Husker hoops heads to No. 9 Maryland

From: Nebraska Athletics

The Nebraska men’s basketball team concludes its two-game road trip on Tuesday night, as the Huskers travel to No. 9 Maryland. Tipoff from the XFINITY Center is slated for shortly after 7:30 p.m. (central) and will be carried on BTN with Brandon Gaudin and Robbie Hummel on the call. The game can also be streamed via the web, smartphones, tablets and connected devices through the Fox Sports app.

Fans can follow all of the action across the state of Nebraska on the Learfield IMG College Husker Sports Network with Kent Pavelka and Jake Muhleisen on the call. The game will also be available on Huskers.com, the Huskers app and TuneIn radio. The pregame show begins one hour prior to tipoff.

Nebraska (7-16, 2-10 Big Ten) wrap up a stretch of three straight games against ranked opponents Tuesday evening with potentially its toughest matchup of the season. Maryland is 13-0 at home, including 6-0 in Big Ten action, and will be the first top-10 team the Huskers have faced this season.

The Huskers are coming off a 96-72 loss to No. 17 Iowa on Saturday. In that game, Joe Wieskamp and Luka Garza combined for 52 points and 15 rebounds as the Hawkeyes opened the second half with a 25-10 spurt to break open the contest.

For the Huskers, junior guard Jervay Green came off the bench for 18 points and seven rebounds to lead three Huskers in double figures. Green, who had 11 of his points in the first half to help the Huskers cut a 16-point deficit to four, has reached double figures in three of the Huskers’ last four road games. Cam Mack and Dachon Burke Jr. added 13 and 12 points, respectively, as the Huskers shot just 5-of-25 from 3-point range, including just 1-of-10 in the first half.

Maryland (19-4, 9-3 Big Ten) leads the Big Ten race by a game and enters Tuesday’s game riding a six-game win streak after a 75-66 win over No. 20 Illinois Friday night in Champaign. In that game, Anthony Cowan led all scorers with 20 points and seven assists to lead three Maryland players in double figures. The Terrapins overcame a 14-point first-half deficit to pull within 42-40 at the break and used an 11-0 run to take the lead for good.  Darryl Morsell scored 18 and Eric Ayala added 12 for Maryland, which handed the Fighting Illini their first home conference loss of the season.

WATCH

Huskers on playing at No. 9 Maryland:

Fred Hoiberg on going back to the basics:

PLAYER SPOTLIGHT
With 148 assists, Cam Mack needs just five assists to move past former Husker great Tyronn Lue for fifth place on Nebraska’s single-season list. Lue had 152 assists in the 1997-98 season, his final season at NU before embarking on an 11-year NBA career.

NUMBERS TO KNOW
1.28 – Nebraska’s assist-to-turnover ratio which is on pace to rank seventh in school history. The Huskers are fourth in the Big Ten in assist-to-turnover ratio, including second in Big Ten action. In addition, NU’s 14.4 assists per game is on pace to be the Huskers’ highest total since the 2007-08 season. 

2.28 – Cam Mack’s assist-to-turnover ratio, which is fourth in the Big Ten entering this week’s action. 

7.5 – Kevin Cross has been one of the Big Ten’s top scoring reserves this season. He ranks fourth among players who have exclusively come off the bench in 2019-20, and is the only freshman in the group. Cross ranks sixth among Big Ten true freshmen in scoring this season as of Feb 9.

No.

Name

School

PPG

1.

Izaiah Brockington

Penn State

9.0

2.

Jacob Young

Rutgers

8.3

 

Alan Griffin

Illinois

8.3

4.

Kevin Cross

Nebraska

7.5

5.

Curtis Jones

Penn State

7.1

Min 50 percent of games played; 0 starts 

8 – Cam Mack is one of just eight players in Division I – and  just three in power conferences –  averaging at least 12.0 points, 6.0 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 1.0 steals per game. 

50 – Returning point total from last season, all by Thorir Thorbjarnarson. That is the lowest by any power conference team in the last decade.

SCOUTING MARYLAND
Maryland comes into Tuesday’s game with a 19-4 record and is ranked ninth in this week’s AP and Coaches polls. Maryland, which went 10-1 in non-conference play with its only loss coming to Seton Hall, dropped back-to-back games at Iowa and Wisconsin last month, but has regrouped with six straight wins, including road wins at Northwestern, Indiana and No. 20 Illinois. In all three road games, the Terrapins rallied in the second half, including 14-point deficits at Northwestern and Illinois.

Maryland is a perfect 13-0 at home this season. The Terrapins’ strength has been at the defensive end, where they hold teams to 61.9 points per game on 38.3 percent shooting. Maryland has allowed more than 70 points twice since conference play resumed in early January.

Coach Mark Turgeon’s team is battle tested, bringing back four starters and eight letterwinners from a team that won 23 games and lost in the final seconds to LSU in last year’s NCAA Tournament. Senior Anthony Cowan Jr. is one of the Big Ten’s top playmaking guards, as he averages a team-high 16.4 points and 4.4 assists per game. The Wooden Award finalist also leads Maryland with 46 3-pointers. Jalen Smith is the Terps’ other Wooden Award
finalist, as he averages 15.0 points, 10.1 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game. Smith has six straight double doubles and is averaging 19.2 points and 12.0 rebounds and 3.2 blocks per game in that stretch.
 
SERIES HISTORY
Tuesday’s meeting is the 10th meeting between the two teams, all since the Terrapins joined the Big Ten in 2014-15. Maryland leads the series, 6-3, with six of the nine meetings decided by five points or less.  Maryland had won the first five meetings while Nebraska has won three of the past five dating back to Jan. 1, 2017. Tuesday will mark the seventh time in 10 meetings that Maryland has been ranked at game time.

Last Meeting: The Huskers built a double-digit lead late in the first half, and the Huskers never trailed again in a 69-61 upset of No. 21 Maryland in the second round of the 2019 Big Ten Tournament. The Huskers held Maryland to 36 percent shooting and just 18 field goals, marking the Terrapins’ fourth-worst shooting percentage of the season and second-fewest field goals.

Offensively, Nebraska got 58 points from its big three of James Palmer Jr., Glynn Watson Jr. and Isaiah Roby. Palmer hit 8-of-13 shots en route to a game-high 24 points, while Watson scored 19 points and Roby added 15 points, six rebounds and three blocks. But the victory was a true team effort, as the Huskers got two points and a game-high nine rebounds from Tanner Borchardt, a career-high five points and four rebounds from Johnny Trueblood and four points, four rebounds and a career-high five steals from Thorir Thorbjarnarson.

Anthony Cowan led Maryland with 18 points, while Darryl Morsell chipped in 14 points and Eric Ayala scored 12 points. Nebraska held first-team All-Big Ten pick Bruno Fernando to a season-low three points in 35 minutes.

Categories: Husker Sports, Sports