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Maryland squeezes past Penn State 66-59 in Big Ten opener

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) After Jalen Smith and Bruno Fernando carried Maryland to the brink of victory, Anthony Cowan Jr. emphatically finished off Penn State.

Cowan made two clutch 3-pointers in the closing minutes, and the 24th-ranked Terrapins opened Big Ten play with a 66-59 victory Saturday.

Smith scored 16 points, and Fernando had 12 points and 13 rebounds. But Cowan, who struggled for much of the game, came up big when Maryland needed it most.

The junior guard buried a 3 with 2:14 left to make it 61-55. After the Nittany Lions got within two points, Cowan hoisted a 27-footer as the shot clock expired, and it swished through the net to clinch it with 34 seconds to go.

''Cowan made the plays at the end. That's what a great player does,'' Penn State coach Patrick Chambers said.

Prior to those two shots, Cowan had six turnovers and was 4 for 10 from the field.

''He's got a very short-term memory. He's got amnesia,'' Chambers said. ''He had six turnovers, but that's not going to affect the way he plays.''

No, it won't. Not for the team leader on a squad filled with freshmen and sophomores.

''I wasn't making the best decisions with the ball,'' Cowan acknowledged. ''But when it came down to it, I just wanted to make sure I made shots, give our team the best chance to win the game.''

Maryland (7-1, 1-0) held on to secure a bounce-back victory following a 76-71 loss to No. 4 Virginia earlier in the week.

Coming off a 63-62 upset of No. 13 Virginia Tech on Tuesday, the Nittany Lions (4-3) nearly knocked off another ranked team. They led 31-30 at halftime, erased an eight-point deficit in the second half and gave Maryland all it could handle on its own floor.

Lamar Stevens scored 19 on 9-for-24 shooting, Josh Reaves had all 17 of his points in the first half and Rasir Bolton finished with 15 for Penn State.

''Defensively, we did enough to win the game,'' Chambers said. ''But we need another scorer out there. We can't just rely on Stevens for 20 Big Ten games. That's unfair to the kid, it's unfair to our team.''

Penn State simply couldn't handle the Terrapins' inside game. With Fernando and Smith leading the way, Maryland finished with a 40-28 rebounding advantage and outscored the Nittany Lions 18-4 at the foul line.

Fernando became the first Terp to notch three straight double-doubles since Jordan Williams in 2011.

Maryland went up 47-39 with 12:53 left when Fernando sent an alley-oop pass to Smith for a dunk. As he headed the other way down the court, Fernando raised his arms and waved his hands, asking the crowd of 15,481 to cheer the Terps on.

The enthusiasm waned when Penn State responded with a 9-0 run to move back in front.

Neither team could pull away, which was typical of this budding rivalry. Since Maryland joined the Big Ten, each of the seven games between the teams has been decided by seven points or less.

REMEMBERING 41

Maryland coach Mark Turgeon began his postgame interview session by remembering his encounter with former President George H.W. Bush, who died late Friday night.

Turgeon was a coach at Texas A&M when he met the 41st president.

''He just had a big influence on me,'' Turgeon said. ''One, he made me feel like I was a past president and he was the basketball coach at Texas A&M. But he was just a good role model in how much he loved his wife Barbara and his family, how much he loved our country. So today's a sad day for me.''

WEIRD HALF

Penn State missed 12 of its first 13 shots while falling behind 12-3, then held the Terrapins scoreless for more than four minutes during a 10-0 run. The Nittany Lions took 12 more shots than Maryland in the first half, limited the Terps to 8-for-21 shooting and forced 10 turnovers.

Yet Penn State got points from only three players, was outrebounded 21-16 and missed both its free throws, which explains the 31-30 score at the break.

BIG PICTURE

Penn State: The Nittany Lions could make some noise in the Big Ten if they can get contributions from players other than Stevens and Reaves, the only starters with more than one year of experience.

Maryland: Consistency continues to elude the Terrapins, which isn't entirely unexpected given the youth of the roster. Outside shooting and ball handling remain a work in progress, but the good news is that the Terps are 7-1 and ranked in spite of their shortcomings.

UP NEXT

Penn State: Hosts Indiana on Tuesday night, the lone regular-season meeting between the teams.

Maryland: Travels to Purdue on Thursday night, seeking to end a four-game losing streak against the Boilermakers.

