, their starting five is as good as any other. Part of that is because of the evolution of Trimble’s game. If he is not scoring, this season he has grown as a passer to facilitate the offense for others.

Rasheed Sulaimon, Jake Layman, Robert Carter, Jr., and Diamond Stone have all shown that on a given night they can be the featured scorer and that makes this team overwhelming difficult to guard if they are clicking.

4) Need to continue the defensive effort

An immense amount of credit goes to Layman and Carter for setting the tone defensively against Iowa star Jarrod Uthoff the last time out. They do not win that game is Uthoff even has a decent game. The two combined to more or less shut him down.

But that cannot be a one-time thing.

Defense is where Maryland is the weakest, if you were to point out a soft spot on this team. It especially tends to show itself against versatile, smaller teams like Iowa. But have they now turned a corner? If the effort like against the Hawkeyes persists, they may have.

5) A tough schedule spot

Maryland’s win over Iowa was crucial from a resume-building perspective because the Terrapins do not have all that many chances to grab quality victories. That also means that there are plenty of pitfalls remaining, including against Ohio State on Sunday.

A win is not a signature win. But a loss to the No. 69 KenPom team -- a streaky team that has played well at different times this year, but poorly in others -- starts to shift the conversation about Maryland back in the other direction.

That direction is more about the Terrapins as a No. 4 or No. 5 seed instead of somewhere No. 1 to No. 3.

It is a difficult spot to be in because losing possible quality wins creates the narrative that you cannot win quality games. But losing games in which you are favored means you cannot win games you are “supposed” to win. So just go undefeated, right?

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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.