Maryland Terps

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Turgeon unknowingly foreshadowed late-game situation vs. Michigan

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Turgeon unknowingly foreshadowed late-game situation vs. Michigan

Maryland came into Tuesday night’s game against Michigan 15-1 over the past two seasons in games decided by six points or less, the best winning percentage in those situations in Division I.

The Terrapins left Ann Arbor 15-2 after a 70-67 loss to the Wolverines.

Maybe it was a jinx, because I happened to ask head coach Mark Turgeon about that 15-1 mark on Monday before the team team departed for their second road game in four days. But, in hindsight, his response was a bit of foreshadowing and typical of a coach more concerned with what will happen in the future than what has happened in the past during a long season.

“A month from now,” he said, “ask me the same question.”

We had the same conversation last season when one KenPom metric ranked Maryland among the “luckiest” in the nation -- an attempt to quantify the less-controllable factors that happen down the stretch of close games.

But, at the time, there was a counter to that. This team seemed almost built for late-game situations. Turgeon elaborated on Monday.

MORE TERPS: R-E-L-A-X AFTER MARYLAND LOSS TO MICHIGAN

“I think Melo [Trimble] has a lot to do with it. Free-throw shooting has a lot to do with it,” he said. “I don’t know yet. This year we haven’t had enough.

“We’ve got work to do. I work on half-court, late-game situations every day because I know we’re going to start having them as we move forward. So hopefully we’ll get better.”

Coincidentally enough, Maryland had one of the exact situations down the stretch, down three after a missed free throw. Turgeon did not call a timeout, just as he did not against Wisconsin.

Rasheed Sulaimon got a mismatch on a switch, but his step-back three to tie it from the wing rimmed off.

Turgeon walked through it postgame.

“We had a play called and we got a good look. We really did. You need a three. It’s hard to make a three,” he said. “Got the five-man switched onto him. It hit back rim and looked good from where I was.

“We lost the game way before that. We had some possessions that we came up empty.”

And that is the way life on the road in college basketball goes sometimes.

The star, Trimble, had an off night. The opponent was hot from three-point range. They were an inherent matchup problem. But Maryland will be just fine.

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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.