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Maryland snaps three-game skid by halting a 17-year Wisconsin streak

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USA TODAY Sports

Maryland snaps three-game skid by halting a 17-year Wisconsin streak

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Anthony Cowan Jr. scored 23 points, Kevin Huerter added 19 and Maryland squeezed past Wisconsin 68-63 Sunday to stretch the Badgers' losing streak to five games.

The defeat ended Wisconsin's Big Ten-record run of 17 straight winning seasons in conference play. Using a starting lineup that featured three freshmen and two juniors, the rebuilding Badgers (10-15, 3-9) rallied from a 10-point halftime deficit before fading.

Huerter's driving layup with 1:25 left put the Terrapins up 62-60. After a Wisconsin misfire on the other end, Huerter bounced a runner off the glass.

Brad Davison answered with a 3-pointer for the Badgers with 10.6 seconds left. Cowan then made two foul shots for a three-point cushion, and Maryland's Dion Wiley sealed the victory by swatting away a layup try by Davison.

The Terrapins (16-9, 5-7) ended a three-game skid and won for only the second time in seven games.

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Ethan Happ scored 18 points for Wisconsin, which has lost eight of nine. The Badgers are 1-8 on road, including 1-6 in the conference.

After being outscored 18-1 by Northwestern at the outset of Thursday night's game, Wisconsin flipped the script and bolted to an 18-11 lead.

Maryland went ahead with an 11-3 run, then scored the final 11 points of the first half to go up 33-23.

The advantage stood up until Davison and Nate Reuvers each scored four points in an 11-2 spree that put Wisconsin on top with 9:42 remaining.

Maryland won despite 9-for-22 shooting in the second half.

BIG PICTURE

Wisconsin: Barring a stunning turnaround, the Badgers will need to win the Big Ten Tournament to get an NCAA bid. Coach Greg Gard can only hope this youthful squad will benefit in 2018-19 from the experience gained this season.

Maryland: The Terrapins' tepid performance against a young, struggling team did little to convince anyone that they have the ability to finish this disappointing season with a flourish.

SHORT-HANDED

The Terrapins were without 7-foot-1 center Michal Cekovsky, who was in a walking boot after bruising his left heel in practice last week. Maryland lost Justin Jackson (shoulder) and Ivan Bender (knee) in December.

RED AND WHITE

Maryland encouraged fans to wear red on "Red-Out Day," so the Terps wore their red road uniforms and the Badgers wore white.

UP NEXT

Wisconsin: On the road Thursday at Illinois, a team the Badgers have defeated 12 straight times.

Maryland: At Penn State on Wednesday. The Terps beat the Nittany Lions 75-69 on Jan. 2.

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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.