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No. 17 Maryland scores final 7 points to win at Indiana

No. 17 Maryland scores final 7 points to win at Indiana

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Jalen Smith's first-half 3-point flurry helped stake Maryland to a double-digit lead. His ability to fight through Indiana's halftime adjustments kept the 17th-ranked Terrapins close in the second half. And then he finished with a flourish.

After catching a pass from Anthony Cowan Jr. in the post, the sophomore forward scored on a layup with 14.5 seconds left to cap an improbable last-minute comeback for the Terps, who beat the Hoosiers 77-76 on Sunday.

"He's walking around with a little bit more of a swagger between games. All of our guys are getting more confidence," coach Mark Turgeon said after the Terps overcame a six-point deficit in the final 68 seconds. "But Stix (Smith) has really taken it to a new level."

It's made a difference.

Smith finished with 29 points, his second career high this week, and 11 rebounds. He was 4 of 6 on 3-pointers and 10 of 14 from the field, as Maryland (16-4, 6-3 Big Ten) picked up its third consecutive win.

His closing act was even more impressive.

Smith's layup with 1:08 to go started Maryland's closing run and his steal of the Hoosiers' ensuing inbound pass led to a 3 by Aaron Wiggins to make it a one-point game.

Following another defensive stop, Smith positioned himself perfectly for the go-ahead basket and after challenging Trayce Jackson-Davis's final shot for Indiana, a 2-footer, Smith still had the presence of mind to deflect away the rebound.

"I saw he was trying to get an offensive putback so I just tried to alter the way it bounced off the rim," he said. "Just so time could run off."

For Indiana (15-5, 5-4) it was deflating.

The Hoosiers rallied from a 45-36 halftime deficit to take a 67-59 lead with 7:34 left. Devonte Green's layup with 1:25 left gave Indiana a 76-70 lead and appeared headed to its third straight win.

Instead, Smith changed the ending.

"Really tough loss," Hoosiers coach Archie Miller said. "I mean, one of the tougher losses I think you could probably imagine a locker room setting having for our group."

Green scored 16 points and Jackson-Davis had 13 to lead Indiana.

MILLER ON BRYANT

Miller grew up in Pennsylvania, an admirer of Kobe Bryant. His father, John, coached Bryant in the McDonald's All-Star Game.

So when Miller found out Bryant had been killed Sunday in a helicopter crash, it broke his heart.

"I mean, it's like that can't be real," said Miller, who's a year younger than Bryant was. "That's the most sick, stunning thing that's happened. You're talking about generations of kids right now that in their generation, it would have been like Michael Jordan passing away at 40 years old. It makes no sense."

SMITH SHOW II

Turgeon was not amused when Smith celebrated by waving his arms and taunting the Indiana crowd.

It drew a loud crescendo of boos and two postgame apologies.

Turgeon confronted Smith on the court.

"I want to apologize for Jalen, the way he acted after the game," Turgeon said, opening his news conference. "It's very uncharacteristic of Jalen. If you know him, he's a great kid but it's one of the best fan bases in the country. Top five. Jalen feels terrible about it, I feel terrible about it. I tried to stop it when I saw it, but it's not who he is. And I want to apologize to Archie, the team, Indiana Nation or whatever you call yourselves, Hoosier Nation, we're sorry for the way we acted."

Smith added: "I let my emotions get the best of me and I apologize to all their fans. Indiana has a great crowd."

BIG PICTURE

Maryland: The Terrapins put on a 20-minute clinic moving the ball and knocking down 3s. They spent most of the second half scrambling to stay in it and when they got a chance to finally capitalize on a couple big miscues, they took advantage. If Smith & Co. continue improving the way Turgeon expects, they will only become a more dangerous team.

Indiana: While the disappointment could be seen across the faces of the players following the game, the question is how will the Hoosiers rebound? They've played hard and gritty all season and Miller knows his team must put the emotions of this loss behind them. He expects nothing less -- even after they gave this one away despite committing a season-low six turnovers.

STAT PACK

Maryland: Anthony Cowan Jr. had 18 points, Darryl Morsell finished with 10 points and six rebounds and Eric Ayala had six assists. ... After making six of their first nine 3s, the Terrapins wound up 12 of 29. ... Maryland pulled off its first season sweep and won at Assembly Hall for the first time since joining the Big Ten. They lost the previous meetings in Bloomington.

Indiana: Jackson-Davis and Justin Smith each had eight rebounds. ... Rob Phinisee finished with 10 points and seven assists and Jerome Hunter scored a season-high 12 points. ... Indiana went 9 of 19 on 3s and was outrebounded 29-22. ... The Hoosiers are 12-2 at home and 3-2 against AP Top 25 opponents.

UP NEXT

Maryland hosts No. 19 on Thursday in the first of two straight home games.

Indiana faces a key test Wednesday at Penn State.

