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Cowan scores 21 as No. 24 Maryland beats Minnesota 69-60

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) If Maryland was feeling pressured to snap a two-game losing streak, it sure didn't show prior to the opening tipoff against Minnesota.

The Terrapins completed their warmup session by gathering in the lane to dance to the hip-hop music blaring from the loudspeakers. They laughed and joked with the team's two upperclassmen on Senior Night, and jumped for joy when senior Ivan Bender dropped to one knee and proposed to his girlfriend.

And then, No. 24 Maryland kept the good times rolling, completing the regular season with a feel-good 69-60 victory Friday night.

Anthony Cowan Jr. scored 21 points and Jalen Smith had 19 points and 11 rebounds for the Terrapins. They were coming off a lopsided loss at Penn State and their lone Big Ten defeat at home, versus Michigan.

''We talked about having fun, but you never know if kids are going to relax or not,'' coach Mark Turgeon said. ''We were a little uptight Sunday in that (Michigan) game.''

There was no sign of nervousness against Minnesota. The Terrapins (22-9, 13-7) led by 12 at halftime, stretched the margin to 19 in the opening three minutes of the second half and went up 54-32 with 13 minutes left.

''We had a great week of practice,'' Turgeon said. ''I knew we were going to play well, I knew we were going to play with energy. I didn't think it would be quite that easy.''

Amir Coffey had 23 points and six assists for Minnesota (19-12, 9-11). The Golden Gophers' only lead was 2-0.

Minnesota shot 27 percent before halftime, 38 percent overall and committed 13 turnovers.

''We talked about when you go on the road, you've got to take good shots and you can't turn the ball over,'' coach Richard Pitino said. ''We didn't do both of those in the first half.''

Bruno Fernando had 11 points and 11 rebounds for Maryland and Smith, a lanky 6-foot-10 freshman, just missed matching his career high of 21 points - set against Minnesota in 82-67 victory Jan 8.

Limited to 10 points against Michigan, Cowan topped that with a 12-point first half against Minnesota. The junior guard finished with a team-high five assists and played 37 minutes.

Asked what made the night special, Cowan replied, ''Just seeing everybody playing together. Everybody smiling. Everybody just playing with heart, playing with effort. You can't really ask for much more than that.''

Maryland led 34-22 at halftime despite missing 11 of its final 12 shots.

Minnesota had more turnovers (8) than baskets (7) in the first half and was 2 for 14 from inside the arc.

The Terrapins led 9-6 before Smith drilled successive 3-pointers to ignite an 18-7 run. Smith added a dunk during the surge and Cowan capped it with a 3 from the top of the key.

Smith started the second half with two free throws and Cowan made a layup to launch a 9-2 spurt that made it 43-24.

BIG PICTURE

Minnesota: The Golden Gophers are a different team on the road, a problem that is not unique in the Big Ten. Minnesota finished 13-3 at home and 2-9 on the road, including 2-8 in the conference.

Maryland: The Terrapins desperately needed a blowout victory to erase the sting of the two games that preceded it. Turgeon can only hope this serves as a confidence boost heading into the Big Ten Tournament.

COLD COFFEY

Coffey scored a combined 63 points in Minnesota's previous two games, helping the Golden Gophers beat Northwestern and Purdue. In this one, however, he went 8 for 17 from the floor and struggled before scoring 17 over the final 9:34.

''He doesn't need to have to score 30 points for us to be a good offensive team,'' Pitino said. ''But in the second half, he was pretty darn good.''

FULLY ENGAGED

With only two upperclassmen on the squad, Senior Night was expected to be rather uneventful.

Bender rewrote the script by proposing to his girlfriend.

Though caught by surprise, Andrea Knezevic said yes.

UP NEXT

Both teams open play Thursday in the Big Ten Tournament at the United Center in Chicago.

