Maryland opened up 2018 with their third game in Big Ten play, a 75-69 win at home against Penn State.
The Terrapins had a rough first half against Penn State, after the loss of Ivan Bender for the rest of the season due to injury. Mark Turgeon started a rather big lineup, including Bruno Fernando and Michal Cekovsky.
Anthony Cowan really played like a man on a mission in the first half of this game. In the first half he scored 11 of his 18 total points, mostly coming from some insane layups.
One of Maryland’s biggest struggles this season has been turnover, yet they only gave the ball up three times in the first half and five times all game. Turgeon attributed this effort to playing much slower on offense.
The Terrapins struggled to make shots, especially threes, going just one out of six shots, including two badly missed shots by Darryl Morsell in the first half. The half ended with two big makes for Penn State from deep, giving them a 34-30 advantage over Maryland.
In the second half, Maryland had a much more concise attack. they opened with a 5-0 run to take a 35-34 lead.
Penn State continued to find openings in the middle of Maryland’s defense, and held a lead until Maryland fought back with about 11 minutes left to play.
A very back and forth half was defined at the four minute mark, when Michal Cekovsky stripped a ball loose and then slammed it home. Even though the and-one chance was missed, he brought the crowd of 14,374 into the game and they team fed off of that.
Turgeon also mentioned this play as something that “set the tone” for the end of this game.
Down the stretch, Kevin Huerter really thrived after going scoreless in the first half. He sank all nine of his free throws, and finished the game with 13 points and four rebounds.
Maryland’s player of the game had to be Bruno Fernando. The freshman continued his exceptional season by scoring 17 points and grabbing 11 boards, posting his first career double-double. Even though he missed a few monstrous slams and had a goaltending call against him, he put a real stamp on this game.
The Terrapins move to 13-3 on the season and 2-1 in Big Ten play after this win. They go on the road in just two days to face number one Michigan State in East Lansing.