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Darryll Pines named Wallace Loh's replacement as Maryland president

Darryll Pines named Wallace Loh's replacement as Maryland president

Darryll J. Pines, PhD,  was named University of Maryland, College Park's newest president on Wednesday, succeeding Wallace D. Loh, who announced his planned retirement in 2018 following the death of Terps football player Jordan McNair.

Pines is a dean and professor at Maryland, first arriving at the university in 1995 as an assistant professor. He’ll begin his tenure as the 34th president at College Park on July 1.

“I’ve known him as an outstanding teacher, a dedicated mentor, a brilliant researcher, and an extraordinary leader,” University System of Maryland chancellor Jay A. Perman, MD said of Pines in a statement. “It’s fitting -- and gratifying -- that UMD will be led by a member of its own family, by someone who knows so well its people and programs, its considerable strengths and enormous potential.”

Loh had been president since November 2010 but in October 2018 announced his eventual retirement after the football program drew criticism for allegations of abuse and the circumstances surrounding the death of the 19-year-old McNair.

That same day in October, the University System of Maryland Board of Regents decided that football coach DJ Durkin would return from the August leave of absence he had been placed on. Against the board’s wishes, Loh fired Durkin the next day. Maryland hired Mike Locksley as its new coach later that year.

Loh initially was supposed to remain as president only until the end of the 2019 school year, but it was later announced he would stay on through June 2020 while the university searched for a successor. Officials believed his continued leadership in the wake of the football scandal would help with athletic reforms among other things.

“I’m deeply grateful to UMD President Wallace D. Loh, PhD, JD, for his decade of exceptional service to the university, for his committed work in moving UMD into the top tier of the nation’s public research universities, and for positioning the institution for still greater success to come,” Perman said in his statement.

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The Big Twenty: Maryland men's basketball wins the national championship

The Big Twenty: Maryland men's basketball wins the national championship

NBC Sports Washington is rolling out the 20 biggest stories in DMV sports in the past 20 years. Here is No. 4.

Maryland’s men’s basketball team won the NCAA national championship in 2002, which fits nicely into the 20-year window of NBC Sports Washington’s The Big Twenty project.

But to understand how important that accomplishment is, you need to go outside that window to 1990. For multiple violations under then-head coach Bob Wade, Maryland was placed on three-year probation, banned from the postseason for two years and barred from appearing on television during the 1991-1992 season. The program, fresh off the tragedy of Len Bias’ death in 1986, had hit rock bottom.

Enter Gary Williams. The Maryland alum returned to College Park in 1989, unsure of what punishments were coming. His task: Build Maryland into a nationally competitive program while dealing with Duke, North Carolina and the rest of the ACC blue bloods, all while handcuffed by major sanctions. You know, no big deal.

Build the program he did. By 1994, the Terrapins were back in the NCAA Tournament and the Sweet 16. By 1998, Williams had the Terps as high as No. 2 in the AP poll. And just when the fanbase thought the program had plateaued, in 2001 Williams guided Maryland to its first Final Four appearance.

The loss to Duke in that year’s NCAA semifinal was a bitter pill, but Williams had almost his entire roster returning. That included a starting lineup of Juan Dixon, Lonny Baxter, Steve Blake, Chris Wilcox and Byron Mouton. Most of them had been overlooked in high school. All had been passed over by other power conference schools for varying reasons. Williams built his program around these diamond-in-the-rough, chip-on-the-shoulder players with something to prove. His roster was full of them in 2002. It was a perfect fit at Maryland, a program constantly ignored in the rugged, tradition-rich ACC.

Maryland ran through its 2001-2002 schedule with ease. With a balanced lineup and a rock-solid eight-man rotation, the Terps went 15-1 in the ACC. That included an 87-73 blitz of No. 1-ranked Duke in February. They earned a top seed in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history. Maryland beat a UConn team with Ben Gordon, Caron Butler and Emeka Okafor in the Elite Eight to make its second straight Final Four. A week later, it knocked off Drew Gooden, Kirk Hinrich, Nick Collison and Kansas to make the title game.

On April 1st, 2002, the Terrapins beat Indiana, 64-52, to claim the school’s first national championship. Dixon led the way with 18 points and keyed a 22-8 second-half run to put the Hoosiers away. He earned first-team All-America honors. His retired jersey currently hangs in Xfinity Center. Williams was named ACC Coach of the Year. The floor of Xfinity Center is now Gary Williams Court.

The lasting image of the title game is Dixon heaving the ball to the Georgia Dome rafters as the last seconds ticked off and his teammates celebrated. For Dixon, the championship was the final
highlight of a record-setting career in College Park.

For Williams, it was validation. He had built the team his way, with players in his image. For the program, it was the concluding step of a journey that started in 1990.

Maryland had climbed out of the deepest valley to reach college basketball’s highest peak.

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