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Key Players
J. Murphy
3 F
A. Cowan Jr.
1 G
34.5 Min. Per Game 34.5
15.7 Pts. Per Game 15.7
4.3 Ast. Per Game 4.3
3.7 Reb. Per Game 3.7
48.5 Field Goal % 40.4
26.1 Three Point % 34.1
67.6 Free Throw % 82.9
  Defensive rebound by Maryland 0.0
  Dupree McBrayer missed 3-pt. jump shot, blocked by Darryl Morsell 1.0
  Defensive rebound by Daniel Oturu 4.0
  Ivan Bender missed 3-pt. jump shot 6.0
  Personal foul on Jordan Murphy 25.0
  Personal foul on Dupree McBrayer 27.0
+ 3 Dupree McBrayer made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Amir Coffey 29.0
  Defensive rebound by Daniel Oturu 36.0
  Andrew Terrell missed 3-pt. jump shot 38.0
  Defensive rebound by Bruno Fernando 51.0
  Amir Coffey missed 3-pt. jump shot 53.0
Team Stats
Points 60 69
Field Goals 21-55 (38.2%) 26-62 (41.9%)
3-Pointers 8-23 (34.8%) 7-20 (35.0%)
Free Throws 10-15 (66.7%) 10-12 (83.3%)
Total Rebounds 32 39
Offensive 6 11
Defensive 23 25
Team 3 3
Assists 13 14
Steals 4 5
Blocks 4 6
Turnovers 13 9
Fouls 10 14
Technicals 0 0
23 PTS, 3 REB, 6 AST
21 PTS, 2 REB, 5 AST
12T
away team logo Minnesota 19-12 223860
home team logo 24 Maryland 22-9 343569
Team Stats
away team logo Minnesota 19-12 70.6 PPG 40.2 RPG 14.5 APG
home team logo 24 Maryland 22-9 71.4 PPG 42.4 RPG 13.1 APG
Key Players
5
A. Coffey G 16.6 PPG 3.6 RPG 3.2 APG 43.6 FG%
1
A. Cowan Jr. G 15.6 PPG 3.7 RPG 4.4 APG 39.3 FG%
Top Scorers
A. Coffey G 23 PTS 3 REB 6 AST
A. Cowan Jr. G 21 PTS 2 REB 5 AST
38.2 FG% 41.9
34.8 3PT FG% 35.0
66.7 FT% 83.3
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
A. Coffey 23 3 6 8/17 2/7 5/8 0 39 1 0 3 0 3
J. Murphy 14 10 2 5/11 2/3 2/2 4 38 0 3 1 2 8
D. McBrayer 9 0 2 3/10 3/8 0/0 3 35 1 0 1 0 0
D. Oturu 7 11 3 3/8 0/0 1/3 1 27 1 0 3 3 8
G. Kalscheur 3 2 0 1/4 1/3 0/0 2 34 1 0 0 0 2
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
A. Coffey 23 3 6 8/17 2/7 5/8 0 39 1 0 3 0 3
J. Murphy 14 10 2 5/11 2/3 2/2 4 38 0 3 1 2 8
D. McBrayer 9 0 2 3/10 3/8 0/0 3 35 1 0 1 0 0
D. Oturu 7 11 3 3/8 0/0 1/3 1 27 1 0 3 3 8
G. Kalscheur 3 2 0 1/4 1/3 0/0 2 34 1 0 0 0 2
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
M. Stockman 4 1 0 1/2 0/0 2/2 0 13 0 1 1 0 1
B. Stull 0 1 0 0/2 0/2 0/0 0 12 0 0 3 0 1
J. Omersa 0 1 0 0/1 0/0 0/0 0 2 0 0 1 1 0
J. Johnson - - - - - - - - - - - - -
E. Curry - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Hurt - - - - - - - - - - - - -
B. Rudrud - - - - - - - - - - - - -
P. Willis - - - - - - - - - - - - -
H. Conroy - - - - - - - - - - - - -
I. Washington - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Carr - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 60 29 13 21/55 8/23 10/15 10 200 4 4 13 6 23
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
A. Cowan Jr. 21 2 5 8/17 3/6 2/2 0 36 2 1 2 0 2
J. Smith 19 11 1 6/12 3/6 4/4 0 35 2 3 1 3 8
B. Fernando 11 11 3 5/12 0/0 1/2 3 25 0 0 3 4 7
D. Morsell 10 3 3 4/7 1/2 1/2 2 32 1 1 0 3 0
E. Ayala 4 1 0 1/3 0/2 2/2 2 28 0 0 1 0 1
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
A. Cowan Jr. 21 2 5 8/17 3/6 2/2 0 36 2 1 2 0 2
J. Smith 19 11 1 6/12 3/6 4/4 0 35 2 3 1 3 8
B. Fernando 11 11 3 5/12 0/0 1/2 3 25 0 0 3 4 7
D. Morsell 10 3 3 4/7 1/2 1/2 2 32 1 1 0 3 0
E. Ayala 4 1 0 1/3 0/2 2/2 2 28 0 0 1 0 1
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
S. Smith Jr. 2 1 1 1/2 0/0 0/0 0 6 0 0 0 0 1
A. Wiggins 2 5 0 1/6 0/2 0/0 1 17 0 0 1 1 4
I. Bender 0 1 1 0/2 0/1 0/0 3 6 0 0 1 0 1
A. Terrell 0 0 0 0/1 0/1 0/0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0
J. Tomaic 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 1 3 0 0 0 0 0
R. Lindo 0 1 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 2 11 0 1 0 0 1
T. Valmon - - - - - - - - - - - - -
R. Mona - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Ramsey - - - - - - - - - - - - -
W. Clark - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 69 36 14 26/62 7/20 10/12 14 200 5 6 9 11 25