By: Eddie Hobbs
In another close game away from home, Maryland (16-10, 5-7 B1G) found itself down three with 40 seconds left against rival Penn State (17-9, 6-6 B1G).
After a Josh Reaves missed jump shot and a Bruno Fernando rebound, the Terps were within striking distance. Maryland had time to settle down and try and find an open look, but Anthony Cowan drove into the paint and put up a wild layup that he failed to convert.
That would essentially seal the loss for the Terps, and Penn State went on to win 74-70.
Maryland has been in this situation before with games against Indiana, Purdue, Michigan, Syracuse, and St. Bonaventure, where Maryland found itself in close games late, but have failed to execute. And now Penn State can be added to that list.
With center Michal Cekovsky missing another game due to his ankle injury he sustained in practice on January 31, head coach Mark Turgeon has been left with a short-handed front court. That showed tonight, especially when Turgeon would go with Sean Obi or Joshua Tomaic.
Penn State would instantly recognize those matchups and exploit them. The two bench players failed to recognize pick-and-rolls and matchups. The two combined for zero points and two rebounds.
Tonight, Maryland went against Mike Watkins, a rising sophomore who had a dominant 17 point 17 rebound performance the last time these two teams met on January 2. The Terps were able to limit Watkins to 11 points and five rebounds, but failed to guard Penn State’s backcourt as well as they did in the previous matchup.
Reaves, Tony Carr, and Stevens combined for 55 of Penn States 74 points. Stevens had an unforgettable night, and he was doing everything for the Nittany Lions. He shot 10-12 from the field, had three offensive rebounds, and contributed two assists.
There were instances where Maryland would make a few runs, but Penn State was able to sustain the Terps punches throughout the second half. Maryland was able to cut the lead to one a couple of times in the second half, but failed to get over the hump.
Maryland’s turnovers came back in the against Penn State as the Terps committed 14 turnovers, which led to 23 points for Penn State.
The Terps will come home for a matchup against Northwestern on Saturday at noon. Maryland will most likely need to win the rest of its regular season games to even be considered a NCAA Tournament team, and even that might not be enough to save its season.