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Maryland's season ends with NCAA tournament loss to Xavier

Maryland's season ends with NCAA tournament loss to Xavier

By TERRANCE HARRIS

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- Trevon Bluiett scored 21 points and Sean O'Mara had 18 to help No. 11 seed Xavier upset sixth-seeded Maryland 76-65 during the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday night.

The Musketeers move on in the West region, marking the third straight year they have advanced to the second round. Maryland, which has started three freshmen for much the season, lost in the first round for the first time since 1997.

After a slow start, Bluiett came through with 18 second-half points to help the Musketeers rally from an early 6-point deficit. Bluiett converted seven field goals, including five 3-pointers to energize Xavier.

Freshman Kevin Huerter led the Terps with 19 points while star guard Melo Trimble had 13 points, but made only one-third of his shots.

Xavier took control midway through the second half as Maryland went scoreless for nearly 5 minutes while Xavier pushed its lead to 61-50 with 9:03 left. Bluiett hit three 3-pointers during the 14-0 run.

The Musketeers led by as many as nine points in the first half, but were hurt by turnovers that Maryland used to rally for 12 points. Trimble stole the ball from Quentin Goodin at midcourt and raced for a fast break basket, giving Maryland a 36-35 lead just before halftime.

SLOW START

Despite a sluggish start by Bluiett, the Musketeers managed to build a sizeable lead in the first half. Bluiett missed his first seven shots and didn't convert his only field goal of the first 20 minutes until he converted a 3-pointer from the corner with 2:52 left to play in the first half. Bluiett was one for eight from the field and one for five from 3-point range, finishing the first half with three points, three rebounds, three steals and three turnovers in 19 minutes.

GODD LUCK ORLANDO

Xavier has won seven straight games in Orlando, which also include two neutral site tournament wins in the Advocare Invitational and Tire Pros Invitational.

BILL MURRAY SIGHTING

Actor Bill Murray was in attendance in support of Xavier. Murray's son, Luke Murray, is a second-year assistant coach for the Musketeers.

UP NEXT

Xavier will play the winner of the Florida Gulf Coast-Florida State game on Saturday at Amway Center.

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Maryland survives injury scare in blowout home win

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USA TODAY Sports

Maryland survives injury scare in blowout home win

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Michal Cekovsky made every shot he took, scoring 15 points to go with eight rebounds, and Maryland breezed past Ohio 87-62 Thursday night.

Cekovsky went 6 for 6 from floor and sank all three of his free throws. The 7-foot-1 sophomore from Slovakia was pulled with 7:22 left and finished one point short of his career high.

Kevin Huerter scored 17 points for Maryland (8-3), and Anthony Cowan Jr. contributed 12 points, eight rebounds and seven assists.

Coming off three straight tough games -- narrow losses to Syracuse and Purdue, followed by an overtime victory at Illinois -- the Terrapins never trailed.

The victory was marred by an injury to 6-10 freshman forward Bruno Fernando, who sprained his right ankle with 11:21 remaining and was helped off the court.

Mike Laster scored 14 for the Bobcats (4-4). Ohio, a member of the Mid-American Conference, previously lost to Clemson, Dayton and Iona.

Maryland sophomore forward Justin Jackson missed part of Wednesday's practice with an illness and was absent from the starting lineup for only the fourth time in 43 games. He played 19 minutes and scored 10 points.

The Terps made their first five shots and got six points from Cekovsky in grabbing to a 15-2 lead. Maryland then missed six of nine attempts before Jackson peeled off nine straight points to make it 30-14.

Huerter had only six points in the first half, which ended with Maryland up 41-28. The sophomore guard scored eight points in the first eight minutes after halftime, including a soft jump shot that made it 51-31 with 16:55 left.

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Anthony Cowan leads Maryland over Illinois 92-91 in OT

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USA Today Sports

Anthony Cowan leads Maryland over Illinois 92-91 in OT

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Maryland stopped a furious Illinois second-half comeback to steal a 92-91 overtime win in Big Ten conference action Sunday night.

Either team could have won the game in the final minutes and seconds, trading shots and fouls like heavyweight boxers.

"That was a big-time college basketball game," Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said. "We were terrific in the first half, and they were terrific in the second half. It's a game we probably shouldn't have won, but we'll take it."

Anthony Cowan scored 27 points to lead Maryland (7-3, 1-1 Big Ten). Justin Jackson scored 20 and Kevin Huerter added 17 for the Terrapins.

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Leron Black led Illinois (6-3, 1-1 Big Ten), while Mark Alstork scored 17 and Aaron Jordan added 15.

Maryland held a commanding 45-26 lead at the half, led by Cowan's 16 points, nine from outside the 3-point line.

Illinois mounted a furious comeback in the second half, taking its first lead of the game 74-73 with 1:51 left in regulation. Maryland's Bruno Fernando tipped in a shot at the buzzer to send the game into overtime with the score tied 75-75. Cowan sank a free throw with six-tenths of a second left in overtime for the win.

"Bruno's tip was amazing," Turgeon said. "The basketball gods were with us tonight."

It was the third loss in a row for the Illini, after losing at Wake Forest and in overtime at Northwestern in its conference opener. Maryland also was coming off two losses, at Syracuse and to Purdue at home.

First-year Illinois coach Brad Underwood was nearly speechless after the game. "I really don't even know what to say. I mean, we didn't lose the game, but we did. We had it and gave it away. It was very disappointing."

After both teams turned over the ball to open the game. Maryland went on a 10-0 run before Underwood went to the Illinois bench early, pulling all five starters and essentially rotating two teams the remainder of the game.

"I can't say enough for our bench tonight," Underwood said. "They were amazing."

Illinois slowly crept back, at one point pulling to within three points, 14-11, before the Terrapins began to systematically pound the ball inside and outside against a smaller Illinois team for its commanding halftime lead.

Illinois opened the second half slowly but picked up steam on a Michael Finke dunk with 12:25 left in regulation to pull the Illini to within 11. Aaron Jordan hit three consecutive three-pointers to tie the score at 69 with four minutes left in regulation.

"They are so fast and quick," Turgeon said. "Illinois is just a different kind of animal. They come at you in waves. They made some incredible shots. We're still learning and I'm really glad we won tonight."

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