Nebraska tries to start a good streak at Maryland


Just after ending three ignominious skids in their last game, the Nebraska Cornhuskers look to start a streak in the right direction when they visit the Maryland Terrapins in Big Ten play on Tuesday and Wednesday in College Park, Md.

Teddy Allen’s driving layup with 12.3 seconds remaining lifted the Cornhuskers past host Penn State 62-61, snapping their nine-game losing streak Sunday. The victory also ended two other long stretches of frustration: A 26-game conference losing streak dating back to January 2020, and a 24-game road losing streak dating back to January 2019.

But Nebraska (5-12, 1-9 Big Ten) didn’t make it easy on itself.

Nebraska led 60-49 with 8:43 remaining, but Penn State used its defense to get back into the game, fueling a 12-0 run to take a 61-60 lead with 1:58 to play. After two Nebraska missed shots, Penn State missed two shots but got the offensive rebound and had the lead and the ball … and it looked like the Cornhuskers had found a way to lose again.

But Dalano Banton got a steal for the Cornhuskers and fed Allen for what proved to be the winning basket. The Nittany Lions couldn’t get off a shot attempt on their final possession as Trey McGowens’ steal in the final seconds enabled the clock — and the Cornhuskers’ losing streaks — to expire.

“If we wouldn’t have found a way to get this one, that would have been two of the more devastating ones I’ve been a part of,” coach Fred Hoiberg said after winning a road game for the first time as Nebraska’s coach.

Allen led the Cornhuskers with 14 points and six rebounds, while McGowens added 10 points, four assists and three steals. Kobe Webster came off the bench for 13 points and four rebounds.

“I’ve told them: You guys are knocking on the door,” Hoiberg said. “Let’s go kick that — word I can’t use — down. And they went out and continued to fight. That’s the thing that I’m so proud of with this group is how they’ve continued to go out there and battle.”

Maryland (11-10, 5-9) has had more success than Nebraska this season, but the Terrapins are running out of time to put together a strong case why they should make the NCAA Tournament.

The Terrapins opened league play 0-2 and have been up and down ever since. They have posted three wins over ranked teams on the road: No. 6 Wisconsin on Dec. 28, No. 12 Illinois on Jan. 10, and No. 17 Minnesota on Jan. 23 (rankings at the time of the game). That’s an achievement — three wins over ranked teams on the road — that no other Maryland team had ever done.

Maryland is just 2-9 in the rest of its Big Ten games, yet is coming off one of its better performances of the year on Sunday, when Aaron Wiggins scored 17 points to lead four Terrapins in double figures in a 72-59 win over visiting Minnesota.

Darryl Morsell scored 13, while Eric Ayala added 12 points and reserve Galin Smith chipped in 10. The Terrapins shot 52.9 percent from the field, including 10-for-20 from beyond the 3-point line.

“You hope it gives them confidence moving forward,” Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said after defeating Minnesota. “We’ll take the game plan going into it, positive energy, positive body language and do that. Then we’ve gotta lock in and lock in defensively and keep sharing the ball.

“The guys, they see the light at the end of the tunnel. They know it’s coming to an end soon, so we’ve gotta make hay quickly. So they were locked in.”

Maryland and Nebraska were initially scheduled to meet in College Park on Jan. 16, but that game was postponed due to COVID-19 issues within the Nebraska program that forced the Cornhuskers to go nearly four weeks without playing.

–Field Level Media

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