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Why Brantley thought of his mother in game's biggest moment


Why Brantley thought of his mother in game's biggest moment

SPOKANE, Wash. -- Jaylen Brantley had attempted 10 free throws all season before he stepped to the line with 12.1 seconds to play and Maryland clinging to a two-point lead on Friday night against South Dakota State.

This is usually Melo Trimble’s job. He’s the 86.7 percent free-throw shooter and the sure ball-handler and the big-shot maker that Maryland has leaned on down the stretch of games the past two seasons.

But Trimble was on the bench after uncharacteristically fouling out and could only look on as the ball was inbounded to Brantley and South Dakota State fouled him.

Brantley missed the first, and badly, looking like a player who was overcome by the moment.

“I didn’t even realize I shot it that hard and then I was kind of disappointed in myself, but I just calmed myself down,” Brantley told CSN.

“I’ve never been in a situation where I needed to shoot free throws to this magnitude that meant so much.”


There is very little time between free throws within a game, which must feel even faster on this stage and in this moment. A bad miss needed to be followed by at least one make to force South Dakota State into taking a three instead of being able to get to the basket for two.

Brantley had a singular focus in that moment.

“All I kept thinking of was my mom just yelling at the TV like, ‘Why won’t you make this free throw?’” he told CSN. “So I didn’t want to disappoint her so I knew I had to make the second one.

“I just tried to make the second one and thankfully it went it.”

Now up three, Brantley’s job was not over. The ball was inbounded to South Dakota State's Keaton Moffitt, who was harassed by the Terrapin coming up the floor. Moffitt picked up his dribble and Brantley moved in. In the bustle, Moffitt tried to drop off a close-range pass to fellow guard Deondre Parks.

The ball slipped through his hands to Maryland’s Rasheed Sulaimon, who narrowly eluded the diving Parks as he tried to commit a foul to extend the game and Sulaimon dunked to seal the victory.

Survive and advance.

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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.


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.


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


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.


"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.


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."


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.