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Anthony Cowan leads Maryland over Illinois 92-91 in OT

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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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4 ways to build an all-time Terps basketball lineup on a budget

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4 ways to build an all-time Terps basketball lineup on a budget

The offseason is time for fun activities that keep the competitive juices flowing.

In that spirit, our friends at Testudo Times have posed an interesting question about how to go about building a starting five of the best Maryland basketball players of all time, but on a budget.

With 25 players available, five for $5, five for $4, five for $3, five for $2 and five for $1 and a $15 budget, the task is to build the best starting five possible. It's a tall task, though one that can be completed in a number of different ways.

Before taking on the task yourself, some Terps alumni have some thoughts of their own.

There are a couple main themes here. First, this is an incredibly difficult task. Second, Len Bias is a must-include.

With that in mind there are a few ways to go about completing the lineup.

The best

Bias — $5
Juan Dixon — $5
Keith Booth — $1
Steve Francis — $3
Derrick Lewis — $1

This lineup can do just about anything. It can play fast or slow on offense and defense, it can shoot, rebound and play with toughness or finesse. Bias and Dixon are the superstars, Booth and Lewis are much better than their $1 label, and Francis can be the straw that stirs the drink.

The all-dunking lineup

Bias — $5
Steve Francis — $3
Dez Wells — $2
Bruno Fernando — $2
James Gist — $1

There's a mix of power dunkers and finesse dunkers on the squad with $2 left for an underrated dunker in Kevin Huerter.

The all-shooting lineup

Bias — $5
Dixon — $5
Huerter — $2
Lewis — $1
Fernando — $2

Everybody on this squad can score the rock. Huerter and Dixon are great 3-point shooters. Fernando is a near-60 percent shooter from the field. Bias is a staple on any and every team and Lewis was a good enough shooter during his junior and senior seasons to get the nod for the final spot.

The all-value lineup

Bias — $5
Booth — $1
Lewis — $1
Steve Blake — $5
Wilcox — $3

Bias is good value at any price and we've already talked about the value of Lewis and Booth. The lineup needs a point guard, and with a pair of $1 players, Blake makes the most sense, even as the most expensive option. Wilcox rounds out the team thanks to his versatility down low.

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Maryland gets great news as Anthony Cowan Jr. withdraws from NBA Draft to return for senior season

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Maryland gets great news as Anthony Cowan Jr. withdraws from NBA Draft to return for senior season

Anthony Cowan Jr. announced that he will return to Maryland basketball for his senior season after testing the NBA Draft waters.

Cowan, a local product out of St. John's College High School, has started every game at Maryland for the past three seasons. The point guard has led the Terps in scoring and assists the past two years, most recently helping the team to the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament. 

His return will be a huge boost to the Terrapins after big-man Bruno Fernando decided to forgo his eligibility for his final two seasons in College Park for the NBA Draft. Including Cowan, the team returns seven of its top eight scorers for the 2019-20 season and will be one of the more experienced squads in the nation.

With Cowan staying at Maryland, NBC Sports' Rob Dauster says that the Terps will be a potential top-five team entering the season.

His decision came hours before Wednesday's NBA draft withdrawal deadline. Earlier on the same day, he worked out for the Sacramento Kings, according to Baltimore Sun reporter Don Markus.

While Cowan has shown an impressive ability to lead his team in his three years, he was not a projected pick for the 2019 NBA draft. It's another year for the senior to display his ability, and lead a talented team to national prominence after he only scored 20 points in two NCAA Tournament games last year. 

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