Maryland halts their losing streak and Illinois’ comeback

Feature photo Courtesy of Maryland Athletics

Maryland (7-3, 1-1) ended their losing streak against the Fighting Illni (6-3, 0-2) as they took home the win 92-91. With two previous losses, Maryland was able to control the floor having Illinois trail by more than ten points in the first half, resulting in a win.  

Anthony Cowan Jr. scored 16 points in the first half, which helped push the Terps’ lead to 19 points heading into the half.  The sophomore guard finished a career-high of 27 points in total, including the game-winning free throw.  Cowan was 4-for-5 beyond the arc and 9-for-15 from the field. Cowan has surpassed 500 career points and have scored over 20 points in three of the last four games.

Maryland shot over 73 percent from the field, the highest they have achieved all season. With a 10-0 run against Illinois, Maryland dominated the floor forcing the Fighting Illni’s head coach Brad Underwood to remove his starters. Illinois began to slowly come back into the game, forcing a turnover on Cowan, closing the deficit to just three, 14-11, with a little over ten minutes left. Cowan responded with nine points from beyond the arc giving the Terps the lead in the half.

Illinois overcame the 22-point deficit  by shooting 70 percent from the field, while Maryland only shot 40. Kipper Nichols jumper tied the game for the Fighting Illni with under three minutes left in the game. Illinois then took the lead with a 3-point shot from guard Mark Alstork. With two minutes left in the game, Maryland continued to hand the lead over to  the Fighting Illni,with three turnovers, Illinois leading by two.

Bruno, who was 4-for-6 from the field, grabbed an offensive rebound, tipping it to tie the score for Maryland leading the game into overtime.

“Bruno’s tip was amazing,” said coach Mark Turgeon. “The basketball gods were with us tonight” (Associated Press).

The Fighting Illni started off strong in overtime maintaining a manageable 2-point deficit gap.. With two minutes left on the clock, Cowan hits a jumper tying the game 85 apiece.  Illinois takes the lead again but then falls short to Maryland as Kevin Huerter, who had 17 points to end the night, sealed the deal with a 3, allowing Maryland to lead 91-89.  Twenty seconds left to play, Alstork converts a layup, tying the game. Two  Cowan free throws moments later led Maryland to a victory..  

Maryland will host their second Big Ten game against Ohio December 7 at 7 p.m.