EditorsNote: minor edits
Rutgers stymied No. 9 Maryland’s offense and kept the Terrapins from clinching a share of the Big Ten title with a 78-67 win Tuesday night in Piscataway, N.J.
The Scarlet Knights (19-11, 10-9 Big Ten) ran their home record to 18-1 and notched a big win in their quest to reach the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 29 years.
The Terrapins (23-7, 13-6) lost for the third time in four games, hitting just 38.5 percent (25 of 65) from the field, including a woeful 6 of 32 (18.8 percent) from 3-point range. Maryland fell back into a tie for first with No. 16 Michigan State, which won 79-71 at No. 20 Penn State.
Maryland, Michigan State, Illinois and Wisconsin all have six Big Ten losses with one or two games remaining.
Jacob Young had the hot hand early, and finished with 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting to pace Rutgers, which snapped a three-game losing streak. Montez Mathis added 15 points, and Geo Baker had 11.
The Scarlet Knights opened the second half with a 9-2 run to lead 44-31 on Ron Harper Jr.’s 3-pointer with 17:05 left. The lead would balloon to 67-46 with 6:54 to go when Myles Johnson hit a free throw.
Anthony Cowan Jr. led Maryland with 19 points, but 13 came in the first half. Jalen Smith had 16 points and 10 rebounds, his 12th double-double in the last 13 games.
Rutgers held Maryland to 34.4 percent shooting (11 of 32) in the first half and led 35-29 at the break. The Terrapins were just 2 of 16 from 3-point range in that stanza but closed with five straight points. Maryland had missed 13 of its first 16 field-goal attempts. Young scored 11 of Rutgers’ first 17 points to get the Scarlet Knights off to a fast start.
Rutgers’ 10 conference wins are the most for the program since 1990-91, when the Scarlet Knights were in the Atlantic-10. That was also the season they last appeared in the NCAA Tournament.
The Knights posted their first win over Maryland since both programs joined the Big Ten in 2014, as the Terrapins had won eight consecutive meetings.
—Field Level Media