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A huge second half carries the Maryland Terps over Minnesota

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A huge second half carries the Maryland Terps over Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS -- Anthony Cowan Jr. matched his career high with 27 points and freshman Jalen Smith pitched in a season-best 21 points and eight rebounds, leading Maryland's rally past Minnesota on Tuesday night for a 82-67 victory fueled by sharp free-throw shooting.

Bruno Fernando added 10 points and 11 rebounds for the Terrapins (13-3, 4-1 Big Ten), who went 24 for 27 from the foul line. Cowan, who also had six rebounds and five assists, made all 10 of his free throws as Maryland finished the game with a 21-6 run over the final seven minutes.

Amir Coffey had 16 points and five assists for the Gophers (12-3, 2-2), who clanked their way to defeat by missing 14 of their 23 foul shots. Coffey was 3 for 8, and senior power forward Jordan Murphy was 3 for 9.

The Gophers had a lead as big as 44-36 early in the second half and were still in front as late as the 13-minute mark, but Cowan, the junior point guard on one of the most inexperienced teams in the country, steered the Terrapins to a steely win that will look good in front of the NCAA Tournament selection committee in two months.

Smith zipped a cross-court pass out of a double team down low to find Eric Ayala for a 3-pointer and a 67-61 lead for Maryland. About three minutes later, Smith put the seal on the victory with a driving dunk for a 75-67 advantage.

With a win over Nebraska and a victory at Rutgers, Maryland started the new year and the resumption of conference play strong. This trip to Minnesota's cozy Williams Arena was a stiffer test, giving the young Terrapins the opportunity to win consecutive road games for the first time in nearly two years when they posted victories at Minnesota and Ohio State on Jan. 28 and 31, 2017. They went 2-8 on the home courts of their opponents last season.

Gabe Kalscheur scored 13 points, Daniel Oturu had 11 points and 11 rebounds and Dupree McBrayer added 10 points for the Gophers.

The Gophers entered the game with the second-worst 3-point shooting percentage in the Big Ten, but the freshman Kalscheur, who was just 6 for 34 from behind the arc over the last seven games, came through with three makes in five tries from long range. The most clutch of those was at the 7:50 mark, cutting Maryland's lead to 62-61, but the Terrapins snapped right back with seven straight points to retake control.

With the imposing length inside of Smith and Fernando, their 6-foot-10 duo, the Gophers needed to establish a rhythm with their outside shooting, but nearly every time the Terrapins employed their 2-3 zone defense they successfully kept the home team out of sync.

Coffey ran down a loose ball late in the first half to feed McBrayer for a banked-in 3-pointer from the top of the key at the 1:50 mark, and Coffey scored his first point with a free throw on the next possession. His turnaround with 32 seconds left before the break gave the Gophers a 40-34 advantage, and the junior in his first season as the point guard kept up his aggression to the basket in the second half.

Coffey's feed to Eric Curry for a short jumper gave Minnesota a 54-47 lead, but Cowan led another charge by the Terrapins after that, and this time the Gophers didn't come up with a counter.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

Six consecutive Big Ten teams were just below the cut in voting for the latest edition of the Associated Press Top 25 poll. Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, Purdue, Nebraska and Maryland finished 27th through 32nd to give the conference 10 teams with votes from the 64-person panel this week.

BIG PICTURE

Maryland: After missing the NCAA Tournament last season after a three-year streak of making it, coach Mark Turgeon's team has a promising nucleus that can only grow in confidence from this win.

Minnesota: Coming off a rousing and rare road win at rival Wisconsin last week, the Gophers bricked away their chance to build some momentum going into the heart of the Big Ten schedule.

UP NEXT

Maryland: Returns home to play 22nd-ranked Indiana on Friday night.

Minnesota: Stays home to face Rutgers on Saturday afternoon.

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AP Top 25: Terps bounced from rankings following Temple loss, Cavaliers move up the charts

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AP Top 25: Terps bounced from rankings following Temple loss, Cavaliers move up the charts

California and Arizona State moved into the AP Top 25 college football poll to give the Pac-12 six ranked teams, the most for the conference in almost four years.

A weekend filled with blowouts left the top half of the AP media poll presented by Regions Bank mostly unchanged.

Clemson remains No. 1, with 57 of the 62 first-place votes, as the top nine held their spots Sunday. Alabama was No. 2, receiving five first-place votes, followed by Georgia, LSU, Oklahoma, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Auburn and Florida.

The ninth-ranked Gators were the only top-10 team to play a competitive game. The others won by a combined 428-97.

Utah, the highest-ranked Pac-12 team, moved up to No. 10. The last time the Pac-12 had six ranked teams was Nov. 8, 2015.

POLL POINTS

The Pac-12 took a fair amount of grief the first week of the season after it suffered a few upsets to Mountain West teams and Oregon let a potentially big victory slip away against Auburn.

Now the conference has had a mini-resurgence, despite issues with some of its typically strong teams.

Stanford started the season ranked, but is 1-2 after getting dominated by UCF on Saturday. Southern California had a brief stay at the bottom of the rankings last week, falling out after losing in overtime at BYU on Saturday.

Overall, the results were OK this past weekend for the Pac-12. The conference went 8-4 in nonconference play, including Arizona State's victory at Michigan State and Arizona beating Texas Tech. Though Colorado's loss to Air Force put the Pac-12 at 4-4 against the Mountain West this season.

Utah is in the top 10 for the first time since November 2015.

IN

No. 25 TCU also joined the rankings this week for the first time this season. The Horned Frogs beat Purdue 34-13 in West Lafayette, Indiana, on Saturday.

OUT

--Michigan State fell from the rankings after its 10-7 loss to Arizona State. The Spartans were swept in a home-and-home by the Sun Devils the last two seasons by a combined 26-20.

--Maryland is out after one week. The Terrapins went from scoring 63 in a victory against Syracuse to losing 20-17 to Temple.

--The next three games for USC are against Utah at home, at No. 22 Washington and at No. 7 Notre Dame.

CONFERENCE CALL

For a second straight week, the Southeastern Conference has three top-five teams and half of the top 10.

SEC -- 6 (Nos. 2, 3, 4, 8, 9, 17).

Pac-12 -- 6 (Nos. 10, 16, 19, 22, 23, 24)

Big Ten -- 5 (Nos. 6, 11, 13, 13 (tie), 18).

Big 12 -- 3 (Nos. 5, 12, 25).

ACC -- 2 (Nos. 1, 21).

American -- 1 (No. 15).

Mountain West -- 1 (No. 20).

Independent -- 1 (No. 7).

RANKED vs. RANKED

No. 7 Notre Dame at No. 3 Georgia. Return match from Georgia's 20-19 victory in South Bend, Indiana, two years ago.

No. 11 Michigan at No. 13 Wisconsin. Fox's first Big Noon game which is both big and starting at noon.

No. 8 Auburn at No. 17 Texas A&M. The whittling starts in the SEC West.

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7 Terps whiff on loose fumble before Maryland finally recovers

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7 Terps whiff on loose fumble before Maryland finally recovers

After Maryland scored 142 points over its first two games, things didn’t come as easily for the Terps in their Week 3 matchup with Temple.

Late in the third quarter, Terps defensive back Jordan Mosley forced a fumble at the expense of Owls running back Jager Gardner. What ensued once the ball hit the grass was sheer madness.

Marcus Lewis was covered with the recovery, but there were six other Maryland players who had the opportunity to secure the football before the redshirt senior defensive back finally pulled it in.

The Terps ultimately didn’t take advantage of the turnover, mustering only six plays on the ensuing drive before being forced to punt.

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