Jalen Smith blocked Cam Mack’s layup attempt in the final seconds and Big Ten-leading Maryland stayed undefeated at home with a 72-70 win over hard-luck Nebraska Tuesday night in College Park, Md.
Smith posted his seventh consecutive double-double with 16 points and 13 rebounds, one of four Terrapins in double figures along with Eric Ayala (16) and Anthony Cowan (13). Both guards missed front ends of one-and-ones in the final 22 seconds to open the door for Nebraska (7-17, 2-11), which has dropped nine consecutive contests.
Donta Scott also had 10 points for the Terrapins.
The Terrapins (20-4, 10-3) won their seventh straight game, went to 14-0 at home, and reached 20 wins for the fifth time in the past six seasons. Coach Mark Turgeon collected his 200th victory at Maryland. He is now 200-96 in his ninth season in College Park.
Nebraska got 20 points from Haanif Cheatham, 18 in the second half, and 15 from Thorir Thorbjarnarson. The Cornhuskers hit seven of their first nine shots to start the second half and slice a 14-point deficit to 47-40 when Jervay Green scored with 15:15 left.
The Terrapins scored the next four points, but Nebraska got even closer with a 12-2 run that made it 56-54 at 7:37 on Green’s layup in transition.
Green missed a 3-pointer that would have put Nebraska ahead on the next possession and Maryland’s Ayala hit a three at 6:35 to start an 8-0 run. Ayala’s three at 4:47 made it 64-54.
The Huskers had one more charge in them, cutting the deficit to 68-64 on Green’s stickback at 1:37, and inching closer when Cheatham hit one of two free throws with just 34 seconds left to make it 71-68. When Mack added two more free throws at 12 seconds, it was 71-70.
Immediately fouled, Cowan missed the front end with 12 seconds to play. At the other end, Smith blocked Mack’s shot, collected the rebound, was fouled and hit one of two free throws with 0.7 seconds for the win.
Maryland led 38-25 at the half, limiting the Cornhuskers to just 27.3 percent (9-of-33) shooting. Nebraska trailed only 18-17, though, when Maryland went on a 12-2 run, with Scott hitting two free throws and then draining a three to start the spree. When Cowan nailed three free throws at 5:30, the Terps led 30-19. The Huskers misfired on 17 of 20 first-half 3-point attempts.
Nebraska returns home to host Wisconsin on Saturday, while Maryland moves on to meet preseason Big Ten favorite Michigan State on Saturday in East Lansing, Mich.
—Field Level Media