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Key Players
Min. Per Game
Pts. Per Game
Ast. Per Game
Reb. Per Game
Field Goal %
Three Point %
Free Throw %
  Defensive rebound by Jalen Smith 5.0
  Trent Buttrick missed 3-pt. jump shot 7.0
  Defensive rebound by John Harrar 16.0
  Jalen Smith missed free throw 16.0
  Personal foul on Josh Reaves 16.0
  Defensive rebound by Jalen Smith 17.0
  Rasir Bolton missed 3-pt. jump shot 19.0
+ 1 Eric Ayala made 2nd of 2 free throws 26.0
+ 1 Eric Ayala made 1st of 2 free throws 26.0
  Personal foul on John Harrar 26.0
  Defensive rebound by Eric Ayala 26.0
Team Stats
Points 59 66
Field Goals 25-63 (39.7%) 22-45 (48.9%)
3-Pointers 5-21 (23.8%) 4-14 (28.6%)
Free Throws 4-6 (66.7%) 18-25 (72.0%)
Total Rebounds 28 40
Offensive 8 8
Defensive 17 27
Team 3 5
Assists 9 9
Steals 12 2
Blocks 2 1
Turnovers 8 17
Fouls 24 14
Technicals 0 0
19 PTS, 8 REB, 1 AST
16 PTS, 8 REB
12T
away team logo Penn State 4-3 312859
home team logo 24 Maryland 7-1 303666
Team Stats
away team logo Penn State 4-3 69.7 PPG 40.2 RPG 12.2 APG
home team logo 24 Maryland 7-1 71.6 PPG 42.4 RPG 13.2 APG
Key Players
11
L. Stevens F 19.9 PPG 7.7 RPG 2.1 APG 42.2 FG%
25
J. Smith F 11.6 PPG 6.8 RPG 0.9 APG 49.6 FG%
Top Scorers
L. Stevens F 19 PTS 8 REB 1 AST
J. Smith F 16 PTS 8 REB 0 AST
39.7 FG% 48.9
23.8 3PT FG% 28.6
66.7 FT% 72.0
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
L. Stevens 19 8 1 9/24 1/4 0/1 2 35 0 0 1 1 7
J. Reaves 17 7 2 7/18 3/8 0/0 4 38 4 0 5 3 4
J. Harrar 6 4 1 3/3 0/0 0/0 3 23 0 0 0 3 1
M. Dread 2 2 2 1/3 0/2 0/1 2 25 1 0 1 0 2
J. Wheeler 0 0 2 0/1 0/0 0/0 3 15 4 0 1 0 0
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
L. Stevens 19 8 1 9/24 1/4 0/1 2 35 0 0 1 1 7
J. Reaves 17 7 2 7/18 3/8 0/0 4 38 4 0 5 3 4
J. Harrar 6 4 1 3/3 0/0 0/0 3 23 0 0 0 3 1
M. Dread 2 2 2 1/3 0/2 0/1 2 25 1 0 1 0 2
J. Wheeler 0 0 2 0/1 0/0 0/0 3 15 4 0 1 0 0
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
R. Bolton 15 2 0 5/8 1/3 4/4 3 31 1 0 0 1 1
M. Watkins 0 0 1 0/0 0/0 0/0 4 11 2 2 0 0 0
T. Buttrick 0 2 0 0/3 0/3 0/0 3 9 0 0 0 0 2
M. Jones 0 0 0 0/3 0/1 0/0 0 13 0 0 0 0 0
S. Pierce - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Zemgulis - - - - - - - - - - - - -
G. Hazle - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Nussbaum - - - - - - - - - - - - -
I. Brockington - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Kasatkin - - - - - - - - - - - - -
K. McCloskey - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 59 25 9 25/63 5/21 4/6 24 200 12 2 8 8 17
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
J. Smith 16 8 0 7/12 1/2 1/4 3 33 1 0 1 2 6
A. Cowan Jr. 15 2 4 6/12 2/6 1/1 2 34 1 0 6 0 2
B. Fernando 12 13 2 2/6 0/0 8/8 2 36 0 1 3 3 10
E. Ayala 8 4 2 1/3 0/2 6/8 2 34 0 0 2 0 4
D. Morsell 6 4 1 3/5 0/1 0/2 2 24 0 0 3 2 2
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
J. Smith 16 8 0 7/12 1/2 1/4 3 33 1 0 1 2 6
A. Cowan Jr. 15 2 4 6/12 2/6 1/1 2 34 1 0 6 0 2
B. Fernando 12 13 2 2/6 0/0 8/8 2 36 0 1 3 3 10
E. Ayala 8 4 2 1/3 0/2 6/8 2 34 0 0 2 0 4
D. Morsell 6 4 1 3/5 0/1 0/2 2 24 0 0 3 2 2
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
A. Wiggins 9 3 0 3/7 1/3 2/2 2 26 0 0 1 1 2
I. Bender 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0
S. Smith Jr. 0 1 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 8 0 0 1 0 1
R. Lindo 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 1 4 0 0 0 0 0
A. Terrell - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Tomaic - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Valmon - - - - - - - - - - - - -
R. Mona - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Ramsey - - - - - - - - - - - - -
W. Clark - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 66 35 9 22/45 4/14 18/25 14 200 2 1 17 8 27