NCAA

Watkins, Stevens lead Penn State over No. 4 Maryland

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Watkins, Stevens lead Penn State over No. 4 Maryland

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) -- Penn State became the fifth unranked team to beat a top-5 program in this upset-filled college basketball season, getting 15 points and 11 rebounds from Mike Watkins in a 76-69 win over No. 4 Maryland on Tuesday night.

Lamar Stevens added 15 points and 10 rebounds, Myreon Jones and Izaiah Brockington each scored 14 points, and Myles Dread had 12 points for the Nittany Lions (8-2, 1-1 Big Ten), who led for all but 1:54.

Jalen Smith had 12 points and 11 rebounds for the Terrapins (10-1, 1-1), who were trying for their first 11-0 start since 1996.

Eric Ayala scored 15, Anthony Cowan Jr. had 14, Aaron Wiggins had 13 and Serrel Smith added 12 for the Terps, who trailed 40-30 at halftime.

Penn State's win was followed minutes later by another unranked team knocking off an unbeaten opponent -- Texas Tech over No. 1 Louisville at Madison Square Garden.

The Nittany Lions led by as many as 10 with 15:19 to play, but the Terps used an 11-3 run capped by a 3-pointer from Cowan to cut the deficit to 52-50 with 10:57 left.

They wouldn't get any closer, and Penn State won its first game against a top-5 team since Feb. 17, 2016, when the Nittany Lions knocked off then-No. 4 Iowa.

Penn State leaned on its defense to build its first-half lead.

The Nittany Lions forced 12 turnovers in the first 10 minutes and used most of them to fuel an 18-5 run. Dread capped the sequence with a 3-pointer that made it 27-15.

Maryland slowed the pace with a pair of jumpers before Cowan hit a 3 that cut Penn State's lead to five. The Nittany Lions closed the half with a 13-8 run, capped by a buzzer-beating 3 from Jones.

THE TAKEAWAY

Maryland: The Terps fell behind early for a second straight game, but it didn't work out as well against a bigger, more skilled opponent. Maryland also spotted Illinois a big lead on Saturday before rallying.

Penn State: The Nittany Lions have beaten top teams at home in the Patrick Chambers era, but those wins have usually come late in the season.

UP NEXT

Maryland visits No. 22 Seton Hall on Dec. 19

Penn State hosts Alabama on Saturday.

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Jalen Smith's career night propels No. 17 Terps past Northwestern

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Jalen Smith's career night propels No. 17 Terps past Northwestern

Jalen Smith scored a career-high 25 points, and No. 17 Maryland rallied to beat Northwestern 77-66 on Tuesday night.

The Terrapins trailed by as much as 15 in the first half and were down 10 in the second when they went on a 15-2 run.

Back-to-back 3-pointers by Aaron Wiggins and Anthony Cowan Jr. gave Maryland (15-4, 5-3 Big Ten) its first lead of the game at 56-55 with 9:10 remaining before Smith punctuated it with a hard dunk. Smith also hit a huge 3 with just under two minutes left to make it 72-63, lifting the Terrapins to their second straight win after back-to-back losses.

Smith, a sophomore, surpassed his previous high of 21 points against Minnesota last season. Wiggins scored 17. And Maryland came away with the win after dropping four straight away from home despite shooting just 35%.

Pat Spencer led Northwestern (6-12, 1-7) with 17 points. Miller Kopp scored 16. But the Wildcats lost for the eighth time in nine games.

Northwestern came into the game ranked 13th in the Big Ten in scoring, but took a 40-26 lead to the locker room after a blistering first half.

Kopp scored 11 and Nance added nine points. Northwestern shot 15 of 25 overall, made 4 of 6 3's and clamped down on Maryland. Cowan and Jalen Smith each scored just four points, and the Terrapins shot just 6 of 25 overall and 5 of 17 from beyond the arc.

Northwestern led 36-21 after a floater by A.J. Turner and had a 14-point lead at the half.

