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


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

Maryland faces Penn State at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. Here are 5 things you need to know about the matchup.

1) Handshake controversy is behind them

If you think that negative feelings are lingering from last year's lack of a pregame handshake, you won't see it manifest during the coin toss this year. Interim head coach Mike Locksley assured the media that it had been addressed last year and this year will be different.

There are varying answers as to whether or not this is truly a rivalry, but one sentiment has been a constant throughout those responses -- rivalries exist when teams are competitive in games against each other, not simply because they play each other.

2) Sticking with Perry Hills

Maryland opened up the offense and went to more of a dual-threat style with junior Perry Hills under center against Ohio State. Locksley says that Maryland is sticking with him and the scheme, though they are trying to be more cognizant of the number of hits that Hills has been taking.

What does the new offense allow? It forces the defense to attend to Hills as a credible runner. This, in theory, occupies a defender as a spy and opens the field for receivers in the passing game. 


3) Neutralizing Christian Hackenberg

Penn State's quarterback is a prototypical pro-style quarterback who can make every throw asked of him. That means that if he is allowed to settle into the pocket, he'll pick the defense apart.

But the Nittany Lions rank 121st in the nation in keeping Hackenberg upright. The offensive line has allowed 24 sacks through six games this season, which is a window of opportunity for Maryland. 

Yannick Ngakoue and Jesse Aniebonam are both players who have proven that they can get to the quarterback. Their ability to disrupt Hackenberg will go a long way.

4) Another very good running back

For the most part, Maryland was able to contain Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott. Yes, he went over 100 yards to extend his streak of 100-yard games, but compared to other types of numbers he has put up, a depleted front seven did a solid job.

Penn State's Saquon Barkley is scary in his own right and he's only a true freshman. He has terrific vision and burst, along with the ability to shake defenders if he finds himself in a one-on-one situation in the middle of the field. 

If Maryland's pass rush is able to get to Hackenberg and make him uncomfortable, Barkley is able to single-handedly carry the offense, so it adds another dimension.

5) The first game of a "new" season

After the program's coaching change and a bye week, Maryland essentially starts a new season. The first half didn't turn out the way it wanted, but there is a revived energy and focus that stems from a strong showing through three quarters against Ohio State.

Penn State has its flaws. The question is if Maryland can identify and exploit them on Saturday.

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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."


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Cowan, Fernando, Huerter receive All-Big Ten honors


Cowan, Fernando, Huerter receive All-Big Ten honors

In a roller-coaster season for the Maryland Terrapins, there have been three points of consistency on their roster: Anthony Cowan Jr., Kevin Huerter, and Bruno Fernando.

On Monday, the Big Ten awarded them each their first conference recognition.


Sophomore guard, Cowan was named the All-Big Ten Third Team and the All-Defensive Team. The 6-0 guard finished 10th in the Big Ten in scoring with 15.7 points per game. He also was third in assists (5.2) and steals (1.5). He was a nightmare to defend, filling right into the role that Melo Trimble left vacated this year. Both recognitions were from the Big Ten coaches and media.

Freshman forward, Fernando was selected for the Big Ten All-Freshman Team. Leading all freshmen with 6.4 rebounds and averaging 10.2 points a game, he instantly had an impact on the Terps. From Angola, the 6-10 forward capped his season with 21 points against Iowa on Jan. 7. In his first year, he went from a bench player to a starter, to Sportscenter. It was the first time ever a Terp has been named to the All-Freshman Team 

Huerter was named a Big Ten Honorable Mention by the coaches and media. Stepping into a new role in the 2017-18 season, Huerter struggled but still managed to be highly productive. With the ball in his hands more he shot 42.1 percent from deep and made 72 three-point baskets on the season. Already through two seasons, he is 12th on Maryland’s all-time three-point list.  He also scored 14.6 points a game.