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Huerter shines, but Maryland comes up just short at Syracuse

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Huerter shines, but Maryland comes up just short at Syracuse

Tyus Battle scored 13 of his 18 points in the second half, Oshae Brissett and Frank Howard each scored 15 and Syracuse held off Maryland 72-70 in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge on Monday night.

It was the first true road game of the season for Maryland (6-2), which was playing its third game in four nights and was coming off a two-point loss to St. Bonaventure on Friday night in the semifinals of the Emerald Coast Classic. Syracuse (6-0) has won its last four against the Terps.

Battle, the Orange's leading scorer, suffered a bruise to his lower back in a win over Toledo on Wednesday night, but he was in the lineup at tipoff and played 37 minutes.

The Terps squandered an eight-point second-half lead in the loss to St. Bonaventure, but this game was tight throughout. Syracuse had the biggest lead in the second half, 56-52 with 8:59 to play, and it came down to the final seconds.

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Kevin Huerter had 23 points to lead Maryland, going 7 of 9 from long range. Bruno Fernando had 13 points, while Anthony Cowan had 11.

Brissett's second 3-point play of the game gave the Orange a 63-61 lead with 4:33 left, and when Fernando made only 1 of 2 free throws the Orange maintained their slim lead.

Battle then hit a runner in the lane before Huerter drained his sixth 3, hitting again from the top of the key to give Maryland a 66-65 lead with 1:43 left.

Battle responded by draining a 3 from the left corner, the Orange's first and only make of the half, to give Syracuse the lead back with 59 seconds left.

Maryland then fell prey to its glaring weakness, committing two turnovers in the final seconds, and the Orange barely escaped after Huerter sank his seventh 3 with 7.2 seconds left.

The Terps kept the game tight throughout with efficient long-range shooting, netting 10 of 22. When Huerter drained his fourth 3 with 12:32 left to give Maryland a 52-50 lead, the Terps were 8 of 17 from long range while Syracuse had hit just 2 of 14.

Maryland had outrebounded every team it had played and entered the game with a plus-14.7 rebounding margin to rank third nationally. The Orange outrebounded the Terps 21-15 in the first half, 12-6 on the offensive glass and finished with a 39-33 edge, 19-13 offensively.

Both teams took turns leading in a tight but sloppy first half, which featured 19 combined turnovers. The Orange had the biggest spurt, using an 8-0 run late in the period, a tip-in by Brissett giving Syracuse the period's largest lead 32-25 with 5:12 left.

Huerter hit a pair of 3s to give the Terps the lead before Howard lofted a pretty lob over a defender to Paschal Chukwu for an easy lay-in and Marek Dolezaj hit a layup at the shot-clock buzzer in the final minute to give Syracuse a 36-35 halftime lead.

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Maryland basketball unveils plans for new performance center

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Maryland basketball unveils plans for new performance center

The Terps were the only team in the Big Ten without a performance center dedicated specifically for basketball. That's about to change.

Maryland Athletics announced Tuesday a fundraising campaign to build a new Basketball Performance Center. The facility, totaling 60,000 square feet, would be home to both the men's and women's basketball teams.

The athletic department has already raised $19 million of the estimated $36 million needed to complete the project. With Tuesday's launch of the public phase of the fundraising campaign, the remaining $17 million will be funded through donations and athletic department revenues.

"It is our vision that with a new Basketball Performance Center, the university will continue its ascent in the Big Ten Conference and provide our teams with the infrastructure they need to continue striving for championships,” Athletics Director Damon Evans said at the event. “This new center will help provide a transformative experience for our student-athletes, giving them an unmatched opportunity to become top collegiate basketball players."

Maryland is one of only four schools to have won a championship in both men's and women's basketball, the men in 2002 under Gary Williams, and the women in 2006 under Brenda Frese, who's entering her 18th season with the Terps. She was named head coach of the women's team the day after the men won the National Championship in 2002. Both she and men's head coach Mark Turgeon spoke Tuesday.

“This training facility will keep both our basketball programs ahead of the curve and at the top of their games,” Frese said. “We always strive to be the best and this facility will represent that. In my 17 years at Maryland, the support we've received is incredible and I know our fans will love seeing our programs work out of the best facility in the country.”

The women's team is ranked No. 5 heading into the season, is returning all five starters and is adding the No. 3 recruiting class in the country as they try to defend their Big Ten regular-season title.

"The addition of a performance center will have an immeasurable impact on our basketball program as we strive to provide a first-class experience for our student-athletes,” Turgeon said. “The facility will upgrade nearly every facet of our program, further elevating our status in the national basketball landscape."

The men's team is a consensus top-10 team and returns every contributor from last year's team other than Bruno Fernando. The Terps will be led by senior point guard Anthony Cowan and Jalen Smith, who was a Big Ten All-Freshman honoree last season.

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Are the Terps a Top 10 team? This 2019-20 preseason Top 25 poll says 'yes'

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Are the Terps a Top 10 team? This 2019-20 preseason Top 25 poll says 'yes'

Maryland basketball's season ended in disappointing fashion last season as Tremont Waters sank the Terps with a last-second layup in the Round of 32 of the NCAA Tournament. Even still, NBC Sports College Basketball Talk's Preseason Top 25 has Maryland as the No. 9 team entering the season.

Sights immediately turned toward this coming season. Four freshmen enter the mix in Donta Scott, Chol Marial and Makhi and Makhel Mitchell. The first is a fill-it-up wing scorer from Philadelphia, the last two, twin 6-foot-9 big men from Washington, D.C. who wanted to stay home. Marial is a 7-foot, one-time top player in the nation who's been hampered by lower-body injuries. He'll miss time to start the season.

It won't be easy, but Marial and the twins will be tasked with replacing some of what the Terps are losing from now-Atlanta Hawk Bruno Fernando. Last year, Fernando averaged 13.6 points and 10.6 rebounds per game. His production will be missed, but he's the Terps' only significant departure.

Here's a full breakdown of the Terps' roster:

  • WHO’S GONE: Bruno Fernando
  • WHO’S BACK: Anthony Cowan, Jalen Smith, Serrel Smith Jr., Eric Ayala, Aaron Wiggins, Ricky Lindo, Darryl Morsell
  • WHO’S COMING IN: Chol Marial, Makhi Mitchell, Makhel Mitchell, Donta Scott
  • PROJECTED STARTERS: Anthony Cowan, Eric Ayala, Aaron Wiggins, Ricky Lindo, Jalen Smith


The length of that 'who's back' line is almost as important as who's on it. Seven key contributors return, including senior point guard Anthony Cowan and sophomore big man Jalen Smith. The team will likely go as far as the two of them can carry it. Aaron Wiggins could be the x-factor that takes this team from a competitive, top-25 team to a dangerous, top-10 team. He's got all the talent and mentality to become a top-scorer on a great team. It's not always that simple, though.

There is nothing riskier than going all-in on a team coached by Mark Turgeon, but here we are. - Rob Dauster

This could be a make or break year for Mark Turgeon. He has one of the most talented rosters in the country. The last time the Terps entered the season with a Top 10 team, they never lived up to the hype. Another lackluster performance this season could heat up the hot seat for Turgeon.

But the big story is the 1-2 punch of Cowan and Smith and the depth that surrounds them. If they can put it all together, the Terps could make some noise in College Park this season.