BIG PICTURE

Maryland: Though the Terrapins struggled in the early going, they steadied themselves down the stretch. They also seem to be getting their footing back, beating Purdue and Northwestern after getting pounded at Iowa and losing by two at Wisconsin.

Northwestern: The Wildcats built the big lead early on, only to drop another tight game after losing by four at Illinois on Saturday.

UP NEXT

Maryland: The Terrapins will try to make it a two-game sweep when they visit Indiana on Sunday. Maryland beat the Hoosiers 75-59 on Jan. 4.

Northwestern: The Wildcats will try to stop their skid when they host Ohio State on Sunday.

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Wolfpack overcomes 10-minute scoring drought to top Virginia

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Wolfpack overcomes 10-minute scoring drought to top Virginia

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- North Carolina State took a page from the book Virginia used to win a national championship last season and used it against the Cavaliers.

The Wolfpack overcame a second-half drought of more than 10 minutes on Monday night and recovered just in time for a 53-51 victory over the Cavaliers.

D.J. Funderburk scored 14 points before fouling out and C.J. Bryce added 13 points for N.C. State (14-5, 5-3 Atlantic Coast Conference), including a jumper with 27 seconds left after allowing the shot clock to race to near 0:00. The victory ended an eight-game losing streak against the Cavaliers.

"This is the second game in a row where I thought our guys stepped up and won the game on the defensive end," Wolfpack coach Kevin Keatts said.

It took plenty of patience, Bryce and fellow guard Markell Johnson said.

"We were stuck at 42 for the longest time," Johnson said of the drought that lasted from a basket with 13:51 left until Jericole Hellems' 3-pointer with 3:38 left. "I just tried to do whatever I could to get the lead and then C.J. hit a great shot and took it from there."

Johnson and Bryce each played nearly 38 minutes.

"We did a really good job of keeping our composure and staying patient and it worked out for us." Bryce said.

Virginia (12-6, 4-4) had used a 15-0 run during the N.C. State drought that lasted 10:13 to take a 46-42 lead, bringing the crowd at John Paul Jones Arena back into the game. Hellems' 3-pointer ended N.C. State' skid, and, after a free throw by Mamadi Diakite for Virginia, Johnson hit a 3-pointer and then Hellems followed two Virginia misses with a putback that gave the Wolfpack a 50-47 lead.

Johnson and Bryce both missed the front end of one-and-one free throw opportunities, and Kihei Clark hit a pair for Virginia. Braxton Beverly made the first and missed the second for the Wolfpack with 7.2 seconds left, and the Cavaliers Casey Morsell was short on a contested 3 at the buzzer.

"They made a couple plays,. That's what you have to do down the stretch to win," Virginia coach Tony Bennett said after his team's third home loss of the season, which is more than the two they had the last two seasons combined.

Clark led Virginia with 10 points, seven rebounds and five assists.

The Wolfpack had used an 8-0 run to go ahead 42-31. Virginia helped out by going scoreless for more than 6 1/2 minutes. Francisco Caffaro, who had just been inserted into the game, ended the drought with 11:13 left, sparking Virginia's run.

BIG PICTURE

N.C. State: The Wolfpack seemed on their way to a solid victory until the drought, during which they were 1 for 8 from the field with five turnovers and repeatedly let the shot clock run down into single digits, forcing bad shots. ... NC State also played without 6-foot-11 ACC shot-blocking leader Manny Bates (2.94), who is in the concussion protocol, and forward Pat Andree (ankle). Keatts said he didn't know is Bates will be available come Saturday.

Virginia: In the Cavaliers' continuing search for scoring help, freshman Casey Morsell had as many as three field goals for the first time since a 65-56 victory against Navy on Dec. 29. He was 4 for 20 from the field in his last five games. He finished the night 4 for 9 and his buzzer-beater attempt was closely guarded. Morsell said he was trying to get the ball to Clark but when he couldn't find him quickly, "time was ticking so I had to let it go."

UP NEXT

The Wolfpack remains on the road and plays at Georgia Tech on Saturday.

The Cavaliers go on the road and play at Wake Forest on Sunday.

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