Maryland Terps

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Maryland women heading to the Sweet Sixteen with back-to-back routs

Maryland women heading to the Sweet Sixteen with back-to-back routs

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) -- Maryland was already enjoying a heck of a second quarter when Destiny Slocum scrambled in position to take a buzzer-beating shot.

Squaring up from just outside the opposite arc, Slocum stretched both arms behind her head and let the ball fly.

Swish!

Slocum's 70-foot shot capped a pivotal run, and the Terrapins blew past West Virginia 83-56 Sunday to advance to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.

Brionna Jones had 22 points and 11 rebounds, Slocum scored 21 and Shatori Walker-Kimbrough added 19 for third-seeded Maryland (32-3), which will next face the winner of Monday's game between No. 2 seed Duke and Oregon.

The Terrapins will be hard-pressed to play better than they did in this one.

"On a scale of 1 to 100, today was 100," coach Brenda Frese said.

Teana Muldrow led West Virginia (24-11) with 16 points. Leading scorer Tynice Martin was limited to 10 points on 3 of 18 shooting.

The game turned in the second quarter, when Maryland outscored West Virginia 26-8 to take a 38-24 lead. After opening with a 23-4 surge, the Terrapins gave up two straight baskets -- the last with 4 seconds left -- before Slocum connected.

"Why not?" Slocum said. "Just throw it up and see what happens. Watching that thing was crazy. I was in shock . am still."

The 5-foot-7 freshman was immediately swarmed by her teammates while the fans in Maryland's home arena stood and cheered.

"That's her range," Walker-Kimbrough said. "I was surprised she made it, but a part of me wasn't."

The unlikely basket capped a 10-minute stretch in which Maryland made 12 of 17 shots.

"What they shoot in that quarter 70 percent?" West Virginia coach Mike Carey said. "Believe me, that shot didn't hurt us anymore than any of the other shots they (made)."

Actually, it did.

"It was a tough shot to see," Muldrow said. "But we can't really do anything about that except try not to let her get the ball at that time. She caught it, and it was one in a trillion."

Maryland carried the momentum into the third quarter, using a 12-1 spurt to build the margin to 23 points. Not long after that, the Big Ten champions celebrated a victory that thrust them into the Sweet 16 for the fifth time in six years.

Last season, Maryland lost its second round game at home to Washington. Intent upon avoiding a similar fate, the Terrapins left nothing to chance.

"This team definitely has a different feel than a season ago," Frese said. "You can feel their focus in terms of what we're doing."

West Virginia took a five-game winning streak into the contest, including an upset of Baylor in the Big 12 Tournament championship. On this day, however, the Mountaineers were no match for a Maryland squad that entered the NCAA Tournament with a surly attitude.

The Terrapins were displeased after the selection committee saddled it with a No. 3 seed because of a perceived weak non-conference schedule. To voice their displeasure, they opened with a 42-point win over Bucknell before easily dispatching West Virginia.

Maryland trailed 16-12 after a first quarter in which it missed 13 of 18 shots from the floor and were outrebounded 14-11.

The tone shifted dramatically at the outset of the second period. Walker-Kimbrough drilled a 3-pointer and added a fast-break layup, Jones bulled her way in the lane for two baskets and Slocum popped a jumper for a 23-16 lead.

West Virginia went scoreless for more than six minutes before Kristina King ended the drought with a jumper.

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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.