Maryland beat Illinois in Champaign last night in Overtime by a score of 92-91. The win was the first in conference play for the Terps this year after they lost the opener at home on Friday against Purdue.
Maryland was heavily favored coming into the game and showed why in the first half. Turgeon had his team ready and they jumped the Illini from the start, opening the game on a 10-0 run. They dominated inside and used some smooth passing and off-ball movement to get open shots and shoot over 70% from the field in the first half to post a 45-26 lead at the half.
Maryland pushed the lead to 22 in the second half and the Terps looked to be on their way to an easy victory when Illinois made their move. The Illini gained new energy and smothered the Terps into a myriad of turnovers to go on a 30-12 run and tie the game. After a crazy back and forth final 5 minutes, Cowan looked to be fouled down 2 with 4.6 seconds left but the refs inexplicably swallowed their whistles and Maryland lost possession. Luckily, Illinois’ inbounds pass missed everyone and Maryland was able to get possession back at the 4.6 mark. Huerter missed a contested 3 but luckily Bruno Fernando was there for the put back with no time left to send the game into OT.
both teams shot incredibly well in the final period, scoring a combined 33 points in the frame. The two biggest plays had to be Huerter’s corner 3 to take a 1 point lead, and Cowan’s drawn foul with essentially no time left to hit the game-winning free-throws. The win-probability chart is something to behold:
Maryland relied heavily on the sophomore core, whom scored 64 of the team’s 92 points. Cowan hit a career high of 27 as he continues to shine. Huerter had 17 and 7 for a very productive game. The most encouraging sign, however, was Justin Jackson scoring 20. He needs to perform at a high level like this more consistently if Maryland wants to win more games in the conference. Fernando had his nightly 10 points coming off the bench as well.
Maryland returns home on Thursday as they will look to push their record to 8-3 against the Ohio Bobcats. Tip-off is scheduled for 7pm on Big Ten Network